Even the strongest relationships have their ups and downs. Seeking counseling doesn’t mean that your relationship is in trouble or that your relationship is headed for failure.
In fact, seeking help is a sign of strength and a willingness to work on your relationship.
“Couples’ counseling can be an opportunity to deepen your connection with your partner, learn new skills, and build a stronger, healthier relationship…just like a car, your relationship needs regular maintenance,” says Ken Miller, RMFTI.
The Five Signs To Look For
Whether your relationship is new, old, or somewhere in between, there are five signs your partnership may benefit from couples counseling.
1: Communication Is Difficult or Nonexistent
Communication is the foundation of every healthy relationship. If you and your partner are struggling to communicate effectively, it can lead to a range of problems.
You may find yourselves arguing more frequently. Or you may avoid discussing certain topics altogether.
You may feel like you’re talking but your partner is not really listening, leading to feelings that you’re not being heard.
In extreme cases, communication breaks down entirely, leaving you feeling disconnected from each other.
A therapist can help you identify the underlying issues that may be causing communication breakdowns and work together with you and your partner to help you find solutions.
“It’s normal to come into relationships with a learned communication style either from your family or even a past trauma. We can work through it together,” says Miller.
Counseling helps if communication has become a problem in your relationship.
A therapist can teach you and your partner new communication skills, such as active listening, being mindful of nonverbal communication, tone of voice, or how to express potentially painful emotions in a non-judgmental way.
2: There Is a Lack of Intimacy and Connection
Intimacy is not just about physical contact. It’s about feeling close and connected to your partner emotionally.
If you and your partner are no longer feeling that connection, it can be a sign that there are deeper issues developing in your relationship. You may find yourselves avoiding physical touch or feeling like you’re living with a roommate instead of a partner.
“Everyone should want to hang out with and enjoy spending time with their partner,” says Miller.
Working with a therapist can help you rebuild that connection.
In your sessions, a couples’ counselor can help you identify the factors that may be contributing to a lack of intimacy, such as:
- work pressures
- parenting or family conflicts
- financial issues
- unresolved issues from the past
Your therapist can also help you develop strategies to improve your physical and emotional connection using strategies that excite you such as scheduling date nights or practicing some mindfulness exercises together. Every couple is different, so every couple will find unique ways to restore intimacy in their relationship.
3: Conflict Feels Like a Constant Presence in Your Relationship
All couples have disagreements from time to time. When conflict becomes a constant presence in your relationship, it can be a sign there are underlying issues that need to be addressed.
When you find yourselves arguing over the same things repeatedly, or feeling like you’re walking on eggshells around each other, talking with a therapist can help.
“A therapist can help you identify the root causes of your disagreements, teach you conflict resolution skills, and help you resolve issues more effectively. When you develop better communication and listening skills, you’re better equipped to handle disagreements when they do arise,” says Miller.
Couples’ counseling can help you break the cycle of conflict.
4: You’re Experiencing a Major Life Transition
Navigating major life transitions like:
- having a baby
- moving to a new home
- starting a new job
- losing a parent or other loved one
can be incredibly stressful times for couples. Therapy can help ensure your relationship remains a source of stability and support amidst the uncertainties of life’s inevitable changes.
Couples counseling can be a tool to manage stress and maintain a healthy relationship.
A therapist can help you and your partner weather the challenges of the transition together and develop strategies for coping with stress and change.
In sessions, a counselor can also help you identify any underlying issues that may be contributing to the stress, and work with you to find healthy solutions.
5: You’re Considering Separation or Divorce
“If you’re thinking about ending your relationship, it’s important to consider couples’ counseling before making any final decisions,” says Miller.
Counseling can help you gain clarity on the issues that may be contributing to your desire to separate. It can also help you develop healthier coping mechanisms and communication skills, so that you can work together to resolve any outstanding issues.
A therapist can help you explore the reasons why you’re considering separation or divorce and guide you through the process of making a fully informed decision.
Marriage counselors can also help you develop a plan for moving forward, whether that means staying together or separating.
Tips For Finding the Right Couples Therapist
If you’re considering couples’ counseling, it’s important to find a therapist who has experience working with couples.
You should look for someone who is trained in couples’ therapy and has a track record of success in helping couples overcome their challenges.
It’s important to find someone who you and your partner feel comfortable working with because therapy is a collaborative process that requires trust and openness.
“Every relationship is unique so there is no one-size-fits-all approach to couples’ counseling. Your therapist will work with you and your partner to identify your specific needs and goals and develop a treatment plan that is tailored to your situation,” says Miller.
In the end, the most important thing you can do is take positive action if you feel like your relationship is struggling.
Couples counseling can be an incredibly effective way to address the challenges you’re facing, and build a stronger, healthier, and more fulfilling relationship with your partner.
Working with Elite DNA Behavioral Health
We offer professional psychiatric and psychotherapy care in-person at our many locations throughout Florida.
We also offer high-quality, stable, and confidential telehealth sessions through Zoom.
By choosing a quiet, private place from which to conduct your side of the virtual session, you can be assured of an experience just like that you’d have in the office.
You’re Not Alone…We Can Help
Whether in person, or virtually, our mental and behavioral health experts are here to support you every step of the way.
Find a location near you to begin couples’ counseling at Elite DNA Behavioral Health.
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