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What Type of Couples Counseling Is Right For Your Relationship?

Updated: Jun 23, 2023

Whether you and your partner are just entering the dating world, in a long-term relationship, or navigating marriage, counseling can be an invaluable asset to any couple’s toolkit.

Every couple is different and so the approach to counseling must also be tailor to each specific relationship. Additionally, many who seek couples counseling or relationship counseling could also benefit from individual counseling to address their own specific needs and reactions within the relationship.

While couples counseling sounds like a one-size-fits all approach, the truth is that there are different modalities of couples therapy to explore depending on your unique situation. In this blog post, we will discuss some of these different methods so you and your partner can determine which type of couples counseling works best for your relationship.

What To Expect In Couples Counseling

First up, one important thing to know is that your therapist will use specific therapeutic techniques and interventions to support the couple's goals.

Therapists may use specific strategies during your treatment which include:

  • Getting to know you and your partner in order to make it a collaborative approach

  • Identifying feelings between you and your partner to help translate or interpret

  • Exploring the past can help you better understand your fears, motivations, and behaviors. It can also help you address repetitive cycles and unresolved issues that remain within the present

  • Focusing on solutions will help you and your partner resolve issues and overall improve relationship satisfaction

  • Teaching skills like problem solving, conflict resolution, or even anger management can equip you and your partner with tools to help you deal with issues as they arise.

Any type of relationship can benefit from couples counseling, and Mindsight proudly serves LGBTQIA+ couples who are struggling or who just want to build a stronger, healthier foundation for their love.

Different Types of Couples Counseling

In addition to employing these techniques, your counselor may also use a specific type of couples counseling to help make progress faster, based on your needs as a couple.

  1. Emotion-Focused Therapy (EFT): EFT focuses on improving the attachment and bonding between you and your partner. The therapist helps you understand and change patterns that lead to feelings of disconnection.

  2. Gottman Method: This method involves addressing areas of conflict and equipping you and your partner with problem-solving skills. It aims to improve the quality of friendship and the level of intimacy between you and your partner. Interventions are designed to help couples strengthen their relationships in three primary areas: friendship, conflict management, and creation of shared meaning. Couples learn to replace negative conflict patterns with positive interactions and to repair past hurts.

Other couples counseling techniques can be used with the ones we mentioned above or on their own. Some examples are:

  1. Ellen Wachtel’s Approach: This is a strength-based approach that involves focusing on the positive aspects of the relationship. It focuses on self-reflection rather than blame.

  2. Psychodynamic Couple’s Therapy: Psychodynamic therapy explores the underlying hopes and fears that motivate you and your partner to help you understand each other better.

  3. Behavioral Therapy: Also known as behavioral couples therapy (BCT), this form of therapy involves shaping behavior by reinforcing positive behaviors that promote stability and satisfaction, while discouraging behaviors that foster negativity.

  4. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT): Also referred to as cognitive behavioral couples therapy (CBCT), this form of therapy involves identifying and changing thought patterns that negatively influence behavior.

Couples face all kinds of challenges, but the truth is that most can overcome them with the help of a therapist. Whether you’re trying to repair damage from an affair, communication breakdowns, or unresolved issues from childhood, couples counseling can offer insight and skills for both partners to gain understanding and empathy. It can be hard to figure out where to start when it comes to finding the right kind of counseling for your relationship.

Now no matter what stage your relationship is in -– whether planning marriage or navigating divorce—you can find an approach whose tools are right for you!

What's Next?


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