Couples therapy is often surrounded by several misconceptions. While some people believe that walking into the office of a therapist means your relationship is facing serious problems, others believe it’s merely the last option whenever problems arrive. To crown it all, there are people think seeing therapist is a sign that the relationship is over!
However, those with experience as either a therapist or patients know this belief is false, rather the opposite is true. Couples therapy is constructive, and a positive opportunity to enhance any relationship, no matter the stage it is at. It provides you with the tools you need for building a stronger foundation, find lifetime happiness, and achieve shared goals. And in case you are also facing conflicts, couples therapy can help you in getting through them.
In general, below are 3 truths you need to know about couples therapy:
1. It Augments a Healthy Relationship
Couples therapy is about expanding and preserving a healthy relationship, not just solving a conflicting relationship. Just like how a gym instructor can enhance your workout, a professional therapist can also enhance a healthy or flourishing relationship.
Couples therapy helps in expanding your “toolbox” providing you with new tools to explore, appreciate, discover, understand, and connect better with your partner.
Therapists usually refer to their practice as “preventive therapy”. It is similar to the new paradigm which has been able to revolutionize conventional medicine. You regularly go for check-ups to ensure no serious problems are developing. The same goes for couples’ therapy. You are there to augment what you are doing right, and also develop new skills which will help you connect with your partner.
2. It Helps You Understand Your Partner Better
A study carried out by John M. Gottman, Ph.D., who is popular for his work on relationship analysis and marital stability, elaborates that a great relationship is one where the partners have a deep understanding of each other’s worlds. Think about the interior world of your partners, like their doubts, desires, ambitions, dreams, and joys, like it’s a map. The more you understand the map, the better your chances of having a strong, lasting bond. Couples therapy is a good way to guide yourselves as you explore each other’s maps so that all geography and landscapes are properly understood.
Couples therapy can also assist you to understand the external behaviors and expressions of your partner. Have you heard of the concept of love languages? The main idea behind this concept is that, every individual has a unique way in which they express love, and that it is important you learn how to recognize how your spouse does that.
For instance, some people express their love by giving gifts, while others express theirs by spending time, and others by physically touching their partner.
Therapists are trained professionals that can help you in recognizing the love language of your partner, and this will help in reinforcing what you have been doing right already.
3. It Provides a Better Way of Handling Conflicts
Experiencing conflict in your relationship is almost inevitable. (John M. Gottman’s theory postulated that having zero negative interactions in your relationship is just as bad as having too many.)
Whenever conflict arises, you need the right tools to tackle them and get yourself back on track. Although we are all expected to know how to solve conflicts with our partner, acquiring additional knowledge on how to do this is not in any way a bad idea. Couples therapy is one of the best ways to do this.
Various relationships are flourishing because the partners have made therapy a priority or a way to check up on themselves to ensure major problems do not arise. The truth about couples therapy which most people fail to understand is that it helps to keep a healthy relationship going and also to revive a conflicting relationship. Couples therapy shouldn’t only be a decision you have to make when you are finding it hard to cope with your partner, rather it should be a way of making sure your relationship stays on track.