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All About Couples Therapy

Last Updated on April 8, 2024 by It’s Complicated

Arguably we’re in a golden era of therapy. For therapy seekers, workplaces are recognising that it’s genuinely important to include mental health access to company benefits, and sessions are becoming relatively affordable as online platforms hugely increased the number of available therapists one can search for based on your budget.

It’s also no longer such a faux-pas to open up about your current diagnosis or battles with mental health (if not to your immediate circle, then to online forums and communities). The culture around seeking mental health support is radically changing, and we’re here to work with that and be a part of making therapy accessible to everyone. Including you.

With that aside, you landed on this page because you were interested in what a tightly-knit company built by therapists could offer you in the way of couples therapy. So here we go. This article will outline what couples therapy is, what to know before beginning the process with your partner, and how to get the most out of it. Whether you seek it online, offline, through us or a different directory, we hope that this is a useful resource on your search!

What is Couples Therapy?

Couples therapy, also known as marriage counselling, is a form of psychotherapy that focuses on improving the relationship between partners. It involves a trained therapist who works with couples to resolve conflicts, establish more honest communication, and strengthen their bond.

The practice of couples therapy will vary depending on the therapist’s approach, but oftentimes couples therapy involves a focus on a specific problem (e.g. jealousy, sexual difficulties, infidelity) and change-oriented interventions early on in the process.

It is a proactive step that partners take to work on their relationship and is absolutely a valuable tool that helps people address issues, prevent conflicts, and strengthen healthy relationships. 

Sometimes, even couples in an already good relationship may need guidance from a trained couple therapist. When that time comes, it takes courage to ask for help.

How to decide if you need Couples Therapy

Considering couples therapy demonstrates a proactive approach to improving your relationship. In fact, many couples today meets with a therapist not only when they are about to break up or end a relationship or marriage, but as a way to grow and develop as a couple. At It’s Complicated our professional therapists offer a supportive environment for couples to explore concerns and work towards solutions. Whether facing communication challenges, trust issues, or feeling disconnected from your partner, our relationship counsellors provide practical tools and guidance to support your relationship journey.

Here are some signs to help you decide if you can benefit from couples therapy:

  1. You’re having the same arguments repeatedly and can’t seem to break the cycle,
  2. You’re unsure about the future of your relationship,
  3. Issues like infidelity or mental health challenges are straining your relationship,
  4. Parenting or family dynamics are adding stress to your life and relationship,
  5. Unresolved issues, past trauma, and lingering bitterness are poisoning your relationship,
  6. External factors like friends, family, or in-laws are impacting your relationship negatively,
  7. Financial struggles are putting a toll on your relationship,
  8. Divorce/separation is inevitable, you need guidance to end the relationship in a healthy way,
  9. You’re ready to get married but there are pre-marital issues.

How can a Couples Therapist help you?

In couples therapy, a trained therapist serves as a neutral party to help you work through your issues. They can provide valuable insights, facilitate communication, and challenge negative patterns in your relationship. While therapists don’t have a magic wand, they offer guidance and strategies to address challenges constructively.

  1. A couple therapist will provide a safe space to address past wounds and traumas, promoting healing and forgiveness.
  2. Poor communication is still the biggest reason behind most couple conflicts. A couple therapist can help you and your significant other learn effective communication skills that can be applied both inside and outside of therapy sessions.
  3. Sharing deep emotions and working through disagreements in therapy can strengthen the emotional connection between you and your partner.
  4. Exploring emotional intimacy can reignite the spark in your relationship.
  5. Couples can learn new skills and tools for building a healthier, more fulfilling relationship.
  6. A couple therapist will help you and your partner reflect on their own behaviours and gain self-awareness.

How to find a good Couples Therapist?

Finding the right therapist isn’t easy. 

  • Seek recommendations from friends, family, or your primary care physician. Personal referrals can lead you to therapists with a proven track record.
  • Explore dedicated online therapy platforms like It’s Complicated or Psychology Today. 

It’s Complicated helps people access professional couple therapists online or in various international cities, including Berlin, Amsterdam, London, Hamburg, Munich, Frankfurt, Lisbon and online. The user-friendly interface makes it super simple to find, schedule, and connect with experienced therapists who can help you strengthen your relationship.

Wondering how online therapy works? Find out here.

What to expect when you start Couples Therapy

Couples therapy at It’s Complicated utilises evidence-based techniques to promote effective communication and collaborative problem-solving. During a typical couples therapy session, the therapist creates a safe and supportive environment where both partners can openly express their thoughts and feelings. The therapist helps the couple identify behaviour patterns, explore underlying emotions, and develop strategies for constructive conflict resolution. Through structured sessions, couples will over time learn to communicate more effectively, rebuild trust, and deepen their connection. The built-in video tool on our all-encompassing therapy platform allows sessions to occur between the couples therapist and two participants in different locations, facilitating therapy for long-distance relationships or partners who are currently separated.

  • Initial Assessment: When you begin couples therapy, your therapist will start with an assessment. This involves asking questions about your relationship, individual backgrounds, and the issues you’d like to address. This assessment helps the therapist understand your unique dynamics and tailor the treatment plan accordingly.
  • Open Communication: Expect a safe and non-judgmental environment where both you and your partner can openly express your thoughts and feelings. The therapist will facilitate constructive communication, ensuring that both voices are heard and validated.
  • Homework and Goals: Couples therapy often includes homework assignments and goal-setting. Your therapist may provide exercises or tasks to practice outside of sessions, reinforcing the skills learned during therapy. Setting clear goals helps track progress and keeps the therapy focused and productive.

Myths About Couples Therapy:

#1 Couples Therapy is expensive

While some therapists charge higher fees, there are affordable options available, including low-cost counselling clinics and insurance coverage. Investing in your relationship through therapy is often less costly than the emotional and financial toll of unresolved issues or divorce. If you’re using our directory to help you in the search for a couples therapist, you can use our search filters to find a therapist that fits your budget from as low as €50 to higher ranges of €250.

#2 Couples Therapy is a huge time investment

Couples therapy is goal-oriented, and the duration depends on your specific needs and progress. It also depends on the type of therapy you select. For instance, a cognitive behavioural therapist, solution-focused couples therapist, or relationships coach may be able to work in a more structured way and accommodate a specified number of sessions. Psychodynamic couples therapy, on the other hand, might explore the unconscious factors contributing to stress in a less standardised format (which is, by the way, in no way inferior to standardised or more ‘structured’ forms of therapy. It just depends on your personal preference).

It’s therefore good practice to brainstorm the approach you and your partner might want your therapist to take before deciding on a practitioner, or even better, complete a free matching survey outlining your needs and therapy consultants will help you to choose an approach that is suitable for you.

No matter which type of couple’s therapy you choose to explore, the role of the therapist or counsellor will involve teaching specific skills in order to strengthen your relationship, such as active listening and exercises in empathy. If you find a practitioner whose approach feels appropriate and who both members of the relationship feel comfortable opening up to (i.e. you feel a therapeutic alliance with them), then go for it and don’t rush the process.

#3 Finding a Good Therapist is complicated

While finding the right therapist may require some effort, online directories, referrals, and reviews can help you identify experienced professionals. We’re chiefly of the mindset that looking for a qualified therapist shouldn’t be complicated at all – it just takes some self-reflection to decide on which factors to consider before going through your therapy journey.

A lot of therapists also offer an initial consultation, allowing you to assess if they’re the right fit for your needs and goals.

Does Couples Therapy always work?

While couples therapy can be highly effective, it’s not a guaranteed solution for every relationship. Success often depends on a couple’s willingness to engage and be open to change. Therapy can provide insights, tools, and guidance, but the outcome ultimately relies on the effort invested by both partners.

At It’s Complicated, our team of experienced therapists specialises in providing couples therapy to address various relationship challenges. On the platform there are many couples therapists with many different approaches and backgrounds such as behavioural couples therapy, psychodynamic, CBT or Jungian. Find an experienced therapist today from the It’s Complicated community that can help you and your partner improve and grow in your relationship.

Advantages of Discovering Your Therapist via It’s Complicated

  • No Setup Costs: Creating an account and reaching out to therapists is entirely cost-free.
  • Transparent Pricing: You’ll only pay the session fee, with no concealed booking fees.
  • Precise Search: Utilise our robust search tool to pinpoint therapists based on your specific preferences.
  • Thorough Listings: Easily explore therapists categorised by their specialty, approach, location, and language.

It’s Complicated is a therapy platform that not only helps clients find their perfect therapist but also supports therapists in their craft of helping others. Featuring over 2,000 mental health professionals from 80+ countries, counselling is available in almost 100 languages, both online and in person. A GDPR-compliant video solution, encrypted messaging, and easy invoicing guarantee a private and seamless counselling experience for therapists and clients alike. If you are in a serious crisis and need urgent help, please use one of these resources instead.

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