Cultivating Lasting Love And Connection: Discover Supportive Couples Counseling Services Near You

Updated August 2, 2023by BetterHelp Editorial Team

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 marriage counselors 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.

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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. 

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When To Reach Out For Help 

If you know that your relationship is struggling, you may have a few options. You might choose to stay together without making changes, break up, or reach out to a therapist for further support and guidance. If you have reached an impasse where efforts don't improve despite your attempts, consider talking to a professional.

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. There can even be undiagnosed mental health conditions that need to be addressed, such as treating anxiety or depression symptoms. A therapist is often trained to help sort through surface problems, challenge the underlying cause, and offer the couple validation and support. 

Communication Skills 

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. Professional help from a marriage counselor can assist individuals in identifying these situations and working through their feelings to avoid allowing past hurts to transfer to their partner. 

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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.  

Education 

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 graduate degree in psychology or a related field, or have 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). 

Once licensed, couples counselors can continue to certify in a number of different areas or therapy theories. For example, a popular relationship specialty is Gottman method couples therapy. Gottman method couples will use a series of tools and strategies that are used by licensed therapists that are trained in this methodology.

Fairness 

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.  

Comfort 

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. 

Objectiveness 

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

Cost 

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 

Licensed therapists are a popular option for couples counseling and maintaining healthy relationships. Many therapists offer individual and couples counseling in their private practice. Whether you're looking for premarital counseling or couples counseling 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. 

Takeaway

If you or your partner think your relationship requires support, consider seeking a couple's counselor. You can search for someone in your local area or find a service online. When looking for a counselor, talk to a few and read reviews from past clients. Note that therapy may not be an immediate fix. You and your partner may choose to commit to sessions before you find relief.

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The information on this page is not intended to be a substitution for diagnosis, treatment, or informed professional advice. You should not take any action or avoid taking any action without consulting with a qualified mental health professional. For more information, please read our terms of use.
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