Winter is coming to an end and spring is in the air! You know what they say, spring weather brings new beginnings. Maybe it’s time to seek assistance through couples therapy in helping you and your partner to both feel more connected, peaceful, healthier and satisfied. Life is full of transitions and stressful events. If your relationship is also causing you a good deal of stress, then every other aspect of life can become affected. You’ve probably heard about ‘Couples Therapy’ before, right? Although it’s becoming more acceptable, many people still believe that it’s not the right fit for them or their relationship.
Have you ever thought to yourself, “I don’t need help, I can figure this out on my own”? Research indicates that most couples reach out for couples therapy about six or more years after they realize they have a problem. At that point, they are often in a great deal of pain and feeling very far apart from one another, unsure if the relationship is beyond repair.
What is the difference between Couple Therapy and Couple or Marriage Counselling?
The terms couple therapy and couple or marriage counselling are often used interchangeably but there are some distinct differences in these approaches. Couple Therapy is often a longer-term treatment-based approach. It can help couples recognize the dynamics that keep them emotionally distant and feeling far apart. It helps to identify and articulate the needs and fears fueling their dynamics. It also helps couples to learn to listen and be there for each other in the ways they each need, and ultimately feel much more connected. On the other hand, couples or marriage counselling is usually a short-term treatment approach much like what employee assistance programs (EAP’s) offer. The short -term model has a focus on behavioural changes, communication skill building, or discernment for learning ways to overcome relational struggles. After a session or two with your therapist, you should both be able to create a plan with your therapist to determine which length of treatment is appropriate for your goals.
Couples Therapy is simply a form of psychological therapy used to treat relationship distress for both individuals and couples. People seek couple therapy for many different reasons but the overall goal is to help partners send and receive clear emotional signals to each other that help to shape the dance of loving connection we all long for.
Is Couples Therapy right for me?
If you and your partner are feeling stuck in a rut of destructive patterns or interaction, disconnected and hurt in your relationship then the sooner you reach out for a couple therapist the sooner you will start receiving the help that you need. A qualified couple therapist can help couples build bridges to reach each other and help them see how their protective armour gets in the way.
It’s important to remember that therapy can be the aspect of your life that makes you healthier and happier. Each therapy session is confidential and you don’t have to let anyone else know that you are seeking help if you don’t want to talk about it. Whatever you decide to do, you need to make the best decision for you and what you want to experience out of your life. Reaching out for therapy takes a lot of courage and you are strong, not weak!
5 signs that may point to considering couples therapy with your partner are:
- A repeated argument you both can’t seem to get over
- Your communication with each other is not as good as it once was
- You’ve stopped being intimate with one another
- You are experiencing stressful life events/transitions and it’s impacting your relationship
- There has been betrayal in the relationship
The term therapy can sometimes be a little scary. There is a lot of stigma behind the word and we can sometimes believe that seeking help makes us appear weak. We start to accept the feeling of being unhappy. With the right therapist, couples therapy can provide you and your partner with an opportunity to enrich, restore or rebuild your relationship. Sometimes it takes a bit of time to find a therapist that you and your partner both feel a good fit with. My advice is to not give up until you find the help that you need.
What are the benefits of Couple Therapy?
Couples Therapy could help relieve you and your partner of feeling angry, depressed, anxious, unloved and far apart. Our partner has a huge impact on our emotional world. Sometimes all it takes is a particular look on our partner’s face and we end up feeling awful. The opposite is also true. Our partner can also be a great source of comfort and joy. Couple therapy can help couples to reach for each other in ways that bring them closer and more connected.
If you’re unsure about seeking therapy but would like to learn more, contact Lisa Skelding our Couple and Sexual Therapist! She would be honoured to chat with you for a free 20-minute call. After speaking with Lisa if you feel that she is the right therapist for you then she can book an appointment for you both to meet.
Learn more about Lisa …
Lisa has been a clinical social worker for over 30 years and is a specialist in both couple and sex therapy. She always makes her clients feel comfortable and safe because she understands that these problems are intimate, private and sometimes hard to talk about. She will work with you and your partner to set attainable goals which can be both short and long term. She also helps to treat patients that are dealing with the side effects of cancer treatment on their sexual function and intimacy.
Check out her published articles “The Side Effect No One Talks About” on her website to learn more. If you have any questions at all, email her Lisa@relationshiprestorations.com or call/text 416 456-0980.
Look at what some of Lisa’s past couples have to say
“I have only known Lisa for 5 months and since that time she has set my marriage on an amazing journey, one that I never thought I would see happen as I was ready to call it quits” (Larry)
“I know that both myself and my husband have grown not only as a couple but as individuals as well. I learned things about myself that I never have considered before. Lisa is open to exploring every avenue, there is no topic that cannot be discussed and no judgment passed. We both felt very comfortable talking to Lisa about anything, she was great at getting to the underlying issues of our emotional distress. I would recommend any couple to see Lisa, we think she is simply a miracle worker!” (Lynn)
“My husband and I were experiencing marital problems, most were related to poor and deteriorating communication. My husband was struggling with his job and this compounded our issues given that I had a solid and successful career. Our 25 years of marriage became a turning point – everything that was being held together by me started to unravel. I didn’t think the marriage was going to survive and I was tired of doing all the work to keep it together. Finally, I knew we needed help if we were going to make it. My husband agreed to see a therapist which I thought was hopeful. We found Lisa through a professional reference. I first chatted with her on the phone to explain our issue and I liked her immediately. She came off as objective, she had a way of telling you some tough stuff but in a soft manner that allowed you to take it in rather than reject it. It was her manner that made me decide that she was the gal for me. I was really concerned about my husband, he is not a good communicator and I am so much stronger than he is that I felt he needed a solid advocate on his side, but I didn’t want to be bullied or blamed either. I felt Lisa did this for us. We saw her for 1.5 years to the point where we had nothing to talk about anymore and we just decided we were done. That was last summer. Today, my husband and I are off to celebrate our 30th anniversary. I can honestly say that if it were not for Lisa we wouldn’t be doing this today.” (Josie)
Are there different types of Couples Therapy?
Yes, there are different approaches to Couples Therapy. Lisa primary uses a type of Couple therapy called Emotionally Focused Therapy for Couples, or EFT for short. EFT is a powerful approach to transforming love relationships based on the new science of adult love and bonding. It has 25 years of dynamite research behind it and gets the best results. This approach is evidence-based and helps to move couples from distress to recovery in approximately 10-20 sessions with an average of 15 sessions.
What is Emotionally Focused Couple Therapy?
The creator of EFT for Couples Sue Johnson describes it best in this short video….
To view further references, recent articles describing EFT and Sue Johnson’s book called ‘Hold Me Tight’ please refer to the EFT website iceeft.com Lisa encourages couples to read ‘Hold Me Tight’ as an additional resource for couple therapy.
If you have any questions at all, email Lisa: Lisa@relationshiprestorations.com or call/text 416 456-0980.