Quick Guide To Couples Counseling Techniques
Different counselors use different couples counseling techniques. And you may have to try a few different ones to get the results you are looking for in your relationship. To help avoid a headache from switching counselors or asking to try something different with your current one, you can take some time to learn about the various couples counseling techniques being used most right now. This allows you to go into a counseling relationship informed, so you can choose a counselor who uses the right techniques for you and your partner.
Couples Counseling Techniques Described
Take a look to see which one of these techniques might work for your relationship.
The Gottman method, created by Dr. John Gottman, is by far one of the most popular relationship counseling techniques in current use. Gottman pioneered modern couples counseling by teaching therapists to focus on a couple's strengths more than their weaknesses.
His method involves three intervention areas. Two of them are strengthening bonds of friendship and shared meaning between the couple. The third is learning methods of conflict management that acknowledge the fact that most disagreements will never reach a resolution.
Emotionally-Focused Couples Therapy
Like the Gottman Method, emotionally-focused couples therapy also seeks to strengthen the positive aspects of a relationship. Additionally, this particular therapy technique is helpful for couples in which one or both partners suffers from anxiety or depression, or other similar mental illness that affects emotions.
It helps couples to open up to being emotionally vulnerable with each other, even if trust has been injured. It's important to note that although depression or anxiety can coincide with abusive behavior, they are not the same, and mental illness is not an excuse for abusive behavior in your relationship.
Narrative therapy is a bit different from many of the other techniques on this list because it tends to focus its efforts more on the individual partner than the couple together. With this technique, you write down the story of your relationship, as you see it. Then, with the help of the counselor, you look for the negative parts of the narrative and rewrite them. That is, you find new solutions that allow you to rewrite your relationship story.
Narrative therapy can also be conducted by the telling of stories out loud, like a conversation. When done this way, you and your partner can help each other to look at the stories and compare the conclusions you draw about their meaning.
Sex is not typically the most important part of a marriage. And you probably don't want to continue in a serious relationship if the sex is the only good part. That being said, sex therapy can help restore intimacy in a marriage or long-term relationship that is having issues. Learning to enjoy sex with each other again helps you to build positive experiences and feelings together.