Fractured Love: The Basics and Benefits of Couples Therapy
With the season of love and romance coming to a close with the passing of Valentine’s Day, it’s important to address the negative side of this season — light shined on unhealthy relationships and how it affects your mental health.
All relationships, even friendships, require a little bit of work. However, relationships should not feel like a burden or a chore to complete. Unhealthy relationships can cause increased anxiety, depression and bring out issues with anger management.
While minor disagreements and issues of miscommunication are typically fixable without help, some grievances in relationships need professional guidance.
Similar to individual therapy, couples counseling is meant to help guide you and your partner on a healthy path and give each of you the communication tools to resolve conflict.
Typically, a licensed marriage or family therapist will work with you and your partner. While the specific methods and focus of treatment may vary, couples and family therapy will work to address a specific issue, encourage active participation from all parties and maintain a future and solution-focused approach.
The type of therapy treatments and assessments should consider aspects of your relationship: interracial, heterosexual or homosexual, age, what stage the relationship is in and if therapy is being sought after a specific incident such as infidelity.
An important part of couples therapy is to not wait until it’s too late. Some damage may not be able to be addressed correctly in couples counseling if you and your partner have waited too long to heal the issue. Divorce is not the only option, and statistics suggest that generally relationships can be salvaged, if both people agree to the treatment and stay dedicated.