So many couples wait until they have serious issues to begin couples therapy. They may be years into the relationship and have not done a good enough job at managing issues while they were still small. Over time, mole hills turn into mountains, hurt turns into resentment, and all of a sudden the relationship is way out of balance. These couples drag themselves into couples therapy with serious symptoms:
•Extreme increase in arguments and inability to repair conflicts
•Severe financial problems
•Deep depression in one or both partners
•Long term sexual withdrawal
There is no good reason to wait so long. Therapy has a proven track record for improving relationships. According to a study done by the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapists, 97 percent of people said they were satisfied with the help they received. And not surprisingly, many reported increased health and work productivity as a fringe benefit.
And a great little side benefit of couples counseling – it can be more cost-effective. On average, it takes fewer sessions to make major breakthroughs in couples counseling than if someone goes alone. Also the fee for couples counseling is split between two people. This means you save money…and time!
While online tips can be very important and a great way to start, there are many practical skills that are best learned in person in a live relationship with a trained professional. Some of the great practical skills that you will learn in couples counseling with your partner include:
•Practice and utilization of communication tools
•How to stop a big fight
•How to generate intimacy
•The importance of body language, facial expressions, eye contact, touch, and other nonverbal forms of communication
•How to listen and demonstrate empathy
•Best processes for problem-solving
•The difference between skillful and unskillful dependence
•How to express your needs
•How to express anger in a healthy way
Don’t wait until your relationship is on the rocks to try couples counseling. Choose a good therapist at the first sign of dysfunction. You may be glad that you didn’t wait too long to let the process work for you.