Couples counseling (aka marriage counseling) is widely considered one the best options for people in relationships who may be seeking to improve understanding, intimacy, or even for those considering separation. In this type of counseling, the relationship takes the center stage, but each partner is also taught individually to focus on self-awareness and improvement. In the 1930′s, couples counseling, which was then referred to as marriage counseling, was exclusively reserved for people who were either married or engaged to be married. The main task of the counselors back then was to only educate their clients concerning marriage and family life.
The increase in divorce rates around the 1960s and 1970s led to the emergence of modern couples counseling.
When is Couples Counseling Recommended?
Couples seek counseling for a variety of reasons amongst them power struggles, infidelity, sexual dissatisfaction, and communication problems. Even though counseling is recommended the moment signs of discontent start emerging in a relationship, research studies indicate partners are reluctant to seek therapy with most of them opening up after being unhappy for about six years. One of the facts to be acknowledged in relationship problems is, the more time passes the more difficult it becomes to repair the relationship.
Effective therapy has the potential of addressing many of the relationship problems although the primary focus is usually on communication. It has been established for some time, partners who repeatedly engage in heated power struggles or employ conflict avoidance, oftentimes end-up with communication problems, which in turn builds resentment. The lack of adequate repair after an argument significantly contributes to marital unhappiness and divorce. When you find a therapist for couples counseling, one of the first steps they will engage in is teaching each person how to use healthy communication skills and regulate their emotions, so as to resolve both new and old problems.
Expectations of Couples Counseling
The success of this therapy depends on the motivation and dedication each partner gives to the process. With time, couples should expect to improve in their communication and listening skills as they find new ways to offer support to one another. It’s the couple who will establish the goals under the guidance of the therapist and each partner is expected to acknowledge and understand the role he or she plays in achieving the set objectives. Though it is common for conflict to emerge within therapy sessions, ethical therapists strive to maintain neutral ground and avoid taking sides.
Frequency and Duration of the Therapy Sessions
Normally, couples counseling is held once every week, but this rate varies depending on the couple’s therapy goals. Many professional counselors & therapists who offer online therapy and counseling also offer individual sessions to each partner either as part of the entire program or upon request.
Finding the Right Counselor
Couples seeking counseling should look for professionals who specialize in marriage counseling in at least 30 percent of their practice. This is because therapists who specialize in couples counseling have seen a lot more than most and can offer a higher level of comprehensive help in resolving the issues at hand. A background in couples work and advanced certification in couples counseling is a good indication of a professional counselor. Also, licensed marriage and family therapists tend to have more training in handling relationship problems.
Apart from the educational qualifications, you should find a therapist who is compassionate and caring to both of you without taking sides. He or she should have exceptional moderation skills to keep control of the sessions to prevent interruptions and heated exchanges during counseling.
The Virtual Therapist Network acknowledges the importance that couple therapy plays in restoring relationships and allowing for decency in separation. This is why it has brought together a variety of highly skilled and experienced professionals who offer online therapy to couples at the comfort of their homes.
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