Our relationships play a key role in our lives and can have a significant impact on our well-being as well as the health of our whole family.
For many couples, seeking out couples therapy can be an intimidating, exciting, or scary prospect. There are numerous misconceptions about what couples therapy is and what types of relationship difficulties it can help with.
When to seek Couples Therapy?
Couples therapy can be helpful in many situations. It is an opportunity to improve communication with your partner and improve relationship skills. Some of these relationship issues may include:
Tensions in the Relationship
If you are noticing tensions arising in the relationship which you feel stuck in or unable to resolve satisfactorily. This can often feel like you are caught in the same argument again and again (commonly confusingly triggered by different situations). Noticing this cycle can be the first step in changing it and couples therapy can help support you through it.
Couple’s Therapy Through Life Changes or Transitions
Before, during, or after a major life change or transition (such as moving in together, becoming parents, growing your family, moving to a new location, change in careers or family structure, or a significant mental or physical illness).
The transition into parenthood can be especially taxing on a couple’s relationship, just at the time when support and connection are extra important in supporting mental health. Research by John Gottman shows that 67% of couples experience a significant decrease in relationship satisfaction after the birth of their child.
These are all moments in a relationship which can be quite stressful and couples therapy provides an avenue to plan ahead for how to manage changes, support each other in navigating them, and process the impacts of the change on your relationship.
Improve Communication and Learn Attachment Styles
If you would like to improve communication and enhance your understanding of each other’s perspectives, dreams, attachment styles and relational patterns.
You might also wish to gain a better understanding of your own attachment style and the ways that this impacts how you show up in your relationship. Learning about your attachment style and communication patterns can help you maintain a healthy relationship with yourself and others.
After a Betrayal
After a betrayal such as a breach of trust or an emotional or physical affair. This can involve working through the emotions arising from this experience, repairing trust, and healing from betrayal trauma.
Setting Healthy Boundaries Within Your Relationship
If you would like to work on setting healthy boundaries, work through grief, anger or resentment towards each other, and enhance a sense of teamwork and equitable collaboration within your relationship.
When Ending the Relationship
If you are considering or planning a separation/divorce. It is a common misconception that the end goal of couples therapy is always to maintain the relationship, but couples therapy can also be helpful in exploring the possibility of the relationship ending and/or navigating the end of a relationship.
This can be especially helpful when the couple has children and will be co-parenting together moving forward. Working to form a respectful and healthy co-parenting relationship is a wonderful and important way to support children’s current and future well-being and mental health.
Finding a Couples Therapist
The above list is not exhaustive and there are almost as many reasons for seeking out couples therapy as there are couples!
If you feel you may benefit from couples therapy sessions, please reach out and feel free to ask further questions pertaining to your specific situation. Your couples therapist will help you to identify what your unique goals are in seeking couples therapy and develop a plan to reach them together.
What’s the first step for Relationship Counselling?
The first step is to find a couples therapist that you feel will be a good fit for you and your partner. You can book a free-of-charge consultation to explore goodness of fit and explore the Meet Our Therapists page to find our Couples Therapists.