People often ask “When is it the right time to try couples counselling?” It can be hard to make the decision to go to couples counselling because it means you have to be willing to do some challenging emotional work and commit the time and energy to do so. There is also a sigma with seeking counselling and many people experience embarrassment or shame when they feel like they are on shaky ground in their relationship. It can feel uncomfortable to do something new if you’re not being familiar with therapy. It can definitely feel a bit mysterious and scary sitting down with a total stranger and sharing personal information about your relationship. For these reasons, far too many couples let their marriage issues sit on the back burner, percolating. But I want to encourage you to consider seeking couples therapy sooner rather than waiting until one or both partners are feeling hurt or hopeless about the relationship. Read on to find out more about couples therapy and when is the right time to try couple’s counselling?
What is Couples Counselling?
Couples therapy, also known as marriage or relationship counseling, is a specialized form of therapy designed to help couples navigate challenges, improve communication, and enhance their overall relationship satisfaction. It provides a safe and supportive environment where couples can explore their issues, gain insight into their dynamics, and work towards resolving conflicts.
Deborah is trained in Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy (EFT). EFT is an evidence-based approach to couples therapy that focuses on creating and strengthening emotional bonds between partners. Developed by Dr. Sue Johnson in the 1980s, EFT is grounded in attachment theory, which highlights the importance of emotional connection and security in intimate relationships.
The core principle of EFT is that emotional experiences and attachment needs drive human behavior, including patterns within a romantic relationship. EFT aims to help couples identify and understand the underlying emotions and attachment needs that contribute to their relationship dynamics. By addressing these emotions and needs, EFT seeks to reshape negative patterns and foster a more secure and loving bond between partners.
In EFT, Deborah works collaboratively with the couple to create a safe and supportive therapeutic environment. She helps partners explore their feelings, perceptions, and needs, focusing on the emotions that drive their interactions. Through this process, couples gain insight into their relationship patterns and develop new ways of connecting and responding to each other.
The Role of Couples Therapy
1. Enhancing Communication and Connection
One of the primary goals of couples therapy is to improve communication between partners. Effective communication forms the cornerstone of a healthy and thriving relationship. Couples therapy provides a structured space for partners to express their thoughts, feelings, and concerns openly and honestly. Therapists facilitate dialogue, teach active listening skills, and help couples develop effective communication strategies. By enhancing communication, couples can foster a deeper understanding of one another and strengthen their emotional connection.
2. Resolving Conflicts and Improving Conflict Resolution Skills
Conflict is a natural part of any relationship. However, when conflicts become repetitive, intense, or unresolved, they can erode the foundation of a partnership. Couples therapy offers a neutral space where conflicts can be explored in a productive manner. Therapists help couples identify the underlying issues contributing to the conflicts and provide tools and techniques to promote healthier conflict resolution. Through couples therapy, partners can learn to communicate their needs, manage emotions, and find mutually satisfactory resolutions.
3. Rebuilding Trust and Healing Wounds
Trust is essential for a strong and secure relationship. When trust is broken due to infidelity, deception, or other breaches, couples therapy can play a crucial role in the healing process. Therapists create a safe environment where partners can express their hurt, anger, and vulnerability. They guide couples through a structured process of rebuilding trust, fostering forgiveness, and addressing the underlying issues that led to the breach. Couples therapy provides a supportive framework for partners to work together towards healing and rebuilding their relationship.
When Is It Time to Go to Couples Therapy?
Relationships can experience challenges and difficulties at various points. While each couple’s situation is unique, there are several common signs that indicate it may be beneficial to seek couples therapy:
1. Persistent Communication Issues
If communication problems persist and lead to misunderstandings, misinterpretations, or frequent arguments, it may be time to consider couples therapy. Difficulty in effectively expressing emotions, listening to one another, or finding common ground can create significant barriers in a relationship. Couples therapy can provide the necessary guidance and tools to improve communication patterns and foster healthier dialogue.
2. Frequent and Intense Conflicts
When conflicts escalate to a level where they occur frequently, are highly intense, or result in emotional or physical harm, seeking professional help is crucial. Couples therapy can assist in deescalating conflicts, teaching effective conflict resolution skills, and promoting a more peaceful and constructive approach to addressing differences.
3. Loss of Intimacy and Connection
If a couple experiences a decline in emotional or physical intimacy, couples therapy can help identify the underlying issues and work towards rebuilding connection. Loss of intimacy can manifest as decreased affection, reduced sexual satisfaction, or a general sense of emotional distance. Through couples therapy, partners can explore the factors contributing to the loss of intimacy and develop strategies to reignite the spark in their relationship.
4. Trust Issues and Infidelity
Instances of infidelity or breaches of trust can severely strain a relationship. Couples therapy provides a safe space to address the pain, anger, and betrayal associated with such events. Therapists help couples navigate the complex emotions and guide them through a process of rebuilding
5.You’ve Experienced a Devastating Event
Life throws us events in our lives that are hard to rebound from. Whether it’s a financial loss or the loss of a loved one, as in the loss of a child, the trauma can change the way you and your partner relate to one another.
If you and your partner are experiencing persistent communication issues, intense conflicts, a loss of intimacy, or trust issues, it may be a good time to explore the transformative potential of Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy. Working with Deborah can provide the guidance and support needed to embark on this journey of healing and growth, ultimately fostering a more loving and fulfilling relationship.
Contact Deborah at Bedford Couple & Family Therapy today at (902) 800-4627 to schedule a consultation or visit our booking website at https://bedfordtherapy.janeapp.com. Deborah is dedicated to helping couples thrive and will provide the guidance and support needed on your journey towards a healthier and more fulfilling relationship.