Couples Therapy

What is Couples Therapy?

Sean and Sarah had been married for 16 years before they decided to begin couples counseling. They have three children, and both work full-time. Both were feeling very stressed out and disconnected from one another. They found that they were always fighting. They felt that their lives had become very mundane, yet stressful. It was working every day, coming home, and dealing with the activities of their three children. They had no time for one another. The children were beginning to act out and were fearful that their parents were going to get a divorce. When Sean and Sarah recognized the fear and acting out behaviors in their children, they decided that they needed some help with their marriage to keep their family together and healthy. When this couple came into couple’s therapy it was clear that there were a few big issues that were present for them. 1. They did not know how to communicate with each other. 2.) There was an incredible amount of stress in their lives. 3) They had lost the connection between the two of them and did not know each other in the present. Couples counseling begins with evaluating a couple’s communication style. When a couple comes in for counseling, I tell them that if they have good communication, they can solve most problems but if they do not have good communication, they have a hard time even deciding where to have dinner. The first thing we do in couple’s therapy is learn new ways to communicate. As we work on communication, we then tackle the problems in the relationship. This is much easier with new communication skills because there is no fighting like the couple was doing at home. Sessions can be difficult as the couple tries to reconnect but there is a balance to that. As couples begin to reconnect, they are asked to begin spending time tougher having fun with each other. They need to get reacquainted with the person they fell in love with. Couples counseling is not all about difficult issues, a lot of it is meant to be enjoyable and we do laugh a lot in sessions. This couple also needed to learn stress reduction. They both took advantage of some services we have right at Primrose. Sarah began doing yoga and Sean opted for some bodywork. Within 6 months this couple found a way to get away together for a vacation, just them. Today they have a stronger marriage and are teaching their children the communication skills they have learned in therapy. Couples therapy does work, and people learn a lot.

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