Romantic partners often begin their relationships with feelings of intense attraction and desires to spend time with the other person. In many relationships, those feelings grow and develop over time, leading to greater connections between the couple.
However, sometimes other factors affect the quality of the relationship, leading to arguments, lack of intimacy, feelings of resentment, and other negative effects. Many times, one or both people in the relationship wants to work through these negative factors, restore harmony in the relationship, and strengthen those bonds again.
Couples therapy is a research-supported technique for working through problems that arise in relationships. Couples therapy can help romantic partners better manage stressors that make divorce or separation more likely.
What to Expect in Couples Therapy
Usually, each session of couples therapy involves both romantic partners and a licensed psychologist or psychotherapist. Together, all three people talk through the problems the couple is experiencing. They also arrive at agreed-upon changes the couple can make in their interactions with each other to resolve the ongoing conflicts.
Some couples only participate in therapy for a few sessions to resolve an acute or intense issue, while other couples engage in therapy for a more extended period of time.
Methods Used in Couples Therapy
Psychotherapists, psychologists, and marriage and family therapists use various approaches in couples therapy. Some methods are based on improving communication between the couples, while others focus on the emotions experienced by each person in the relationship.
Whichever approach is used, couples therapy often uses similar tactics to resolve conflicts and restore harmony. These tactics include:
- Identifying patterns and cycles that lead to negative situations
- Recommending new behaviors and methods of interaction
- Building up new bonds of connection and intimacy
- Looking for the source of negative emotions and reactions
As couples apply research-supported solutions offered by their therapist, they often experience a positive shift in their relationship.