Relationships are a mystery to many of us. It is a lovely and sometimes cruel mystery which we can’t help but strive for. This mystery fills our world with colour and animates our activities. Often, relationships begin with both partners being totally absorbed by one another. Where our love consumes our thoughts, we lose our appetite and struggle to sleep.
Eventually, this passion cools into friendship or companionship. Both of these coexist and are wanted in their relationship. Occasionally life gets in the way and we bring the stresses of our work and day into our relationship. We use our loved one as a punching bag to release some of our frustrations. We struggle to say what we want out of fear of hurting our loved one or of not wanting to be seen as weak or dependent. The relationship begins to suffer and the passion felt fades into things unsaid (or said) and regrets. The friendship, although there, may feel distant and hidden under arguments and fights. You and your loved one? may? feel stuck and unhappy in your relationship. Before it seems that there is only one option left, consider couples therapy.
Or maybe you and your partner dont experience any serious problems but want to strengthen your bond. Couples therapy is also for growth and development. So what then does couples therapy entail?
Couples therapy is a type of psychotherapy where each partner is present for the full session. Both partners will engage with their thoughts and feelings to address challenges and conflicts preventing the couple from moving beyond the romantic idea of love to one which is based on mutual care and concern and the working together for each other’s common good.
Although couples may seek therapy for a variety of reasons, the most common include a breakdown in communication, persistent arguments, and unsatisfied emotional needs. It is likely that one or both partners are unsure of how to resolve their differences, and with time, they may feel as though they are just existing in the relationship and no longer enjoying it. Frustration, disappointment or hurt may build due to an underlying issue. For some couples, there may be a point of crisis in the relationship, such as an infidelity or an unforeseen illness or loss in the family. Therefore, the aim of couples therapy is for both partners to learn a more effective way of communicating, to gain a clearer understanding of themselves and their partner and to increase intimacy.
Through the process of therapy, couples may find a renewed commitment to their partnership and be reminded of the reasons why they fell in love plus discover new reasons to fall in love. However, some couples may decide that the best decision for their relationship and well-being is to separate or divorce. Therefore, couples therapy is a process of jointly discovering and deciding what is best for oneself as well as for the relationship.