5 Ways Counseling Helps Your Relationship
I always say that if one partner suggests marriage counseling… the relationship needs counseling. When a marriage is fulfilling for both partners, one of them will not suggest seeking outside help. Did your spouse recently suggest going to counseling, but you’re not so sure?
Before you say “No,” let me explain 5 ways how couples counseling can help your relationship in the short and long run.
- Identifying Patterns
Sometimes a couple will have a certain back and forth that keeps happening. An emotional trigger sets you off, your partner storms off, and the next day you pretend nothing happened. A pattern like this is dysfunctional, but you may not even see the full picture as a part of the relationship. With help from a therapist, marriage counseling helps both partners identify certain patterns that need to change for the relationship to be healthier.
- Improving Communication
Communication is one of the first things to break down when a problem crops up in your relationship. Or, even when things are good, you and your partner might just communicate very differently. Couples counseling helps you develop a system that works for both people so you are clear with each other about what you need moving forward.
- Creating a Safe Space
When a relationship is not healthy, it can feel scary to open up to your partner. Being vulnerable no longer feels safe and you don’t want to be judged or cause more conflict. Therapy is a safe space where both people get to be honest, and as a therapist I am not here to judge you. There will not be a “good guy” and a “bad guy.” The relationship will need a corrective experience on responding to one another, similar to building “muscle memory.” Together you will set boundaries and create a space where it feels OK to open up. Once the new way to communicate is established in the therapy office, you two will work on how to create the same environment in your home.
- Addressing Emotions
When communication is failing or you can’t be vulnerable with your partner, your emotions are getting stuffed down – even if you don’t realize it. Counseling helps you get to the root of what is going on emotionally. I practice a form of therapy called Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT), which helps us identify the root emotions and rewire how you and your partner react to each other.
- Making a Roadmap
Relationships are complicated and couples need a roadmap on how to stop the negative cycle. Sometimes just having an impartial counselor to help you figure out where the relationship needs to go is a huge first step.
This article of How Couples Counseling Can Help is here to give you a better understanding of saving your marriage. So if your partner suggests couples counseling, don’t shut the door on the idea of seeking help. Meet the Estes Therapy team and see if one of the therapists will be a fit for you.
About Jennine Estes, MFT
Think of me as your relationship consultant, I'm your neutral third party that can help you untangle the emotions and help you figure out what's really going on. I am a Marriage and Family Therapist in San Diego, CA. Certified in Emotionally Focused Therapy for Couples. Supervisor. I write relationship and self growth advice for my column Relationships in the Raw. Creator of #BeingLOVEDIs campaign. MFC#47653