[image by mikebaird]
Working with couples is great. With two people in the room (not including therapist/counselor) it can make for quite an interesting, interactive, and great experience. Sure, it can be hard. Tears and strong words may flow. But in the midst of that I have seen great joy, laughter and happiness in couples as they work together, and talk openly (maybe for the first time-out loud to each other at least) about some of the issues they are facing together.
So I wanted to lay out 4 benefits of couples going to therapy together:
- Outside persepective: Being married, or in an intimate relationship with another human being, can often make it difficult to get perspective on the relationship itself. We all have blindspots, and sometimes the closer we are, the more invested we are…the harder to step back and take a look. This is where another person in the room really helps that process.
- Mediator: What often makes therapy a safe place for couples to talk about their problems is because they know there is another person in the room who will help “mediate” the conversation. A therapist can step in and regulate the flow of conversation, and emotions, and make sure that things are “contained” if you will (for lack of a better word). When this is done right, often a spouse or partner may feel more safe to say something, then they might in their own home.
- Practical Skills: Going to couple’s counseling should also be a place where you can be equipped with some practical skills. Sometimes it may be in the form of some actual “homework” or tasks the therapist gives you, or it might be practical skills you acquire on your own just through the process of therapy.
- Insight: Because a therapist is there to listen to both of you (which is a huge benefit in itself), they are able to reflect back and offer new insights into your life and relationship, or reaffirm insights that you already had. This is a huge incentive and catalyst for growth.
The combination of these four things are a powerful force and I think a huge benefit for any couple who seeks to come into therapy.
Are there any other benefits that you suggest?