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Although couples’ therapy is often associated with a crisis, such as people on the brink of divorce or breakup – in many cases, this is far from the truth. Some couples may decide to take on couples’ therapy as a way to strengthen their relationship.
According to Bhatia Psychology Group: ‘Some couples come to therapy to work on enhancing certain parts of their relationship – whether it’s intimacy, connecting, learning to be better parents or processing life transitions. It can be a way to enhance communication, closeness or manage life’s changes.’
Relationships take dedicated work. And those who can create strong, lasting relationships are some of the hardest workers out there.
If you are considering couples’ therapy but can’t quite decide if it would be beneficial or not, consider the reasons listed below to help you make a decision. Here are 4 advantages of couples’ therapy:
It can repair conflict
Every relationship can have ups and downs, but when building a life together, the high and low points can seem much better, or much worse than most. Sometimes, you need that extra help to recover from one of you wronging the other, whether it was deliberate or accidental.
Bringing a third, impartial party into your conflict will give both of you a fresh perspective from the outside. The impartial party holds no bias and wants to help you both equally, as individuals (and as one) focusing on the relationship between you.
In couples’ therapy, you can talk through your conflicts and express your feelings in a calm, healthy manner. You can learn to manage your emotions and practice the skills that you may have forgotten that cultivated your initial connection. You can also cope with your inner turmoil that may be contributing to the conflict in your relationship.
It can help you see the other person’s perspective
Things can get heated when you’re with your partner. Arguments, discussions and even a simple and slight difference of opinion can escalate. Soon, everything is so out of proportion you can’t see anything but your own views and your side of the story.
Couples’ therapy can help with this, via the help of another person who will need to listen to both sides of the story. As each of you explains your view, you are forced to listen to each other and understand the other perspective. And if things begin to escalate, the therapist has the expertise to bring things back to a calm and focused level.
Seeing the issue through the other person’s eyes can help you get to the root of the issue in the first place. It will help you remember how it started, making it easier for you to find a resolution or reach an agreement.
It can be a way to bond
Life is difficult and the turmoil of it can put a strain on your relationship. Busy schedules for both parties make it difficult to spend any time together and recapture the spark that started the original flame.
Adding a scheduled block of time once or twice a week (or even just once a month) forces you to spend time together in a way that is separate from the rest of your hectic lives. The therapy is for the two of you – not for your jobs, your kids or your friends or families.
If you travel to and from your sessions together, it can allow you time to discuss what you would like to deal with in your upcoming session. Plus, you can share your views on the completed session on the way home. Talking before and after this shared activity in your life will strengthen a bond that may have been weakened over time, getting you on the right path toward improving your relationship.
It’s a safe space
Oftentimes, there are things you are afraid to say in front of your partner for fear of ridicule or judgement. Couples’ therapy encourages you to face those fears and break down the walls between you; leading the way to better communication in a place where you can feel safe to get things off your chest.
When you feel safe, you are more likely to trust your partner, your therapist and even yourself. This trust is another building block in communication, acceptance and stopping the avoidance of your emotions. Feeling safe to truly feel your emotions will not only benefit your relationship, but also your life outside of it.
Dennis Relojo-Howell is the founder of Psychreg. He is also the editor-in-chief of Psychreg Journal Psychology, and writes a weekly column for Free Malaysia Today.
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