When two individuals begin a relationship, they take their worldviews, habits, strengths, weaknesses, fears, dreams, hopes, and demons with them. Those moving parts don’t always pair up perfectly. It’s been the topic of many romantic comedies because it’s true.
When these differences aren’t discussed or resolved, they can lead to misunderstandings and cause strain in the relationship. For example, how Person A may deal with stress can be opposite to how Person B handles stress. Person A may want to talk about it right away, while Person B may need time on their own to process the issue.
If you feel like your relationship is struggling, relationship therapy could be just the thing for you and your significant other.
Relationship therapy helps couples resolve issues in a more fulfilling, collaborative way. Therapists provide objective observations and encourage partners to see beyond their disagreements and restore intimacy and love.
Relationship therapy isn’t just for couples. All types of relationships can benefit from treatment, including relationships with our friends, family members, and coworkers.
If you’re interested in learning more about relationship therapy, visit BetterHelp. BetterHelp has hundreds of licensed professionals who specialize in many approaches, such as relationship therapy, Dialectical Behavior Therapy, Cognitive Behavior Therapy, and Psychodynamic therapy.
Here are five ways relationship therapy can help your relationship.
Conflicts are healthy in a relationship. They establish boundaries and give partners a deeper look into their inner worlds. However, unresolved or mishandled conflict can strain relationships. Often, couples avoid confrontation and keep their frustrations to themselves. These unspoken frustrations build over time and can lead to resentment.
Therapy gives couples a chance to hear each other’s side. There is more pressure to keep things controlled and civil with a therapist’s presence. Therapists encourage both sides by asking questions about how the other person feels after hearing their partner’s side.
Sometimes, arguments result from a simple misunderstanding that couples never address. By learning how to resolve conflict, couples can prevent misunderstandings from escalating in the future.
Improve Communication Skills
Lack of communication is one of the most common reasons for couples’ arguments. We have different communication styles, and sometimes styles don’t mesh.
Relationship therapy can help couples establish a level playing field for both parties to express themselves.
Therapists give each partner a chance to express how they best deal with issues.
By helping each party understand how they express affection and frustrations, couples can learn how to listen and communicate with their partner more effectively.
While it may seem weird to share details of one’s relationship with a therapist, they’re not there to judge or share. They act as neutral guides for couples to resolve their differences and better understand each other.
Therapists are also bound by patient-doctor confidentiality and will never share anything discussed during their sessions.
Expressing oneself to a partner is bound to uncover new information. Sometimes, a person learns more about themselves than their partner. Therapists can guide patients to understand themselves and how their partners see them.
For example, a person may not be able to put the words when they feel unappreciated. With the help of a therapist, they may uncover that this feeling comes from past experiences of feeling unworthy. Interactions like these can be beautiful to experience with a partner present.
Self-awareness can also trickle into other types of relationships, such as friendships and family. New skills learned in couples’ therapy may shed light on other strained relationships that need mending.
Relationship therapy can encourage couples to be more proactive about their relationship. Therapy is a space to understand and open channels of communication. By talking candidly about desires and wants, couples feel more secure their partners are listening.
Therapists can also ask couples what they admire or respect in their partner, leading to a deeper appreciation for your partner.
Build Resilience and Cooperation
Relationship therapy aims for open communication, with collaborative problem resolution in mind. Therapists engage with patients to view problems not as extensions of their partners but as opportunities to work together against the problem.
Relationships are partnerships, and couples can be each other’s best support system. Building resilience and cooperation together strengthens a couple’s bond. Not only will they learn how to face problems as a team, but they will also build new strategies to confront future problems together.
Relationship therapy can be a healthy way to engage with your partner before problems turn into larger ones. A relationship doesn’t have to be at risk to attend.
If you feel you and your partner can benefit from relationship therapy, reach out to a licensed therapist.
Marie Miguel has been a writing and research expert for nearly a decade, covering a variety of health- related topics. Currently, she is contributing to the expansion and growth of a free online mental health resource with BetterHelp.com. With an interest and dedication to addressing stigmas associated with mental health, she continues to specifically target subjects related to anxiety and depression.