Couple’s therapy: Building Stronger Communication in Relationships
It may seem like a big step in a relationship to go to therapy, but more couples than ever are opting to use it as a way to open up communication barriers that have formed over time.
The thought that everything may not be perfect in your relationship can trigger feelings of failure. However, with an estimated four million adults across the UK currently in couples therapy, the number of people willing and able to talk is increasing, leading to happier and healthier relationships.
The most daunting part, aside from our own preconceived notions of what it means to seek help, is what exactly the therapy entails.
How much dirty laundry will we be airing? What if our therapy turns into an argument? What if the therapist sides with my partner? The reasons for couples trying Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) vary considerably, and it is essential to note that every relationship is different.
Here are some common reasons that couples across the UK seek out therapy:
One of the most common reasons for couples seeking therapy is needing help to overcome arguments that are arising. It is perfectly normal for couples to argue; it can even be healthy to disagree with your partner. But the factor that leads to one or both parties seeking therapy is the frequency, patterns of the arguments and underlying tentions.
Some couples have “small” arguments; others have big blowouts that leave a path of destruction in their wake. In other cases, one of you is going through a tough time outside the relationship, and your partner has become your emotional punch-bag. If your partner does not know how to respond to your needs, this can lead to feelings of resentment and failure.
CBT can help in this area; the therapist will work together with you to define clear treatment goals and also help both parties communicate each other’s perceptions in moments of conflict. A large part of the work is often about supporting couples to develop much more effective communication techniques during the conflict.
Loss of Trust
Another common reason for couples to seek out CBT are trust issues felt by one person in the relationship. A significant breach of trust is difficult to overcome – whether it was sexual or emotional infidelity, lying about financial problems or your own personal insecurities.
Rebuilding a solid foundation of trust takes time and requires both parties willing to work through these feelings.
It is a big leap of faith investing time in someone who has broken your trust, but CBT can help you to break through some of these barriers and move forward.
Lack of Intimacy
A lack of intimacy can cause worry, loneliness and anger issues within a relationship.
Communication is at the heart of intimacy but in the early days of the relationship, lust can often carry you through. It is over time that sexual relationships can change. In healthy relationships, although the level of passion may decrease, the emotional connection gets more profound and more fulfilling; partners who can talk openly feel no inhibitions about sharing any concerns and expressing their needs and responses.
There are several CBT therapies for couples that are well-researched and highly effective in bringing people together and getting past obstacles to intimacy. Through CBT, couples can improve communication, increase rewarding relationship behaviours, and reevaluate harmful assumptions that may be driving a wedge between partners.
This is not about reaching the end of the road and trying to salvage something. We recognise that CBT has a role before crisis too.
Don’t let your feelings manifest by putting therapy on the back burner because your mental health is as crucial for your health as a physical check-up at the doctor.
If you would like us to help you with your relationship we have couples therapists services across London and the UK.
It is easy to make an appointment with one of our couples therapist; please give us a call now at our London head office on 0207 929 7911, request a call back here or send us a message here.