Many couples struggle in their relationship. For some, there are certain topics that are “off limits” because they always lead to a disagreement. For others, it seems like almost any topic can trigger a fight.
Then, there is the WAY we fight. Some couples are intense and loud while others become cold and distant. For many, there is a combination where one person fights and the other one shuts down.
Regardless of the topics we fight over or the ways we fight with each other - one thing that is common for all couples is that unresolved conflicts cause emotional pain. And, the longer we live with unresolved conflict, the more we feel isolated, alone, stuck, and rejected.
When we are stuck in a cycle of unresolved conflict and emotional pain, it may be time to reach out for help.
Starting couple or marriage counseling can be scary. We are already in pain – why would we want to share our pain with someone else who doesn’t know us? What if it doesn’t help? What if we don’t find a good fit with our therapist?
These are valid fears and the truth is that nothing is guaranteed. Reaching out for help is a risk. On the other hand, it just might help. What if therapy helps us see our relationship more clearly? What if we find new ways to relate to each other that surprise us? What if we learn new things about ourselves that help us grow and become more connected?
Steps for Starting Couple Therapy:
- Talk to your partner. Discuss the possibility of couple therapy.
- Choose where you would like to go for therapy.
- Reach out to the center or therapist you have chosen.
At the Center for Family & Relational Health, we are reachable multiple ways:
- Complete an inquiry form on our website familyrelationalhealth.com
- Email firstname.lastname@example.org
- Phone 630-733-8161
After you reach out, our intake coordinator will call and ask you a few questions that will help to clarify your struggle and determine if couple or marriage counseling is right for you. If therapy is a good fit, the intake coordinator will then match you with a therapist.
Working with Your Therapist
Your therapist will then walk through the next steps, which may include:
- Deciding to meet in-person or over video
- Therapy schedule
- Payment options
- How to access forms to complete prior to your first session
- Answering other questions you may have
Your first session will be a time for you and your spouse/partner to tell your therapist how you are struggling and what you would like to accomplish in therapy. The following sessions will then focus on areas where you would like to grow.
Examples of Couple’s Issues
Below are some examples of couple’s issues that can be addressed in therapy. If your concern is not on the list, don’t worry. This is not an exhaustive list.
- Unresolved conflict
- Financial concerns
- Blended family parenting
- Managing a mental health concern
- Caring for elderly parents
- Grief and loss
- Pre-marital counseling
- Marriage enrichment