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A Beginner's Guide to Couples Therapy

Types of Therapies

A good therapist can utilize multiple approaches and will tailor the provided therapy based on the couple's needs. The common therapies are:

  • Gottman Method: Focused on positive communication
  • Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT): helps couples with their emotional needs.
  • Imago Relationship Therapy: Connecting new relationships with old ones.
  • Other approaches like Hypnosis, sex therapy, etc.

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IDEA EXTRACTED FROM:

A Beginner's Guide to Couples Therapy

A Beginner's Guide to Couples Therapy

https://www.thecut.com/article/couples-therapist.html

thecut.com

5

Key Ideas

Go Sooner Than Later

Most couples don't consider counseling until a real crisis or a catastrophe appears.

It is better to go to couples counseling during a specific life event, strengthening some piece of a relationship, taking it as a preventive measure. This helps nip the larger issues in the bud before the partners are ready to kill each other. Going early also provides time to choose a counselor that clicks with both the partners.

Finding The Right Therapist

Finding a suitable therapist, right for both the partners can take time. Take into consideration:

  • Both partners are comfortable with the choice.
  • Any preferences (gender or cultural background) are taken into account.
  • It should be convenient to schedule an appointment with him, not interfering with other commitments too much.
  • At least two kinds of counselors are spoken to, and then a decision taken.
  • Check online for recommendations or ask for a referral within your friend circle.

Types of Therapies

A good therapist can utilize multiple approaches and will tailor the provided therapy based on the couple's needs. The common therapies are:

  • Gottman Method: Focused on positive communication
  • Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT): helps couples with their emotional needs.
  • Imago Relationship Therapy: Connecting new relationships with old ones.
  • Other approaches like Hypnosis, sex therapy, etc.

Seeing A Therapist

One can call the Therapist and ask about their background, fees, and if they take insurance, also ensuring that they are licensed. Do not expect any free counseling session, and keep in mind that couples therapy can be a bit expensive.

If one partner isn't enthusiastic to go, it is a good idea to appreciate their willingness, helping them understand that it is going to be useful for them.

Results of A Therapy

A good yardstick to measure if the therapy is working is to see how communicative, comfortable, and free one is while being with the counselor.

The best therapist cannot save certain drowning relationships, so it helps to understand what kind of progress is expected, with a commitment to improving the relationship unfolding from both the partners.

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As the initial stage of love fades away, a deeper, richer sense of each other should take its place, and couples can find more ways to make things interesting and fun.

Look With New Eyes

Staying curious about each other and finding things, memories, places, and activities that are yet to be shared or experienced together is a great way to rekindle the relationship.
Revisiting your past and finding ways to connect better by looking at the other with 'new' eyes makes us see many things that were overlooked earlier.

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Seeking Therapy
Seeking Therapy

Finding the right therapist for one's psychological problems can be a daunting task. It takes time and effort but can be done if one is equipped with the right information.

It is common ...

Kinds of Therapy

Most therapists are equipped with multiple approaches and can tailor them based on one's specific needs. The two common types of therapy are:

  • Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy(CBT): Identifies and monitors and corrects unhealthy behavioral patterns. It is effective in treating general anxiety.
  • Psychodynamic Therapy: Goes deep into one's past, family, and relationships. It is considered effective in treating certain disorders and depression.

Finding The Right Therapist
  • In looking for the right therapist, it is best to locate one through a referral, if your friends are comfortable providing one.
  • You can also search the internet, looking for licensed practitioners in your area. 
  • Take a look at your insurance plans database and see if you find a good one that can also be covered by insurance.
  • A good therapist may not have a big online footprint. Shortlist about five therapists and get in touch with them personally.

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Women And Therapy

Mostly women go to therapy. This is true as women more often receive therapy because there is less stigma preventing them from doing so. Conversely, societal pressures make men ambivalent...

Therapy Goers And Medication

Most mental health professionals treat mental illness by combining psychotherapy and medication or by therapy alone. Many clients choose the latter when they don’t need medication or think of it as burdensome. 

Willing To Listen

Untrained people can’t offer the same mental health benefits as a mental health professional could.

Your mental health is too big a responsibility to place on the people in your life. They will be there for you during hard times, but shouldn’t be a substitute for therapy.

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Deciding to see a therapist

You don’t need to have a specific diagnosis to benefit from therapy.

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Going through a big change

Change, even if it’s positive, can lead to emotional and physical stress: you find yourself in a situation where you don’t know what to expect and that leads to confusion.

A professional can help you through a situation that feels insurmountable.

Repeating unhealthy patterns

Everyone makes missteps and occasionally slips into risky behaviors.

But when you can’t stop a specific behavior, if it’s interfering with your ability to function properly in your daily life, or it’s negatively affecting your relationships, it’s time to pause and seek help.

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Relationship app

A relationship app helps people to communicate.

  •  It can remind people to regularly connect during the day.
  • It can be helpful to spark meaningful conversations for people who...
How relationship apps work

A relationship app does little things like sending you reminders to text your partner an expression of gratitude at a certain time of day. It can also guide you through how to start a conversation about, for instance,  infidelity.

A relationship app is like a third, neutral party: It shows where a couple's needs and priorities differ. One app combines audio tracks and articles about psychology and marriage health, then translates them into exercises.

The shift in optimizing personal lives

People have started to approach their personal lives like a business. 

Marriage spreadsheets can collect and analyze data on everything that might affect the quality of life - for instance, household chores, alone time or hours slept. 

Applications can act as a manager for children's time, or organize to-do lists and goals.

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"Needing" therapy

By framing therapy in terms of what we need rather than what we could benefit from, many people experience too much shame or embarrassment to try it.

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How therapy helps
  • Understanding how the way we tend to think about things affects our moods and emotions
  • Clarifying our values and strategizing about the most effective path toward them
  • Learning to communicate directly and assertively in relationships or the workplace
  • Building self-confidence in social situations
  • Acquiring more effective parenting skills and techniques
  • Working through complicated grief or loss
Therapy and growth

Ultimately, therapy is about growth and creating opportunities for positive change.

And in addition to improving traditional mental health struggles, therapy can also be a powerful and efficient way to make progress on personal goals or aspirations.

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See Relationships Like A Therapist

Relationships nowadays are regularly in the doldrums, with certain factors that tend to ruin them. These same factors can be ‘reverse-engineered’ to help us strengthen and improve these relations.

Validate, Not Solve

When someone talks about their problems, we are jumping in the problem-solving mode straight away. While dealing with people, this approach can backfire. A better approach is to just listen and validate their struggles, make them feel heard and understood.

Actions Have Underlying Functions

Many times, the external appearance of behaviour isn’t the full story and has underlying functions. It is just a symptom and not the problem.

Example: When a teenager is mad for no reason, it helps to understand the underlying problems they usually have in this age, and be compassionate.

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Conflict mistaken for passion

Arguments and disagreements in relationships are normal, but screaming matches and every day fighting isn’t.

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Keeping the peace

Ignoring problems in a relationship in order to avoid conflict will only mean that the problems pile up until they can no longer be ignored – and by then, it might be too hard to fix.

Keeping score

Keeping track of the things that you do, versus the things that they do is a way to create pressure and conflict where there should only be teamwork. 

Sit down together and work out a plan on things like chores or bills, and who does or pays what.

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Feeling Safe

A relationship based on compatibility can make you feel safe and content. Relying on that feeling can become a problem if you become too dependant on your partner.

Not needing to feel vulnerable

When you're in love, you should be comfortable to reveal your good and not-so-great emotions.

Your Relationship Is "Nice"

If you can only describe your relationship as nice, but it lacks the spark of attraction, it may be difficult to be happy in the long-term. 

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A strong romantic relationship

Extraordinary couples are like everyone else. Except they make their love intentional.

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The three keys to passion
  • Intimacy: Emotional closeness, communication, feeling that no one knows you better or has your back more strongly than your mate.
  • Thrill: Excitement, attraction, adventure.
  • Sensuality: The entire spectrum from kissing goodnight to holding hands, from making tender love to raw passion.
    Set daily relationship intentions

    Most mornings, commit to spending five minutes with your partner. Think of a relationship intention, then share it. "Today, I intend to be careful with my tone of voice when I feel impatient."

    Commit spending two minutes at the end of the day reviewing your progress and ways to improve it.