I believe everyone should know about the principles of effective couples therapy, especially if they are facing all kinds of obstacles in their relationship. There are a lot of myths out there about the low success rate of couples therapy that can make the situation seem worse. Being an effective couples therapist requires certain skills that may be different from the ones needed by an individual therapist. Also, being a couples therapist can sometimes be draining, but it’s extremely rewarding when you realize that you’ve helped a couple save their marriage and rekindle the spark in their relationship. Here are a few principles of effective couples therapy that you should know about if you want to understand how you can benefit from this type of therapy:
1. Changes the Views of the Relationship
In my opinion, this is one of the most important principles of effective couples therapy. The therapist’s goal is actually to try and make the two partners see their relationship in a more objective way. By doing so, they’ll be able to analyze all those behaviors that caused their problems in the first place.
2. Decreases Emotional Avoidance
One of the most important goals of effective couples therapy is to help the two partners decrease their emotional avoidance. The therapist actually teaches them how to express themselves better, so they won’t become distant and grow apart. There are certain types of therapy, for example the ones that are attachment-based, that allow the two partners to be less afraid of expressing their needs and desires.
3. Modifies Dysfunctional Behavior
An effective couples therapist also tries to modify and improve dysfunctional behavior. It attempts to change the way the two partners see each other and the way they behave with one another. It helps them improve their interactions and also, the therapist has to make sure that his or her clients will not engage in actions that can cause physical or emotional harm.
4. Improves Communication
Effective couples therapy focuses on improving communication between the two partners, since this is basically the key to a happy and fulfilled relationship. The therapist will help them be more supportive and he or she will show them how to be more understanding and empathetic, so they will avoid all potential conflicts. Ideally, they should focus their energy on saving their relationship.
5. Promotes Strengths
All couples therapies promote strengths, especially because they tend to focus on the problematic areas of the relationships at first, and less on the aspects that function in a healthy way. They help the two partners enjoy their relationships more, so they will pay more attention to the things that work. They also learn how to be less needy and how to avoid trying to control each other all the time.
6. Helps Solve Individual Issues
During an effective couples therapy session, the two partners can also solve individual issues that affect the stability of their relationships. Whether you have to confront fears, doubts or any other problems, successful therapy will help you solve them and improve your relationship as well, since in most cases, all these aspects are inter-related.
7. Increases the Trust in the Relationship
One of the most important goals of a couples therapist is to increase the trust the two partners have in their relationship. It will help them communicate better, listen to each other more and be more sensitive to each other’s needs.
People who encounter different problems in their relationship need not despair, since there are a lot of things they can do to improve the quality of their relationship. Have you ever been to couples therapy? Did it help you solve your problems? Do you know any other principles of effective couples therapy? Please tell us about them in the comments section!