Benefits of Couples Counseling: The Key to a Better Relationship and Stronger Bond
Dating and married couples who are looking for a healthier, more emotionally mature way of relating can benefit from couple counseling.
Even divorced couples can go to counseling to improve their relationship and end impasses that affect their relationship with their children.
The objective of couples counseling is to find solutions for marital problems, aiming to make daily living more pleasant and align the goals of the spouses for the relationship.
However, the psychologist does not tell patients what decisions they must make during counseling. They present ways to deal with problems based on their analysis of each partner's anxieties and afflictions. The responsibility for making decisions that change the direction of the relationship always lies with the couple.
Benefits of Couple Counseling:
1. Understanding the needs of the couple as individuals
Many couples consider themselves to be one soul. If one is not well, neither is the other. They are rarely seen in separate locations or doing activities without each other. In addition, they repeat, “you are the reason for my life” hundreds of times.
It's not the healthiest practice, though. Each spouse has their own emotional needs before they become part of a couple.
Often they differ from the partner's needs. But, as there is no understanding that each one is an individual, there tend to be conflicts. Placing the responsibility for your happiness and meeting your emotional needs on someone else is a recipe for disappointment and frustration. The other is also under no obligation to assume such responsibility, as they already have their emotional issues to resolve.
Couples therapy helps couples differentiate their needs and understand that they don't need to act in unison in all situations. It is necessary to respect the individuality of the partner.
2. Improved communication
Communication is one of the most important aspects of the relationship. Without it, it's impossible to know what the other is thinking.
Conflicts can become huge if matters are not solved by dialogue. When couples communicate about their past hurts, they bring up those feelings from the past.
Thus, they turn into discussions that do not resolve current or old conflicts. It's an eternal wash of dirty laundry. This habit of touching on issues that were apparently already resolved also ends up creating new conflicts.
Sincere dialogue is the most essential factor in the entire therapeutic process. Couples learn to express their feelings with respect and sincerity, as well as to listen to each other's feelings. Consequently, they start to communicate more effectively.
This can be challenging for many couples because the body's natural stress response makes it difficult to access the part of the brain that promotes logical thinking. When you're stressed you're more prone to speaking or acting impulsively and angry outbursts. A form of neuroscience known as BLAST (bi-lateral alternating stimulation tactile) is a method derived from a form EMDR therapy which disengages your stress response and shifts you back to the calm, logical side of the brain. Couples can use BLAST in their every day lives with stress relief wearables.
3. Management of expectations
For a romantic relationship to work, the couple needs to have similar goals or at least know how to deal with the fact that they want different things.
It can be strange to talk about “objectives” - something so serious - when the subject is relationships. But each partner naturally creates expectations about the future of the relationship.
Over time, these expectations can transform into others, aiming only at the well-being of the relationship. However, it is also possible that one person in the couple does not want to change their goals even when this decision results in separation.
Another equally common scenario occurs when one of the partners decides to follow the other to make him happy, leaving aside his own goals. This decision may leave you dissatisfied with life in the future.
To avoid unpleasant situations, the couple should always talk about their expectations for the relationship. Couples counseling provides a peaceful and safe environment for them to do this, as well as helping to manage expectations. Thus, the couple can make better decisions for both.
4. Finding the cause of conflicts
Conflicts in a relationship can stem from the same issue. Because they do not know how to solve it, the problem haunts the couple for years and can erode the bond of the relationship.
The reason for this may be the emotional insecurity of one or both spouses, anxiety, difference in opinions, fear of commitment, dissatisfaction with a partner's attitude, lack of confidence, excessive jealousy, infidelity, and past hurts, among other dilemmas.
Counseling helps couples discover exactly what is causing so many unpleasant conflicts. Neither spouse likes to fight with the other. However, because they can no longer bear to talk about the same matter, they end up losing patience and expressing themselves with anger.
5. Strengthening the emotional bond
One of the most common benefits of couples counseling is the strengthening of the emotional bond between couples. During the sessions, the couple begins to understand each other's emotional needs, learn a little more about themselves and their partner, and discover the paths they should take to be more intimate.
Consequently, they learn that they must accept each other as they are to make the relationship work. In this way, couples find it easier to make decisions together, consider the emotional and psychological well-being of the relationship, and build a healthy relationship.
6. Restore emotional and physical intimacy
Unpleasant coexistence can lead to both emotional and physical distancing from partners. The couple then loses intimacy and finds themselves in the position of friends or even strangers.
Psychiatry helps couples restore intimacy between them by resolving issues. If only one of the partners is dissatisfied with a certain point in the relationship, they can also find ways to deal with this together with the psychologist and the spouse.
Does couples therapy always save the relationship?
Not always! Couples need to be aware of this before starting psychological counseling.
It's not uncommon to see individuals who are very different or who don't even like each other anymore try everything to make the relationship work.
When partners no longer admire each other and don't act like a couple when they're alone, counseling can hardly "save" the relationship. With therapy sessions, the couple may discover that the best solution to their marital problems is, in fact, separation.
A couple's decision to remain together is their own!
Counseling can help spouses give a strained relationship a second chance or help them realize that there is no point in being together anymore. Even when termination takes place, therapy can be successful. Before getting into a relationship, people must first be happy with who they are and satisfied with their lives.