What is Couples Counseling?
Most people will agree that relationships are difficult and can be incredibly emotionally strenuous at times. Whether you are wanting to work on improving communication within the relationship, explore the future of your relationship, or dealing with concerns within your relationship, couples counseling can help. Couples Counseling involves psychotherapy with two or more partners involved in a romantic relationship.
We understand the unique concerns that the LGBTQ Community faces within relationships and identity development, as well as in finding appropriate mental health support. We strive to ensure our clinicians (many of which identify as LGBTQ) are well trained in all aspects of diversity. We are welcome to all couples whether you are in an open or polyamorous relaiotnship.
We have a variety of different clinicians who provide couples counseling who come from very diverse training backgrounds including marriage and family therapy, professional counseling, life coaching, clinical psychology, social work, and doctoral students in clinical psychology. We can help guide you towards the best clinician for your individual needs.
Does Going to Couples Counseling Mean My Relationship is Broken?
Couples often think that coming into counseling means their relationship is broken or unfixable. The stigma surrounding this has caused many couples to avoid coming in for support until they feel they are in dire need. Coming into couples counseling does not guarantee your relationship will last, but we will do our best to help couples move forward in the most appropriate direction. This may include ending a relationship, in which couples counseling can help make it as amicable as possible.
Many couples also come for counseling to ensure their relationship stays healthy and they have additional tools to cope with other stressors in life. Significant life events like family deaths, job changes, marriage planning, having children, and moving in with family members can put stress on a relationship and counseling is a perfect support system to ensure your relationship continues to thrive even during these experiences.
An adage we strongly ascribe to is “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” This means any couple can benefit from coming into couples counseling. In counseling couples will improve their communication skills, develop healthier and stronger skills in confrontation, become advocates to have their wants and needs met, improve the quality of their sex life, and deepen their connection.
What Should We Expect in Couples Counseling?
In the beginning of couples counseling, your clinician is going to explore the nature of your presenting concerns as well as taking a detailed history of the development of your relationship, sexual history, and exploring historical patterns that have existed. In subsequent sessions, your clinician will want to get each person’s individual history. Collaboratively, treatment goals will be set, and the clinician will create a treatment plan unique to the needs of your relationship.
Couples will experience and learn how to implement reflective listening, gain clarity on what drives each partner as well as their respective love languages. Additionally counseling is a safe space to practice asking for needs to be met and sharing from a place of vulnerability that can create deeper connection and improve conflict outcomes.