Marriage Counseling & Couples Therapy
You’re tired of having the same fight over and over and you just can’t seem to connect with your partner. The bond that brought you together has frayed and sometimes it feels like living with a roommate. You’ve caught yourself thinking “I love my partner but I’m not in love.” You’re wondering how to save your marriage. Many couples attend counseling years after difficulties have emerged, often as a last ditch effort to save the relationship. Couples counseling can help before it’s too late.
You may be surprised to learn that couples counseling is among the most commonly seen issues in counseling settings. The reason, of course, is that our relationships are such an important and dominant part of our lives. Our relationships can bring such meaning and fulfillment in the best times and such pain and heartbreak in the worst.
We’re passionate about helping all couples with their relationships. We’d be honored to help you with yours.
Common Couples Counseling Topics:
Couples often attend counseling to help them achieve the following goals:
Communicate more effectively.
Navigate dead-end arguments.
Heal from infidelity.
Have more fun together.
Build intimacy and affection.
Learn to negotiate win-win outcomes.
Understand how to “fight fair.”
Decrease defensiveness and aggression.
Repair the connection that brought you together in the first place.
Relationships can be complicated. A healthy and successful relationship takes commitment and effort from both partners to keep it properly maintained. It is essential for partners to identify and understand each other’s needs to ensure they are met. For example, one partner might value words of affirmation while her partner might need more quality time.
Challenges that can arise in a relationship
A relationship takes time, effort, and a lot of care. It will not be successful if just one person is invested in the relationship while the other is not. Many other challenges can arise in a relationship as well, including communication, infidelity, parenting, sex and intimacy, and substance abuse.
Other issues that may arise throughout a relationship is a significant life change including retirement, moving to a new area, an identity crisis, coping with children leaving home, an illness, or the loss of a loved one. Marriage counseling can help couples navigate through these trying moments in their life.
Allowing open and honest communication between partners
Counseling can be beneficial at any stage of a relationship. Working with a counselor can help create a comfortable, safe, and private space where couples can discuss challenges with each other. They can talk about their thoughts and feelings with the help of a counselor who can help moderate the conversation.
A marriage counselor may step in to allow each person the opportunity to speak and help navigate the conversation to get to some form of resolution. Therapy can be especially beneficial if you and your partner have a history of poor communication and a pattern of dialogue escalating to arguments.
The same goes for relationships where either one or both partners shut down when tough conversations arise. Therapy sessions can help two people talk about their feelings regarding the current situation and how they want to move forward together.
Couples counseling is for everyone
This form of therapy is useful for many different people, regardless of age, sexual orientation, race, or gender. Couples can face many different challenges throughout their relationship. A young couple might be struggling with fear surrounding moving in together and getting married, while an older couple might be struggling with their children going away to college and leaving home.
Couples use therapy for different reasons, as well. Some couples might want to use it to help them with a specific situation. Others might want to use it as a way to check in and make sure their relationship stays healthy. Regularly scheduled counseling can help those who might be going through a patch of increased stress such as changing jobs, moving, or dealing with grief and loss.
What to expect from couples counseling
Couples counseling can seem daunting, and many couples might even be so scared they opt not to try it. However, deciding to try out advice can be an excellent choice for many couples and can sometimes also save a relationship from becoming unhealthy or ending altogether.
If you and your partner decide to go to counseling together, you can expect your counselor to ask some basic questions to get to know more about you and your partner. He or she may also request to learn more about your relationship, including how you met, habits and patterns you two may have, and any stressful situations you would like to address.
Each week, you may get tasks to do at home. It might be something as simple as keeping a journal, switching out words when you have a tough conversation with your partner, or scheduling more or less time with your partner. The next time you visit your counselor, they will review how these tasks went during that period.
During your session, you will get asked many open-ended questions. Many professionals realize that couples tend to be more inclined to discuss challenges with them in the room. By requesting more open-ended questions, couples can lead the conversation and naturally let it move to where it needs to be. That might even be moving from a smaller problem to a much bigger issue between both partners.
Our staff members are trained in marriage counseling and provide a safe space where open and honest conversations can happen between partners. If you are trying to cope with a problematic issue in your relationship, counseling can help you find a resolution.
Relationships can be complicated, and working through challenges with the person you love can leave you feeling confused and exhausted. With the right counselor, you will be able to navigate through these difficulties with more confidence and support.
Couples Counseling FAQ:
Does Couples Counseling Help?
Yes. The majority of couples find counseling benefits their relationship. At FFCC, we’re used to seeing successful outcomes after committed couples therapy and can generally share stories and patterns of success from our years of experience. For additional information regarding the outcomes of couples counseling, please see the following Family & Marriage Counseling website.
How Does Relationship Therapy Work?
We strongly believe good treatment follows good assessment. The first three sessions will be particularly oriented towards assessment. The first session will be spent with both members of the couple. After that we have a single one-on-one session with each partner to gain greater depth into the needs of each partner and to allow them to share their experiences. The fourth session is a feedback session in which your counselor will review his/her diagnostic impressions and let you know what the prognosis is for your relationship. At that point, you’ll collaboratively set goals for the relationship counseling process.
How Long Will It Take?
This is a difficult question to answer, given the unique needs of each couple. It’s worth asking how long the couple has been in distress and the severity of that distress. Many couples will not attend counseling until 10 or 15 years after there’s been a strong problem! As you can imagine, a few sessions will probably not be enough to create significant and lasting change. In our experience couples can expect to attend somewhere between roughly 10 – 20 sessions. With this amount of time there’s reason to be optimistic that counseling will be of help.
What if My Partner Refuses to Attend Couples Counseling?
Timing and motivation is essential to the success of couples counseling. Allow your partner to enter counseling when they’re ready, rather than when they’re forced, as they will not only be a more active and willing participant but much more likely to be open to new learning experiences relationship therapy can create.
In the meantime, individual counseling can still be a viable option to help you with your relationship. There is so much to learn including how to gain insight into your own patterns of conduct and perhaps make a few changes that can benefit both your and your partner alike.
To learn more information about our marriage counseling and couples counseling services in Cumming and Alpharetta, GA or to schedule an appointment, please give us a call at 404-388-3909.