IS COUPLES THERAPY ABOUT SELF-CARE?
Many more couples have sought couples therapy because of the strains the pandemic has inflicted on relationships. Our lives have been altered in a profound way during COVID with less social interactions outside the household and a lot more togetherness in our homes.
As couples experience therapy, they come to realize that it is not just for couples trying to save their marriage and avoid divorce but also for couples trying to deepen their relationship by becoming more in tune with one another, better listeners, communicators, and problem solvers. Couples therapy is a form of maintenance!
Improving our social skills and our ability to become a better partner is an expertise that can be developed like going to the gym and working
our muscles, states Dr.Katz, a clinical psychologist in LA in a New York Times article.
We are all coming from different backgrounds, families of origin with different dynamics, have experienced different life events and have
different personalities which can evolve over time. Many of us have come to realize that getting along with our life partner with minimum effort is closer to myth than reality!
Feeling supported by an outside party who is impartial and whose client is the couple as an entity and not the individuals is helpful to
many couples. Learning the tools to resolve and better manage challenges in a non-confrontational, non-threatening environment is an efficient strategy to reach more fulfilment as a couple.
Misconceptions are common around couples counseling such as believing that you only go to couples counseling as a last resort to attempt to save your relationship. Another misconception is that if you are in couples counseling for a while, it must not be working, instead of looking at it as a growth process such as meditation, yoga, or a wellness routine… Of course, the therapist teaches you the tools to be self-sufficient and manage your relationship in a healthy way on your own. It will come a time when you will only use your therapist when challenges arise or on an as-needed basis.
At MRC, our couples therapists are Gottman trained, which is a well-researched, evidence-based process to train couples to grow their
relationship in a healthy way. In this New York Times article, research from the Gottman Institute states that, on average, couples wait 6 years after identifying a problem to start seeing a therapist. Dr. Katz explains that “When couples wait until a breaking point, it is so much harder to have them come back together because the wounds can be so deep.”
Will you know to answer the question is couples therapy about self-care? If practicing prevention is the sensible way to approach our physical health, it is also the sensible way to go about our mental health and our relationships!
Check our couples therapy services at MRC Couples Counseling