When you imagine the process of seeking out a stranger to tell your troubles to, are you looking forward to it? Or do you believe the sign on your therapist’s door may as well read:
“Welcome to your last resort.”
After all, everyone knows couples therapy is an end-of-the-road activity. Right?
Believe it or not, couples therapy can be used for so much more than the beginning of a relationship’s end.
If you notice that your communication could be better, or your intimacy is lagging, seek help. Therapy is nothing to fear or avoid. It’s actually a pretty smart thing to do.
So, take a breath, lower your defenses, and consider what you really need.
“Couples therapy can be used for so much more than the beginning of a relationship’s end.”
Consider that there’s something more to couples therapy than the stigma of personal and relationship inadequacy. There just may be some benefit to getting help long before your relationship is on its last legs. Here are 5 reasons why:
1 Early intervention improves chances of relationship survival.
We know this when it comes to preserving our bodies. We even get it when it comes to our cars. Preventative maintenance protects, preserves, and promotes the best and most enjoyable outcome.
Couples counseling, employed early and regularly, creates a healthy environment for love and trust to grow between you. When things do go wrong, you won’t have to scramble or panic. You’ll have a baseline to return to, and tools you can use, to set things right again.
2 Cooperation and support foster relationship improvement.
You may not be aware, but you were never meant to do this alone. You and your partner were never meant to struggle along, unsupported or unprepared. Your couples therapist has your relationship’s best interest at heart.
Therapy, based in encouragement and proven strategies, will challenge you to understand yourself and your relationship better. From there you can make clear-minded choices, and benefit much more from work centered on building your relationship, instead of extensive repair work and damage control.
3 Effective communication helps create relationship change.
Learning how to communicate more effectively and purposefully can heal connections steeped in silence and bitter interaction. Create a relationship where you and your partner can be real, be heard, and feel safe. Techniques like Nonviolent Communication can lay a more secure foundation for your relationship. Before resentment and contempt do their dirty work.
A counselor can show you how to get a clear sense of each other’s perspective. You can heal old wounds and increase awareness of unproductive behaviors, habits, and language. Soon you’ll learn how to stop blaming each other; develop respect, caring, and compassion; and find a secure balance of autonomy and interdependence in your relationship.
4 Seeing past the therapy stigma to experience the most relationship benefits.
There is nothing wrong with you and your partner. The truth is, most of us have no idea how to communicate authentically and compassionately, nor how to keep love vibrant and protected.
Stepping into counseling together throughout your relationship helps lessen the worry and stigma of “last resort” failure-focused counseling. You’ll see that couples therapy is a proactive, positive method of securing happiness and connection. Relationship intervention is not a sign of weakness. Quite the opposite.
5 Avoidance won’t bring you peace.
Procrastination erodes intimacy, trust, and communication. For the sake of your relationship, it’s better to face your fears. By doing the emotional work, you’ll be able to take the next steps in your relationship capably, secure in the knowledge that you’ve done all you can.
Why wait to benefit from counseling? Reach out sooner rather than later.
See what a safe place and support can do.