We all learn to talk by age 1 or 2, but few of us ever learn how to communicate effectively. That lack becomes all too apparent when we’re in the middle of a relationship with somebody we love.
During the honeymoon period, you might not think that counseling is helpful: After all, you pretty much feel like “one” with your significant other (SO). However, couples counseling has benefits during each point in a relationship timeline.
At The Soho Center for Mental Health, our expert counselors offer couples counseling for any couple who wants to strengthen their relationship or get help with a significant conflict or betrayal. You don’t have to wait until the breaking point either. Here are just some of the benefits couples counseling offers you and your SO.
You learn to communicate effectively
Whether you’re in the beginning of your relationship — where you seem to know each other’s thoughts — or you’re at the stage in which you don’t think the other person hears you at all, communication skills change your relationship. Through safe, supportive counseling sessions, you learn to listen without interrupting and without taking things personally.
For example, you learn to share your feelings with “I” statements, such as, “I’m feeling angry.” A less effective way to communicate that same feeling would be, “You’re making me angry,” which would blame the other person and make them feel defensive.
You get to know each other more deeply
You and your SO may have differing communication styles that prevent you from fully understanding each other. Through couples counseling, you learn each other’s “love language” and find out what the most meaningful interactions are for each other.
Because counseling often delves into our pasts and examines old wounds, you may learn facts about your SO that you never knew. This insight into each others’ histories helps you understand one another on a deeper level.
You learn to function better … alone and together
Any issues that you or your SO have are addressed in couples counseling. If one or both of you also have challenges around substance use or anger management, you get help with those, too.
Just as couples counseling helps you to get to know your partner better, it helps you get to know yourself better. You learn to forgive yourself for your flaws and mistakes as well as to heal the wounds from your past.
You get to speak your mind … safely
A couples counseling session is a safe space in which to share your real feelings. In your normal communications, you may edit yourself to avoid conflict or to protect yourself psychically or physically. You may even edit yourself to protect your partner’s feelings. For instance, you may be sexually dissatisfied but afraid to admit it.
During a session, however, you learn to say exactly how you feel, and you learn to say it in a way that doesn’t trigger the other person. You also learn to express your deepest feelings without shame or blame.
Each of you also has an ally in the counselor. Your counselors help you understand one another as you learn to communicate.
You head trouble off at the pass
When you’re in couples counseling, issues can arise that neither one of you might have ever identified as being a potential problem. Once you identify sources of potential conflicts, you, your SO, and your counselor can navigate possible solutions.
You’re not in it forever
Couples counseling is usually short term. You and your SO decide ahead of time what goals you want to achieve through counseling. You may want to end the fights or come to a decision about whether to stay together or terminate the relationship.
You could also simply want to learn the skills you need to go forward as a couple. You decide, and we help you get there.
Your new skills extend beyond your coupledom
One of the most amazing and long-lasting benefits of couples therapy is that you can use the skills and techniques you learn and apply them to all aspects of your life. You and your SO communicate better, but you can now communicate more effectively with all of your family members, friends, and even your colleagues.
Find out how couples counseling benefits you and your SO today by contacting our experts today. Use our online form, or call our friendly staff during office hours to schedule a consultation.
You can also choose teletherapy, which is conducted through confidential, affordable video/phone consultations.