Relationships and married life are not always as colorful and joyous as it seems on social media or social gatherings. Things such as stress of work, communication gap, traumatic experiences, distance, monotonous lifestyle, having kids, etc. can often take a toll on couples and make them grow apart. In such scenarios, taking professional help can be your best option. Professional couples counseling and psychotherapy can help you to understand your partner, situation, and overall complexities in the relationship. Here’s everything you need to know about the various types of couples therapy techniques.
What is Couples Therapy?
Couples therapy can be defined as those practices and methods, which professional psychologists and psychotherapists procure. These practices can help couples to mend the growing distance between them. Couples therapy works for people from all walks of life, irrespective of their age, gender, background, sexual orientation, etc.
Why is Therapy Important?
Sometimes, relationships and marriages struggle to remain functional when couples find it difficult to devote themselves due to one or many reasons. Such things are normal in a healthy relationship between the couple and most of them are able to seek out and work on the problems. However, some couples find it difficult to deal with this on their own and might require professional help to be at a better place. Most people are not willing to involve a third person in their conflict or stigmatize psychological help. Couples therapy requires commitment and desirability from both people. They are expected to come together and work on the shortcomings to make their relationship stronger and better than before.
Types of Therapy Techniques
Couples mostly deal with issues such as affairs, traumatic or significant life events, emotional distance from the partner, sexual and intimacy problems, etc.
Here are some therapy types that might help you rediscover the lost light in your relationship.
Emotionally Focused Therapy
This therapy encourages the couples to introspect within themselves and find the patterns of behaviour which, according to them, are responsible for the impediments in their relationship. It is up to the counselor who might help the couple to find the missing links and try to incorporate better ways of dealing with them. The essence of this therapy is to let the couples get into a zone, where they can think about their individual shortcomings which lead to the problems they are facing.
It is one of the most successful exercises that can solve a broken or shaking relationship. Communication is the key to a perfectly functional relationship. Most arguments and misunderstandings between couples start because of the unwillingness to listen to the issues being faced by your partner. Each conversation might take the form of a heated argument because winning the argument and proving the other person wrong becomes the first priority. Hence, no constructive conclusions are drawn from such conversations, which does more harm than good. Reflective listening involves taking turns to speak out your grievances and issues in front of your partner, while they listen to you. Some psychologists try to encourage couples not to include words such as, “you” or “your” during this activity and only focus on yourselves. This can make real changes in the relationship and helps you to consider changes you can incorporate for your partner.
This has been a wonderful activity which fixes the marital adjustment of the couples. It is known for bringing the couple close to each other and getting to know more about each other. Psychologists assess the relationships and try to figure out the elements which are causing the problem. This helps them to get a better idea of the situation and they recommend fun activities which would help them to deal with the conflict and understand each other in a better way.
Imago Relationship Therapy
Childhood traumas and events often have a bad psychological effect on people, which sometimes result in a poor relationship with your partner. Imago Relationship Therapy helps couples to deal with this by the use of images – images of childhood experiences which might trigger some unwanted and coercive reactions of anger, guilt, hatred, disgust, etc. Sometimes, these feelings might intertwine with your relationship leading to arguments and conflicts.
This psychotherapy is very useful in solving the issues of those couples, in which the guilty conscience of both the partners are causing troubles in the relationship. Either or both of the partners feel that they are incompetent for the relationship and they are the reason for difficulties faced by them. Narrative therapy allows them to write down their side of the story in a descriptive manner, so that a clear picture can be obtained from both sides. There will always be chances of biases and inconsistencies, but this has proved to be a great way of addressing and solving the problem with conviction and help from the professionals.
This is the best form of psychotherapy for couples who are dealing with specific problems in their relationship, which they have already figured out. This can last for a very short period of time, as the counselor and the couple can focus on the exact solution of their marital or relationship conflict rather than being affected by it all the time. Many people have benefited from this type of therapy by conviction, active listening, and adopting constructive and progressive steps to save their relationship.
People face many challenges on a daily basis. Stress of work, dealing with your boss, fatigue, health and financial issues can be some of them. In such conditions, it is very easy to sideline the problems of a failing marriage and relationships. However, this is not something that should be taken lightly and couples need to do better to make things work. In today’s day and age, taking help from a psychologist or a mental health professional should not be considered regressive. For some people, it might be their last option. It is better to take this one last step, than to give up on your relationship.