Couples Counseling in Taylor and Bloomfield Hills, Michigan
Couples counseling is designed to help partners overcome conflict that has created distance between them, and discover renewed closeness in their relationship. Couples counseling is not reserved for married couples only; it can benefit partners in any stage of their relationships. There are many approaches to marriage counseling and couples counseling, and finding the right fit for you and partner can help you both enjoy your relationship again.
What is Couples Counseling?
Couples counseling uses psychotherapy (talk therapy) techniques to help partners understand their relationships, navigate through obstacles, build trust, and create a stronger family unit. Couples counseling almost always includes both partners. Both partners must work together and want to improve the relationship in order for counseling to be effective. While a family therapist will give partners tools to relate and communicate more effectively, each partner must actively participate.
Depending on your situation, couples counseling may include any of the following techniques:
Marriage, and relationships in general, are a partnership. This means that the bond between partners depends not only on your teamwork, but your individual efforts. Couples counseling addresses your communication and interactions, as well as individual needs.
When Should We Seek Couples Counseling?
Partners commonly wait too long before seeking couples counseling. They often endure the same problems, arguments, or emotional distance for years. This does not have to be the case. By seeking counseling sooner rather than later, you can improve your relationship dynamic and build a stronger, healthier, and happier life together.
Couples counseling is beneficial for partners at any point in their relationship. If there is discord, or one or both partners is/are dissatisfied, counseling can help. An experienced couples counselor acts as a mediator, and provides you with tools, knowledge and objectivity needed to reverse destructive patterns.
Couples counseling is a normal response to any of the following:
Can Couples Counseling Save my Relationship?
Couples counseling has been proven to help couples build happier, stronger relationships, however there is no guarantee it will be effective for you and your partner. The effectiveness of counseling depends on each partner, their willingness to resolve conflicts, and the experience of their couples counselor. Talk with a counselor to ensure that they have experience working with the issues you struggle with.
Types of Couples Counseling
There are many types of couples counseling, and which one works best for you and your partner will depend on how you interact together, your goals, lifestyle and other factors.
If you and your partner have recently been engaged, or you are considering it, pre-engagement counseling can help you navigate the next steps forward. Engagement and marriage brings your relationship to a new level, and it can be difficult for many couples to make this transition. Some couples have concerns about commitment, they want to work on conflict resolution before taking this step, or they are unsure how to balance responsibilities in their relationship. Your counselor can help you openly, honestly and safely discuss these concerns and work to strengthen your bond together.
Gottman Couples Therapy
The Gottman approach to couples therapy has been effective for many couples in all different stages of their relationship. This therapy technique was developed by clinical psychologists John and Julie Gottman, and creates a framework for strong, healthy, longterm relationships. Throughout counseling using the Gottman method, couples will learn; how their emotional states affect the relationship, how to maintain respect and empathy, even in conflict, how to reinforce or regrow trust, how to repair the relationship from previous injuries, and strategies to take forward and maintain the relationship long-term.
Emotionally-focused counseling or EFT is another approach to couples counseling at any stage. EFT can also be an effective approach for family counseling and individual counseling. As the name implies, this approach primarily focuses on individuals’ or couples’ emotional experiences. Emotionally-focused couples counseling encourages partners to understand each other’s emotional experiences, express their own emotions and thoughts honestly and openly, and regulate their emotions or emotional expression in a way that is constructive for the relationship.