When your partner brings up the idea of couples therapy, your initial response may be a resounding ‘Oh, no.” As a society, we’ve managed to convince ourselves that therapy is only for “those people.” You know, that one couple whom neighborhood busybodies talk about in hushed whispers. The ones who are struggling. Seeking therapy is often seen as a shameful admission of weakness.
America, it’s time to change how we think about therapy, especially for couples. As we come to learn more about mental health, we can also recognize that therapy is a powerful tool for living a happier, healthier life and strengthening our relationships— there is nothing shameful about it, whether you’re seeking help to resolve issues or just looking to better understand your mental health together.
Who Benefits the Most From Couples Therapy?
In short? Everyone! Whether you are building a new relationship, strengthening your bond, or looking to reconnect with your partner, couples therapy can help. Working with a psychotherapist can bring a better understanding of your mental health and any negative or unsupportive behaviors you or your partner want to challenge. It can open and improve your communication, which also leads to better emotional and physical intimacy. Over time, you’ll gain a deeper, more intimate understanding of your relationship.
Psychotherapists are a vast resource of knowledge regarding what drives relationships and affects our mental health. They have access to a variety of therapy styles that can help you and your partner overcome any challenges and build a better future together.
The Benefits of Couples Therapy
Let’s take a look at five ways therapy can improve your relationship:
- Creating a Safe Space for Discussion. Therapy is a great place to tackle those hard conflicts or areas that you’ve been hesitant to bring up. Feeling safe can help you truly navigate conflicts and communicate with each other, and your therapist can help mediate if you’re having trouble expressing yourself. Your therapist can also intervene if things get too heated, as they’ll maintain boundaries during the conversation.
- Learn Effective, Targeted Coping Skills. No relationship is perfect. Conflict will happen from time to time. Your therapist can help you prepare for those times by introducing coping mechanisms to help you manage anger, sadness, stress, or any other emotion trying to interfere with your relationship. Learning coping skills isn’t just for immediate problems; it’s a way to prepare for the future and know that you are ready to face anything and everything together.
- Work on Your Personal Growth Through Self-Awareness. A partnership is made of individuals, and you each bring good and bad things to the table. Therapy can help you better understand your partner’s needs, but it can also help you better understand yourself and your needs. You may find that there are unfulfilling areas in your life or past traumas that are affecting your current relationship.
- Strengthen the Building Blocks of Your Relationship. Relationships are built on trust, communication, and intimacy. Whether you and your partner are struggling in these areas due to stress and hardships or you just want to better understand each other and deepen your connection, seeking out couples therapy in the Bay Area can help. Your psychotherapist will have a wide range of therapy styles to help you improve your mental health and work together to maintain a healthy relationship.
- Resolves Struggles and Challenges in Your Relationship. Every relationship will go through hard times, whether because of something in your partnership or something influencing you from other aspects of your life. If you and your partner are struggling to come together, a psychotherapist can help. They can guide you through important conversations and pinpoint any specific stressors that may be causing your obstacles. They can help you both learn to express yourself openly and work through challenges together.
Building a Strong, Intentional Relationship in the Bay Area
San Francisco and the surrounding bay area offer a world of possibilities for romance. You and your partner can easily get swept away in a budding romance, but puppy love doesn’t last forever. Love is as much an action as it is an emotion. We choose whether to work with our partners to build a strong relationship or to move on and find someone who better aligns with our personalities. But remember, you don’t need to walk away just because you’re facing challenges. Couples therapy can always help you work through current issues to determine if your relationship will work in the long run.
By seeking couples counseling regardless of any current issues, you’re taking an active and intentional step in your commitment to your partner. This step can help you understand how to be a better partner and how to improve your own mental health. So why wait? Call your partner and discuss whether couples counseling sounds like your next step.