My Relationship Is Struggling: How Do I Find Couples Counseling Near Me?
Content Warning: Please be advised that the following article mentions abuse, substance use, and other potentially triggering topics. Read with discretion.
People may think of happiness when they think of dating, marriage, and romantic relationships. Their minds may be filled with thoughts of enjoying time with their families, participating in activities, dancing, dinners, and gifts.
You may imagine that relationships should always be full of wonder. However, long-term relationships or marriage may not always be that way. Many relationships can face challenges and conflict. In these cases, couples counseling may be beneficial. Some couples also use couples counseling before conflicts occur to plan for challenging events or differences in opinion. If you need counseling in your relationship but don't know "where to find couples therapy near me?", this article will help you.
How Do You Know If Your Relationship Is Struggling?
Some people may feel that their relationship is not struggling unless a specific "dealbreaker" has occurred, such as infidelity. However, there may be many reasons a couple reaches out for support. Struggling can mean various concepts to various people. Although it can be challenging to know if you're struggling, below are a few signs that you may find couples counseling valuable, but how to find a couples therapist?
You Spend More Time Apart Than Together
At the beginning of a relationship, it can be normal to want to spend all your time together. It can also be normal for this feeling to ease the longer you are together. However, if you notice that you're spending less and less time together, it may signify that you are struggling to be close or no longer crave time together.
You Leave Disagreements Unresolved
If you find that you're constantly disagreeing with your partner and not resolving the disagreement, it might lead to resentment. You might start to feel bitter, unheard, or unloved. While you may not agree on all topics, ignoring profound disagreements may cause future challenges. Additionally, studies show that suppressing emotions can cause physical and mental health consequences.
Needs Are Met In Unhealthy Ways
If one or both partners have their needs met in potentially unhealthy ways, it may cause conflicts. For example, excessive substance use, shopping therapy, or eating to calm emotions may be unhealthy.
If you are struggling with substance use, contact the SAMHSA National Helpline at (800) 662-4357 to receive support and resources.
You Disagree On Parenting Methods
Children and adolescents may cause conflict for couples. When you can't agree on how to parent your children, it may leave your relationship frustrated. Over time, frustration surrounding the topic of parenting may be transferred to your feelings about one another or the connection.
You Don't Want To Have Conversations
If you're exhausted from frequent arguments and feel you no longer want to have any discussions, it may show that you are avoiding the relationship or the conflict to feel better. Talking to a therapist may help you learn to communicate in healthier ways.
When To Reach Out For Help
How Does Couples Therapy Work?
Below are a few ways couples therapists may support the couples who visit them.
Addressing Underlying Concerns
When you meet with a licensed therapist for couples counseling, they may help you understand or discuss any underlying issues causing conflict in your relationship. Many couples may discuss surface-level issues without understanding the underlying cause. A therapist is often trained to help sort through these surface problems, challenge the underlying cause, and offer the couple validation and support.
During couple's therapy, therapists might also help you identify any breakdowns in communication. Problems in a relationship might be resolved by improving the communication between partners. Other times, the therapist can help the partners determine where boundaries need to be set. They might also set boundaries with their parents, spouses, friends, or employers.
Rekindling Trust After Heartbreak
Therapists may also support a couple that has experienced a "dealbreaker" conflict like an affair. They might address this by helping the impacted partner work to a place of forgiveness and providing both partners with trust-building exercises and healthy coping mechanisms.
Discussing The Past
The problems that couples experience might sometimes stem from situations one or both individuals experienced in their past. They may have had unhealthy relationships with family or experienced an adverse event. Therapists can help individuals identify these situations and work through their feelings to avoid allowing past hurts to transfer to their partner.
What To Look For In A Counselor
Gather all the facts before deciding on an option for couples therapy. You might look at the following factors in each counselor you consider.
Choose a counselor with extensive experience and the proper licensing. Many individuals may call themselves life coaches and offer advice but may not have a degree or experience in mental health topics. Choose a counselor who has undergone training, has a legitimate practice, and is allowed by law to provide therapy. If unsure, you can check their licensing status with the American Psychological Association (APA).
If you are meeting with a therapist or counselor who seems to be taking one partner's side over the other, it may be a sign to find a new counselor. A therapist taking sides or targeting one partner may worsen a challenging dynamic.
You might sometimes feel that a couples therapist is not a fit. If you're uncomfortable with the person, it could be challenging to open up and be honest about your situation and feelings. The same may be true for your significant other. Ensure both partners are comfortable before proceeding.
Therapists are people, so they may have an opinion about whether you should stay together and work through your challenges. However, professionals may not reveal their personal opinion on their clients' relationships. Regardless of how much training they have, they may work to allow you and your partner the power to choose whether you stay together. A therapist might only recommend someone break up if abuse or mistreatment is occurring.
If you are facing or witnessing abuse of any kind, the National Domestic Violence Hotline is available 24/7 for support. Call 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) or text "START" to 88788. You can also use the online chat.
Therapists can offer a range of prices for their services. Check if your health insurance covers couples therapy before attending a session. You can also ask the therapist if they have a sliding scale based on income. In some cases, online therapists may be more affordable than in-person ones.
Options For Couples Counseling Near Me
Licensed therapists are a popular option for couples counseling and maintaining healthy relationships. Many therapists offer individual and couples counseling in their practice. Whether you're looking for "premarital counseling near me" or "couples counseling near me" you can easily find a therapist with an online search in your area. However, check the reviews and credentials for any therapist you are considering.
You may also consider online therapy. Online therapy services allow you to communicate with a licensed therapist without leaving your home. Many times, these services are a more affordable form of couples therapy when compared to in-person therapy. Research on internet-based therapy suggests that couples counseling isn't only beneficial in an in-person office. Some studies suggest that online counseling is more effective than the in-person variety. Individuals and couples have reported feeling safer and more comfortable talking about their feelings in an internet-based setting.
If you're interested in signing up for counseling on your own or as a couple, you can consider an online platform like BetterHelp for individuals or ReGain for couples. Both platforms offer flexible scheduling, worksheets, and resources for clients.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Below are a few frequently asked questions on the topic of couples therapy.
What Is The Success Rate Of Couples Therapy?
Although there may not be a definitive number on the success rate of couples therapy, couples therapy has been shown to improve communication and relationship satisfaction for many clients. One study found that 70% of couples found couples therapy effective.
Couples therapy may address several areas, such as trust issues and poor communication. Individual issues like depression and anxiety can also be a part of couples therapy. Couples can learn techniques for conflict resolution and how to communicate clearly. Even if couples have been together for years, therapy can be rewarding.
How Can I Get Free Couples Therapy?
Some non-profit or religious organizations might provide free or income-based couples therapy or advice. You can go to 211.org to see what local resources are available for you and your partner. You might also find support groups that focus on couples and marriage.
What Is The Best Therapy For Couples?
There are different therapeutic approaches to couples therapy; every couple can be different and experience different issues. Before you and your partner meet with a therapist, ask what therapeutic approach they practice. They might respond with one approach or a mixture. Those approaches might include the Gottman method, narrative therapy, Imago therapy, relational life therapy, and emotionally-focused therapy.
How Do I Find A Couples Counselor?
You can search your local area for a couples counselor or check your health plan to see if your insurance company covers counseling. You can also ask your friends and family if you know other couples who have seen a therapist. To narrow your search, look for licensed counselors with education, training, and experience in marriage and couples counseling.
What Is The Difference Between Marriage Therapy And Couples Therapy?
Marriage counseling is for married people, while couples therapy may be provided for any couple, including those married or not. Marriage or marital and couples therapy consider couple issues as whole and individual concerns. A marriage and family therapist might also provide therapy for couples issues related to parenting.
What Is The Gottman Method?
The Gottman Method, developed by doctors Julie and John Gottman, comprises three areas: assessment, therapeutic framework, and therapeutic interventions.
Based on these three categories, the couple and therapist move forward to work on issues specific to the couple. Some areas couples might discover are effective communication, past hurts, managing conflicts, and trust. T
Can A Marriage Survive Without Intimacy?
A marriage might struggle without emotional intimacy. However, not all partners value physical intimacy. Emotional intimacy means that each person may be emotionally vulnerable with the other, involving trust.
Marriages can survive without sexual intimacy. Many people who are asexual (not experiencing sexual attraction) may get married and maintain a relationship with little to no sexual intimacy with a significant level of emotional intimacy. It's up to you and your partner to decide if you can handle life without sexual intimacy.
Is It OK For Married Couples To Sleep In Separate Rooms?
Married couples can make up their own rules in their marriages. If both individuals want to sleep in separate rooms, sleeping in separate rooms may be a healthy choice. Emotional or sexual intimacy may not be removed by sleeping separately. Some couples may find that having their own space increases intimacy.
How Many Positives Does It Take To Clear A Negative?
According to the Harvard Business Review, while negative comments stick with an individual, it's the positive comments that motivate people to do better. Although the research has come under criticism, many in leadership agree that a higher ratio of positives to negatives can be optimal. The researchers Emily Heaphy and Marcial Losada noted that their findings were similar to John Gottman's of the Gottman method. Gottman's research on married couples showed that the more positive comments spouses gave one another, the more likely they were to remain married. Gottman's ratio was five positives to one negative.
How Can I Be More Positive In A Relationship?
One way to increase positivity in a relationship is to comment optimistically on aspects you like about your partner. For example, do you like how devoted they are to caring for the children or the animals in the household? Do you like that they do the dishes? Do you enjoy their sense of humor? Any positive comment may be a genuine starting point.
If you're struggling to work together to provide positivity, suggest couples counseling to your partner. It can take all partners to make a relationship work. If one is not present in the relationship, explore this individually with a trusted friend, family, support group, or therapist.
How Can Negativity Hurt A Relationship?
A constant barrage of negativity may create challenges or conflict. If you or your partner is often criticizing the other, it may cause feelings of shame or distrust. If negativity is part of your family dynamic, seeing a family therapist might be a wise choice in learning how to deal with this behavior. If your partner constantly labels you, yells, or treats you poorly, it may be a sign of emotional abuse.
How Do You Know If You're Unhappy In A Relationship?
If you are complaining about your partner to other people, feeling your relationship is out of balance, getting needs met outside the relationship, feeling bored, or worrying about the state of your relationship, you may be unhappy.
Rather than making a life-changing decision based on how you're feeling now, consider reaching out to a therapist. However, if you're experiencing signs of abuse, leave as soon as possible. You can reach out for support at the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233).
What not to say in couples counseling?
How long should couples therapy last?
What are the disadvantages of couples therapy?
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