What is couples therapy?
Couples therapy is another name for marriage or relationship counseling. It is a type of psychotherapy that helps support healthy relationships between committed individuals whether the partners are heterosexual, same-sex, married or not. You and your partner may seek couples therapy (or marriage counseling) for difficulties communicating, unproductive or repetitive patterns of behavior, loss of trust due to infidelity or an emotional affair, difficulty in making a big decision for the relationship, and negotiating significant life changes. Couples counseling can help navigate issues that arise with infertility, parenting, grief, career changes and relocations.
At Great Oak Counseling, we seek to go beyond what other practitioners provide. We are passionate about couples therapy because we know that fulfillment in your marriage, in turn, drives more fulfillment in other areas of your life.
Does couples therapy help?
At Great Oak Counseling, many of our clinicians are trained in using Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT) as part of our couples therapy. EFT is a short-term, structured approach to marital and couples counseling. Research has supported the effectiveness of EFT showing that 70-75% of couples move from distress to recovery and nearly 90% show significant improvements in the quality and satisfaction of their relationship.
Having a neutral counselor whose focus is holding a safe container for each of the partners to communicate without fear of repercussion can work wonders on any relationship. The problem is many of us weren’t taught how to converse in a way that makes the other person feel safe, so emotions can escalate quickly and before we know it, there’s a big disconnection between what we wanted to communicate and what landed with the other person. At Great Oak Counseling, you’ll shift from asking “does couples therapy help” to seeing for yourself how quickly marriage counseling with one of our trained experts help you shift to feeling a deep connection and intimacy with your partner. You’ll feel more heard, understood, and have a better understanding of what your partner needs from you to feel heard and understood as well.
I’m not sure if I want to continue my relationship. Can couples counseling help me?
There’s no one size all solution to whether you should end a marriage or committed relationship. This is a personal decision, one that could impact you for years to come, so seeking help in making it is a natural and quite healthy thing for you to do. Sometimes communication issues can be resolved to completely transform a relationship. Other times, marriage counseling helps provide the clarity you need to move forward with confidence that you’ve made the right choice. While no relationship is ever “finished,” there are many factors that couples counseling can help you unpack to decide whether your relationship is worth continuing to work on.
Are both partners willing to work on their own issues? Even if you’re not sure whether your partner is willing, if you are, with the support of one of our clinicians, you can begin to shift the energy in the relationship.
Are both partners willing to be honest with each other and themselves? You may be experiencing a lack of trust in the relationship. With the support of couple counseling, you can first be honest with yourself about your thoughts and feelings and learn how to more effectively share them with your partner for the good of the relationship.
Is there a need to strengthen emotional, physical, and/or spiritual boundaries within the relationship? When one or both partners have weak boundaries, emotions can run high, and cause communication to break down. With the support of one of our expert clinicians, you’ll learn tips for how to strengthen your boundaries and speak up in a way that promotes trust, empathy, and respect between you and your partner.
Is an addiction present that is impacting the relationship? At Great Oak Counseling, we believe that recovery comes in long-term and sustained efforts at balance, self-care, healthy relationships, and when applicable, healing from past trauma. There are a few effective medical and psychological treatments that have been proven effective in helping individuals break free from drug addiction and alcohol dependence. In addition, couples therapy can assist partners who struggle with compulsive behaviors such as sex, gambling, pornography, food, binge eating, and the impact that such behaviors have on a relationship.
We incorporate the modalities that will best impact the health of the individuals within the relationship and the relationship itself.
To review our many treatment programs and offerings, visit our services page.