Couples counseling used to consist of individual psychotherapy sessions with the counselor sitting in the same room as the couple. Often there would also be a couple therapist for each partner. The sessions often lasted for an hour or two, with a break between the sessions. This model was obviously not satisfactory for couples who had very different perspectives on marriage and divorce, or where one partner was fearful of the other. Most couples therapy today consists of a combination of several elements from multiple models of couples counseling.
Today couples counseling seems to look a bit different than it once did even just 30 short years ago. Therapists now often help couples strengthen their romantic and friendship relationship, but often these improvements tend to be short lived. New methods to couple’s counseling, such as Emotional-Focused Therapy (EFT), or the Gottman Approach, and even the Emotional-Behavior Therapy (EBT) model have been gaining much more popularity over the past few years. These newer methods not only attack the core problems of relationship distress but also have much more effective ways of helping partners to deal with and ultimately overcome their deeper fears and concerns about their relationship.
In this article we will discuss what couples therapy involves today, as well as what types of different counseling methods are available. I will also explain what types of relationship counseling with a counselor can do, as well as what a good counselor should know when it comes to this field. After reading this article you should have a better idea of how this form of counseling can help you strengthen your relationship.
The first step toward couples therapy is to make sure that both partners in the relationship feel comfortable talking about the issue at hand. It is best if the spouse speaking can explain the problem in terms of his/her own experiences, while the other partner may need to consult a professional family therapist or psychologist for advice on the issue at hand. If possible both partners should meet with a professional family therapist before deciding to see a counselor. This meeting will help both partners to determine their own personal reactions and feelings towards the problem at hand. Then they can both decide on the best way to approach their problem.
Another option is to meet with one another in a one-on-one setting. Online couples counseling is becoming more common as people continue to be more comfortable using the internet to communicate with each other. Online chatspace is an excellent place to get started, as long as the couple has some basic computer skills. A therapist may use these same online resources as a starting point for couples therapy. If he/she chooses to see a counselor in person, most therapists will use these online resources as a way to introduce people to one-on-one counseling.
Some therapists will follow up with phone sessions as well. This depends largely on the individual, and how much progress has been made. If you have had success through online couples therapy and want to try it out on your own, there are a few things that you can do. First, limit the amount of time you spend online chatting with your partner. Second, check out the other person’s profile and read their profile to see if it is a good match.