Have you been considering couples therapy in the Geelong area? Couples therapy, also referred to as relationship counselling or marital counselling, is a form of therapy that aims to help couples understand and resolve problems or areas of conflict in their relationships.
Regardless of the stage of your relationship, seeing a couples therapist can be a very enriching step for you and your partner. It can help prepare for or adjust to major life changes and challenges, identify and work through areas of ongoing conflict, repair painful wounds from the past, and ultimately facilitate change and growth in your partnership. So what are the most common problems that people seek couples therapy for?
- Issues with money
- Issues with sexual intimacy
- Frequent arguments
- Communication difficulties
- Adjusting to parenthood
- Adjusting to other major life changes such as relocation or retirement
- Dealing with technology
- Repairing after infidelity
- Dealing with a loss of respect
- Overcoming emotional disconnection or feelings of dissatisfaction
- Dealing with addictions
- Addressing abusive or hurtful behaviour
Many people unfortunately believe that seeing a couples counsellor is a sign of failure. However, if these problems can actually be looked at and addressed in therapy together, the relationship will have a much better chance of surviving. Seeking help early minimises the damage caused by these common difficulties and prevents the relationship deteriorating further or eventually failing. We know from research on relationship counselling that approximately 75% of couples who do get professional help with their issues are much better off. In fact, seeing a couples therapist could be the most important step that you take to improve the quality of your relationship and your quality of life.
When your relationship is suffering so are you. Relationship conflict is associated with mental health symptoms such as anxiety, depression and stress. Sometimes people present for individual therapy and discover that the underlying source of their distress is a relationship that lacks respect, has a high level of conflict, or where communication and intimacy has broken down. In these cases, moving into couples therapy where these stumbling blocks can be worked through is often recommended by therapists. Engaging in a parallel process of individual work and couples therapy can also be very beneficial and is sometimes necessary when there is a history of trauma in one or both partner’s family of origin.
To achieve the best outcomes in couples therapy, you need to have a willingness to be emotionally vulnerable with your partner and therapist, commit fully to the process, and work hard to practice any skills that you learn in sessions at home. Therapy works well when both partners can learn to cooperate and empathise with each other, and importantly, to take responsibility for their part in the relationship struggles. However, these skills can also be developed along the way.
If you have thought about taking this step, then chances are you probably need to! At our Geelong-based clinic, Mindwell Psychology, we offer couples therapy using an attachment-based approach along with a range of other services. Contact us today to book an appointment.