Support and Guidance
People in relationships seek counseling for any number of reasons, from power struggles and communication problems to sexual dissatisfaction and infidelity. Though counseling is recommended as soon as discontent arises in a relationship, studies show partners will not seek therapy until they have been unhappy for an average of six years. And yet, the more time has passed, the more difficult it may be to repair the relationship.
Effective therapy will likely address many aspects of the relationship, although communication tends to be the primary focus of relationship therapy. When partners repeatedly employ conflict avoidance or engage in heated power struggles, it is often the case that communication problems ensue; resentment builds, and repairs are never made.
Counselors know one of the first steps in improving a relationship is to teach each person how to regulate their emotions, stay calm, and use healthy communication skills to resolve problems new and old, and many partners see improved communication skills as a result of counseling.
Effective Couples Therapy
When properly conducted, couples therapy can have demonstrably positive effects. As outlined in Psychology Today, effective couples therapy treatment may include:
1) Changing views of the relationship
2) Modifying dysfunctional behavior
3) Decreasing emotional avoidance
4) Improving communication
5) Promoting strengths of both partners