Explore the healthcare providers who offer Couples Therapy treatment & find the right one for you here
We all know romantic relationships are hard work; heck, relationships, in general, are hard work, let alone one where you have to be a friend, lover, and confidant. At the very least, they require basic maintenance to keep them running smoothly, and if a problem arises, it is best to repair it before it becomes a more complicated situation down the line.
Some couples are capable of dealing with the basic maintenance, but most couples need that extra set of ears or an outsider’s opinion to deal with the heavier stuff. This is where a licensed professionals come in to take a deeper look under the hood to help navigate what’s really going on.
In research conducted by the American Association of Marriage and Family, more than 97% of couples said they were satisfied with the help they received in couples therapy.
What Is Couples Therapy?
Couples therapy is a form of psychotherapy where a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT) with clinical experience, specifically with couples, helps two people involved in a romantic relationship gain perspective into their relationship, improving their satisfaction by using a variety of therapeutic pathways.
Most couples therapy involves focusing on a specific problem and requires active participation from both parties involved in a solution-focused environment with clear and agreed upon treatment goals.
Who is Couples Therapy Good for?
Couples therapy is said to be beneficial for all couples and aims to improve the long-term connection between two consenting adults in a relationship, this includes:
Straight, gay, non-binary relationships, or relationships with more than two people involved
Relationships with a large age gap
Teenage or college relationships
Relationships at any stage--newly dating, engaged, married, separated, or divorced and co-parenting
Like we said, couples therapy is really for anyone. It can help resolve an existing problem, prevent an issue from becoming something bigger than it is, or can provide a “check-in” for a happy couple that’s experiencing a lull in their relationship.
Common Topics discussed during Couples Therapy
You can really talk about anything in couples therapy--it’s a safe space to release the things weighing on your mind or heart so that you and your partner can feel a deeper, more intimate connection. A few very common topics that are talked about while in couples therapy include:
Sex and Intimacy
One or both partners would like to improve sexual satisfaction, increase intimacy, or work on gaining more romance in their relationship.
When child-related issues arise, many couples want to learn ways to participate and communicate more productively.
Stress is a huge part of your daily life. Learning how to better manage stress-related problems, such as stress from work, health concerns, or parenting responsibilities as a team, rather than alone is a key benefit to therapy.
Some couples fight more than others and need help navigating daily disagreements more effectively.
Couples that go through a major life transition, like after getting married or having their first child often need guidance on how to adjust their lives to the change. Or, are having difficulty coming to an agreement over a major life decision, such as buying a home or moving to another city/state/country.
Discussing Hard to Talk about Issues
This is probably the most common topic that’s brought up in couples therapy as it could be just about anyting. From moving in together, to joining bank accounts, to having children, “hard to talk about” issues can be hard to navigate.
After a traumatic experience, such as the loss of a friend of family member can be rough on any relationship and sometimes one person needs extra support and the other is unsure how to best be there for their partner.
Regardless of the circumstance, a therapist is there to improve the couple’s communication process and encourage couples to state their feelings, desires, or thoughts in a concise manner. As their communication improves, the connection between the couple will hopefully deepen and become more intimate so they become better at resolving future issues.
What is the Success Rate for Couples Therapy?
Did you know that this is one of the most searched for questions when it comes to the topic of couples therapy? It’s not surprising that many people want a definitive answer because they want to know how much time to actually invest. However, the answer to this is subjective and very personal. If you already have one foot out the door and aren’t willing to put in the work to save your relationship, then the success rate will most likely be lower than that of a relationship where both parties are willing to learn from one another and put in the necessary amount of effort to improve the relationship.
Fortunately, today’s couples therapy is very different than what it was even 30 years ago when the therapy approaches were, at the very least antiquated. People have a very different mind set when it comes to relationships and with new approaches to couples therapy, the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapists reports a 70-80% success rate.
Online Couples Therapy
Online couples therapy has several advantages that are not supported in traditional face-to-face couples therapy. First, there is the opportunity for much more communication given the ability to share as much as one wants, without any interruptions. The format also provides each partner the time and space to process their partner’s response and reflect on what they’ve “heard” rather than only focusing on what they are going to say.
With chat or text therapy, some individuals find that they can explain themselves better through writing. This can then allow for more open and honest emotional expression, increasing intimacy among partners.
This method of couples therapy is ideal for couples that have very different schedules and are unable to coordinate a time to attend couples therapy sessions together. Also, couples with children who have difficulty finding childcare can greatly benefit from the accessibility of online therapy.
Where to Find Couples Therapy
We’re reviewed many online therapy providers; here are a few that specifically focus on couples therapy and will hopefully work for you:
On a related note: If you are wanting to start couples therapy, but are having a hard time getting your partner on board, take a gander at this news article - 7 Ways to Convince Your Spouse to Go to Couples Therapy