The right kind of couples therapy can change the course of relationships. If all goes well, you will receive the help you need, and a new phase of your life will begin. Perhaps you are ready to get started, but you may not know what types of therapy are available. In that case, the next step is determining what type of couples counseling is best for you.
There are many types of therapy to consider. Each has its own method and techniques. Any of the therapies may work for some relationships. The question is, which of them is the best for you and your partner as a unique couple? Start by learning about the most popular types of couples counseling. Then, a couples counselor can assess your needs, give you helpful insights, and recommend your best options.
Trying to choose the best couples therapy? Contact us to speak to a counselor.
Choosing a Couples Therapy Method: Finding Your Fit
When you’re considering the many types of therapy for couples, focus on the goal of finding the one best suited to you, your situation, and your needs.
Every person is unique. What’s more, no two relationships respond the same way to therapy. Therefore, it’s critical that you remember these differences when choosing a therapy type. Think about your preferences and mental health background. Consider if you or your partner have a history of depression or anxiety. Imagine how you and your partner might respond to each therapy type. When you speak with a counselor about these issues, they can help you refine your understanding of who you and your partner are and how various methods might be either more or less helpful for you.
Now, think about the kinds of relationship issues you are having and how long they have been going on. Some therapies may be better for couples who argue constantly. Others might be more helpful for a couple with less open conflicts. If you have had relationships for a long time, you may need more extensive therapy methods. You might not even know what’s wrong in your marriage. In any of these situations, your therapist can help you match your needs with the right type of therapy.
Ready to find the right couples therapy fit? Talk to a couples counselor at Dana Group.
Types of Couples Therapy
Of course, you can’t choose a type of therapy if you aren’t familiar with the options. Your therapist can explain each type in more detail, but you can begin exploring the types independently. The following methods are some of the most popular and effective therapies for relationships currently available.
The Gottman Method was designed to help couples develop more positive interaction patterns. This method begins with a thorough assessment. First, the therapist meets with both of you together, then each of you individually. The counselor uses the interview process and questionnaires to evaluate your relationship. Afterward, the counselor gives you feedback and explains how therapy will work.
The Gottman Method has several goals for relationships. When this is the right therapy for you and your partner, you can get the following results.
- Become more intimate
- Respect each other more
- Become more affectionate
- Move beyond stagnation
- Learn to be empathetic to your partner
- Understand your relationship more completely
As you engage in therapy, your counselor guides you as you build a deeper friendship with each other. You learn and practice managing conflicts. Finally, you work together to create shared meaning. One of the critical elements of the Gottman Method is the Sound Relationship House Theory. It’s based on a representation of your relationship as a house that needs a strong foundation and integrity in each story above that. This couples therapy can last for as long as you need it and desire to continue.
Imago Relationship Therapy
Another therapy designed specifically for relationships, the Imago method, can help you resolve conflicts that started in each of your childhoods. Perhaps your caregivers didn’t meet your needs when you were young. Maybe you experienced emotional wounds or trauma that still haven’t healed. Imago therapy sees these early problems as the cause of current pain and conflict in your relationships now that you are an adult.
Using the Imago method, your couples counselor guides you through a three-step therapeutic process. First, you practice mirroring your partner. Next, you learn to validate their feelings and concerns. Finally, you develop the skill of expressing empathy for your partner.
Maybe your relationship is primarily healthy, but you have one specific problem you can’t resolve. In that case, you might want to consider solution-focused therapy. This type of counseling addresses that one issue rather than overall relationships.
You and your partner talk and express your feelings about your issue with the counselor. Next, the therapist may suggest that you imagine the changes you want for your relationship. From there, both of you and your counselor create a plan with specific steps you can take to reach those relationship goals.
Looking for a solution to your relationship problems? Contact us to find the answers you seek.
Emotion-focused therapy, as its name suggests, works to uncover and deal with emotional issues. Your therapist will lead you as you talk about events that have caused problems in your relationship. Next, you begin to identify your emotions regarding those events. As therapy progresses, you begin to make sense of those feelings, why you feel that way, and what unmet needs are causing those emotional responses. Once you understand each other’s needs, you can both begin to meet them, for yourself as well as your partner.
Discernment counseling is a relatively new method just developed for relationships in 2008. This type of therapy can help couples when they disagree about improving or abandoning the relationship. The entire goal of this short-term therapy is to come to an agreement about that one issue. Your therapist will help you explore and assess your options before you make your decision. If you decide to save the relationship, you might choose to move on to another type of counseling.
Cognitive-behavioral therapy is not used exclusively for relationships. It was originally designed for individuals, but it can be helpful for couples, as well. The idea of CBT is that your thoughts have a profound impact on your behaviors. Therefore, your CBT counselor will help you recognize the thoughts behind your conflicts. They might challenge your beliefs as a starting point. Then, you can begin to develop better ways to communicate with each other and resolve conflicts between you.
Finding the Best Counselor for Couples Therapy
Now that you’ve explored a few types of therapy for relationships, you may be ready to find a counselor to help you. Finding the right therapist is just as important as choosing the type of therapy.
At Dana Group Associates, our first goal is to help people learn about and understand available services to improve their lives. We believe that you should be able to access behavioral health services easily. With that goal in mind, we offer educational resources and individual, group, and couples counseling. If you are ready to get your relationship back on track, our therapists can help you find your best therapy fit.
Ready to take the first step to a better relationship? Contact us today to schedule an appointment!