A thousand half-loves must be forsaken to take one whole heart home
Couple therapy can be a really effective for those who want to improve communication or resolve an issue in the relationship. Or simply for those who wish to deepen their intimacy and commitment.
Why Couple Therapy?
All relationships have their own process of development, therefore a difficulty in the relationship can be an important opportunity to not only resolve the problem but also to forge a much stronger bond.
Often people treat relationships like a motor vehicle - they either change it as often as possible, run it into the ground or they look after it by seeking expert help to maintenance it.
The modern world can very demanding with the pressures and stresses of work and the need to provide an adequate income that then often trickles down into or implodes in an intimate relationship or family life.
The issue that presents itself most for couples today is not having enough time together or with the family, preventing the couple from nurturing their relationship or the family, which sadly eats away at any sense of closeness and solidarity; not only is life at work challenging but life at home becomes fragmented and alien.
The second most common issue for couples is arguing or not being able to talk to one another at all. These too are often resultant of exogenous factors such as work and/or financial stress.
A Few Communication Tips
Always plan, agree and put in your diary a time to discuss important issues when you are not going to be interrupted by the needs of others, children, pets, visitors and phones. Never have the discussion last thing at night or first thing in the morning!
Allow your partner to finish what they are saying, don't interrupt!
Practice your listening skills and repeat back what you have heard allowing your partner to clear-up any misunderstandings.
Keep what you have to say tight and to the point without being abrasive.
Make sure both of you have the same alloted time to have your say.
Never bring up a host of concerns, discuss each issue separately after you have resolved the last most important issue.
Never speak for longer than three mins as most people stop listening after that point, and no huffing and puffing or pulling faces while you are listening or speaking!
Oh and try to always finish your conversation with a warm embrace!
Never discuss important issues when consuming alcohol - alcohol is both a depressant and a disinhibitor, so you may say and/or do things that you might regret!
The third most common issue is sexual intimacy - sex often becomes perfunctory, or rushed or a total causality with little or no sex at all.
While there are many more issues that present themselves in Couple Therapy the one that is the most corrosive that can bring a relationship to its knees is an affair. While it can feel like a brutal assault on the relationship with a distinct loss of trust, feeling betrayed, and undermining your sense of attractiveness and self-esteem, and if it doesn't blow your relationship asunder after having shaken your sense of reality to the core, once the issue has been given space and time to process it can be one of the most profoundly healing experiences that brings the couple to a much deeper understanding of the needs of the relationship and of one another.
Through the safety and objectivity of Couple Therapy both partners can open up to one another, explore together how they might bridge the gaps in their communication and carve out time to care for and protect the relationship form the stresses of life.
I co-taught and supervised a Postqualifying Diploma in Couple Counselling & Psychotherapy at CCPE for qualified counsellors, psychotherapists and psychologists for ten consecutive years.
07784 233 878