Couples therapy is a type of psychotherapy that is intended to help couples improve their relationship. Couples therapy is focused helping each party learn to effectively work through challenges, gain a deeper understanding of their relationship, and cultivate healthier ways of relating to and communicating with one another. A couple’s therapist will provide an emotionally safe environment and work with the couple to better their relationship by challenging unhealthy dynamics and enhance the couple’s ability to recognize and resolve conflicts by introducing, teaching and facilitating healthy methods of communication and effective conflict resolution tactics. At times, the work that occurs during couples counseling can be emotionally charged, provoke difficult to face feelings and seem arduously exhausting. For most, the benefits greatly outweigh the challenges, as the skills, tools, and emotional awareness that can come from actively participating in couples counseling can be both empowering and insightful.
Why Go To Couples Counseling?
There is a wide array of reasons why a couple may decide to go to couples counseling. Psychology Today provides the following potential reasons why a couple may seek couples counseling:
- Diminished emotional intimacy
- Poor and/ or lack of communication
- Trust has been broken
- Feelings of unease in the relationship (i.e. being aware that something is wrong but being unable to pinpoint the issue)
- Diminished sexual intimacy
- Conflicts regarding child rearing and/ or blended families
- Consistently becoming dysfunctional during conflict (one or both members)
- Addressing and/ or sharing difficult to talk about information with the partner
- Feeling stuck in unhealthy and/ or undesirable patterns
- Processing situational circumstances that have devastated the relationship (i.e. loss of a child, prolonged unemployment, being diagnosed with a long-term illness, etc.)
Some couples choose to attend couples counseling in order to gain a better understanding of their partner. In reality, there are countless nuanced reasons why a couple may elect to go to couples counseling.
How Do I Find One?
There are a plethora of couples counselors in Los Angeles, which for some can make the search for locating one, seem like an overwhelming feat. The process of selecting a couple’s counselor may be innately anxiety provoking, depending on the reason for attending, but it does not have to be challenging. There are fantastic online resources that offer curated lists containing qualified couples counselors, serving the Los Angeles area (e.g. Psychology Today). Often the best recommendations come by word of mouth. An excellent place to start your search is to consult your primary care physician as they should be able to point you in the right direction, and many may even offer recommendations from within their professional network. For some, openly discussing the possibility of couples counseling with family and friends may not be comfortable, but for those that are open to broaching the topic with outsiders, asking family and friends for couples counselor recommendations could be beneficial. It is, however imperative to be mindful of the fact that all couples are unique, and each therapist practices with his or her own distinct style, so be sure to thoroughly conduct your due diligence prior to commencing.
The information above is provided for the use of informational purposes only. The above content is not to be substituted for professional advice, diagnosis, or treatment, as in no way is it intended as an attempt to practice medicine, give specific medical advice, including, without limitation, advice concerning the topic of mental health. As such, please do not use any material provided above as a means to disregard professional advice or delay seeking treatment.