A strong relationship sometimes needs help from an outside party. As a couple, you may believe that the two of you are obligated to solve everything on your own, but that’s not necessarily true. When the two of you are having arguments that repeat themselves, difficulty moving on from the past, or need to learn better communication strategies, there’s absolutely no shame in speaking to a couples therapist or counselor.
However, where do you begin? Let’s talk about it.
When You Should Consider Couples Therapy
First, we should talk about when you should consider getting couples therapy. Many people picture couples therapy as a last resort, but it doesn’t have to be.
First, Healthy Couples Can Get Therapy
If you think couples therapy’s only purpose is to save your marriage, you’re wrong. Many couples go to therapy to improve their relationship, make plans together, work on life goals, or look for any small problems that could grow into something bigger if left unaddressed.
Some couples get premarital counseling, too. This is when you speak with a counselor before you’re married to discuss the challenges, responsibilities, and goals of life after marriage. This is especially needed if the two of you haven’t lived together yet. You’d be surprised by how often people’s tunes change when they have to live with someone and see their flaws more often.
If You Can’t Work it Out at Home
Before you consider therapy from a professional, do it at home. There are many ways for couples to help themselves, such as learning breathing exercises to calm anger, learning to improve communication and listening, and taking some time to talk to it out.
However, many couples can come to a standstill in regards to progress. This is because it’s easy to fall into argument loops, where couples are talking over each other. In a case like this, a therapist can help you to break the loop.
If You’re Losing Interest in the Relationship
Sometimes, you’ve grown distant from your partner and you don’t know why. From depression to a hidden underlying factor, a therapist can help you learn why you lost interest in the relationship, and what you can do to get that interest back.
If You’re Thinking About Ending the Relationship, But Aren’t Sure
Even couples who think they are at the end of the relationship can benefit from going to a therapist. If you do not change your mind, a couples counselor can tell you how to end the relationship as amicably as possible. However, if you are not entirely sure, or even if your finger is hovering over the red button but hasn’t pressed it yet, a therapist could help you to reconsider.
You may discover that the relationship is worth keeping, even if it feels like it’s the end. As they say, what seems like the end can be a new beginning.
How to Find the Best Therapist for You
Couples therapy is an effort between you and your partner. While you can do couples therapy individually, at the end of the day, both of you will need to provide something to the table. With that said, the quality of the therapist is also important.
Do a Quick Search
First, do a quick search. You could look up “couples therapy near me” or something similar, then see the results. Depending on where you live, you may get more or fewer results. Find a therapist or counselor who is in a convenient location, such as near your house or your workplace. You don’t want to drive an hour or more.
Do A Consultation Call
When you find a therapist you’re interested in, don’t be afraid to give the therapist a call. Calling the therapist can help you make the decision as to whether or not the therapist is for you. When you call them, ask the following:
- What is your education and experience? A good therapist should tell you their credentials and give examples of how they have helped people without naming names. If a therapist or counselor avoids this question, avoid them in turn.
- How can you help us? A therapist should give you an example of what techniques they offer, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy.
- What payment do you accept? You may want a therapist who accepts the card, accepts insurance, or who could work with you on a sliding scale or another low-cost plan.
- Will you take sides? A good couples counselor or therapist will be someone who won’t take any sides.
The therapist will try to be as objective as possible and give solutions that benefit both parties.
Besides asking questions, the call can give you some insight into who you’re talking to. Do you connect with them? Do you like their voice? This may seem a little petty, but you need to have a therapist who you can have good chemistry with.
Sometimes, you can’t find a couple’s counselor. Maybe you live in a rural area, or all the counselors are booked and you need help ASAP.
If that is the case, look at online couples therapy. Couples therapy online can be just as effective as traditional therapy, implementing text, voice chat, and video chat.
It’s also good for couples who are apart often due to work or something else. It can make it easier to schedule counseling sessions and you can usually find a couple’s counselor much faster.
Some sites also make it easier to find a therapist or counselor who fits your preferences.
Couples therapy or counseling is something couples should pursue if they are having any issues with marriage. Even couples who were meant to be will have their fights, and a couples counselor can help to patch those problems and get you to be even better people than before.
So call a counselor or therapist and get started. We think you won’t regret it.
Photo by @JASMINE WALLACE from Nappy.co