Couples Therapy

Couple’s therapy is an evidence-based therapy that has proven to significantly benefit relationships. Here’s how it works and how it can benefit your relationship.

What is Couples Therapy?

Couples counselling includes marriage counselling (that is, marital therapy), but is not exclusive to marital couples or counselling. Couple’s therapy involves thoroughly identifying the difficulties, needs, and destructive interactive patterns between partners. This understanding is then translated into practical goal sessions to avoid the repetition of patterns of distress.

Destructive communication often lies at the core of dissatisfaction with partner relationships and therefore it is evident that effective communication maintains an effective and satisfying relationship, and this will be the focus of therapy.

Couple’s therapy in a clinical setting encourages everyone involved to participate. The focus of this type of therapy is on mental health that impact the individual and relationship.

Many couples are benefitting from therapy. The health of intimate relationships can greatly improve with communications training and interpersonal skills.

When Does Couples Therapy Help?

Therapy sessions are highly effective in the treatment of a wide range of common interpersonal factors. Mental health professionals such as Erika Nell are equipped with the right training to undertake a range of challenges.

Therapy is useful for individuals experiencing or anticipating problems in their relationships. Partners going through a separation or divorce often need support, too. This will steer them through any mental health concerns that could arise from a stressful chapter in their lives.

Adoptive and restructured families often need a psychologist to assist the couple with negotiation regarding family norms and adjustments and conflict resolution skills. These and other skills will make a difference to the dynamic in a relationship, leading to happy couples and progress in treatment.

Why is pre-marital counselling a priority when taking that big step?

Pre-marital couples therapy sessions in private practice are beneficial for all couples. This is a pre-emptive measure to manage their relationship in the best possible manner. Pre-marital counselling has safeguarded couples from falling into destructive interactive patterns which could prove difficult to address later.

The right treatment plan created by a professional clinical psychologist assists partners in identifying areas that could arise and maintain conflict later on in their relationship. If you are getting married soon or are engaged, pre-marital therapy is a highly recommended form of couples therapy to consider.

Common factors that could arise at a later stage in a relationship could include, but are not limited to:

  • Miscommunication
  • Redefining the relationship towards a marital definition.
  • Setting interpersonal norms of the relationship.
  • Extended kin challenges.
  • Financial challenges.
  • Fertility challenges.
  • Differences in rearing children.
  • Career goals.

Putting a plan of action in place at the start of a relationship forms the basis of a solid foundation. Working through these and other challenges at the beginning of a relationship highly improves the quality of the relationship and avoids potential relational pitfalls. Partners who take part in some form of pre-marital therapeutic counselling are far less likely to divorce than couples who don’t.

How Does Couples Therapy Work?

Couple’s therapy is a treatment approach used to address challenges in couples and families. When I work with couples, I usually see the individuals separately, each for a first session, so as to obtain a clear picture of the two halves of the interactive circle.

These will be taken into account when determining the focus of treatment and treatment objectives. After that we can continue with joint sessions. Treatment can be divided between time spent on individual therapy and time spent on couple therapy.

How Will I Know If My Marital Relationship Needs Therapy?

There are a few tell-tale signs to look out for, but if you experience any form of distress or discomfort in your partner relationship, it is advisable to seek professional assistance. A few things to look out for that may indicate that your relationship may need some intervention are:

  1. You find yourself having the same arguments over and over.
  2. You have undergone a major change. Anything from the loss of a loved one to moving to a different place, starting a new job, or experiencing trauma of any kind.
  3. One or both of you avoid sex.
  4. You feel the need to check your partner’s phone.
  5. You feel loneliness even though you are in a relationship.
  6. You’re feeling oppressed or struggling to be yourself in the relationship.
  7. It feels like you both want different things.
  8. You’re looking outside your relationship
  9. One or both of you have had an affair.

Can Couples Therapy Really Make a Difference?

Yes, therapy can make a difference in your life and relationships. Traditional psychotherapy has a focus on the individual. This type of therapy, however, focuses on behavioural patterns between the individuals. When both parties become involved, the results can be significantly beneficial.

The aim of couple’s therapy programmes is the recovery of the couple in a safe environment. A plethora of couples have benefited from a wide array of treatments that ensure a healthy relationship is attained. We can enjoy the effectiveness of health systems with a little help and therapeutic intervention, and as a result maintain a higher quality of life.

Are you looking for a Couples Therapist near you or in Pretoria East? Contact Erika Nell Clinical Psychology today for appointments in the Pretoria area. As a qualified Independent Clinical Psychologist registered at the Health Professionals Council of South Africa, you can rely on Erika Nell for effective couples therapy.