Couples Therapy can help couples overcome communication issues.
Couples Therapy, also known as Relationship Counselling or Couples Counselling, helps people in intimate relationships work through a wide range of issues. It is not only relationships in crisis that can benefit from seeing a couples therapist, in fact many couples seek the help of an objective professional to deal with everyday problems such as communication.
Good communication is an important foundation in any healthy relationship. Interpersonal communication refers to the transfer of information from one person to another and takes various forms; in person, via technology, verbal, or non-verbal. It allows us to express what we are feeling, what we need from our partner, builds intimacy and helps us feel more connected. Our style of communication is shaped by the style of communicating modelled to us by our parents.
When communication breaks down, gets blocked, or turns negative, it can hurt the relationship in different ways. For example some couples start to withdraw from each-other and become disconnected, some argue more frequently, while others experience a reduction in emotional or physical intimacy. Typical signs that poor communication may be a problem in your relationship are:
- Not listening to each other
- Blaming each other
- Feeling ignored
- Feeling alone or disconnected
- Raising your voices
- Negative body language
- Talking in superlatives (I always, you never)
- Degrading the other person
- Keeping score (I did that so you should do this)
- Bringing up the past to hurt your partner
Communication can be eroded because of significant life events such as having children, losing a loved one, losing a job, experiencing health issues or trauma. They can also be caused by infidelity or loss of trust, and toxic behaviour patterns in the relationship such as frequent criticism, stonewalling or abuse.
Communication problems are a very common precipitant for seeing a counsellor. In fact, communication breakdowns are the root of cause of most relationship troubles, so couples therapists want to look closely at these to understand where the breakdown has occurred, and work towards reconnecting, repairing and rebuilding the dialogue between partners. Therapy also assists couples to understand their unique communication style and develop ways of communicating more effectively with each other.