When you first met your significant other (SO), you both felt like you’d known each other all of your lives. Now you feel like you’re living with a stranger. If you’re having trouble communicating with your SO of any gender, you may wonder if couples counseling could reignite your romance and lead to deeper intimacy.
The expert counselors at the Soho Center For Mental Health Counseling in Greenwich Village of New York City, New York, recommend couples counseling whenever you and your SO hit a bump in the road. Most couples counseling is short-term and is designed to help you navigate through a challenging time by learning to manage conflict and communicate more effectively. Here they break down a few of the benefits you and your partner can expect when you make the decision to get help through couples counseling.
If you’ve been arguing, or if one or both of you has gone silent, your couples therapy provides a safe, controlled arena in which you can express your feelings. As an objective third party, your counselor ensures that the conversation stays “on point” and doesn’t veer off into unproductive directions.
During your sessions, your therapist guides the conversation so that you understand the other person’s point of view, and communicate yours more effectively, too. The atmosphere of support and warmth that the counselor creates makes it easier for you to overcome your fears about sharing information and feelings with your partner.
If you aren’t happy in your relationship, it’s natural to think that the fault lies with your partner. Maybe you feel that they aren’t listening to you, or they’ve withdrawn sexually, or they’re too quick to get angry. You’re upset by what they’re doing, so you think that it’s their fault.
Couples therapy helps you learn that you’re an active participant in the relationship, including the parts that upset you. You may find that you’re repeating relationship patterns from your own life that were set in childhood, long before you could become consciously aware of them. You may also learn about past events that influenced your partner, which helps you develop empathy for them.
Your therapist encourages you to develop curiosity about your partner by asking them questions about their dreams, desires, and goals. Your counselor may give you both homework to do between sessions that helps you understand both your own role in the relationship and develop a deeper understanding of your partner’s role, too.
You and your SO may have been speaking different “languages” to each other, without even realizing. Some people, for instance, express their love with gestures, while others do so verbally. Because people have different communication styles, your therapist helps you discover what yours and your partners’ are.
They also help you learn to make “I” statements when you’re upset, so that you keep the focus on how you’re feeling, rather than trying to blame the feeling on your partner’s behavior. You learn to manage your anger and take “time outs” before expressing yourself with an old, unconscious pattern. You learn constructive ways to disagree and work together as a team to resolve conflict.
If you’ve suffered a betrayal or breakdown in trust, such as infidelity, but you still want to stay together, a counselor helps you heal the wounds and move on in a way that honors both of your feelings. In the safe space of the Soho Center for Mental Health Counseling, your counselor helps you explore issues in the relationship that may have led to the breach of trust.
If you’re at a crossroads, going to couples therapy helps you decide if you want to continue with the relationship or if it’s time to end it. For example, if you choose to separate, having a neutral space where you can both express yourselves freely allows you to reach that mutual decision in an environment that’s free from blame. Conversely, if you decided to stay together, your counselor helps you rebuild the relationship.
To set up a couples counseling consultation, call the office today, or use the convenient online appointment form.