My Relationship Is In Crisis: How Do I Find Couples Counseling Near Me?
By: Stephanie Kirby
Updated February 03, 2020
Medically Reviewed By: Whitney White, MS. CMHC, NCC., LPC
When people think of dating, marriage, and romantic relationships they usually think of things that make them happy. Their mind is filled with thoughts of enjoying time together, participating in activities together, dancing, dinners, and gifts. You imagine that when you are with the "right person" everything will be wonderful, but relationships aren't always like that. Not only do all relationships face their share of difficulties, but sometimes people find themselves in the middle of a relationship crisis. This leaves them wondering, "How do I find couples counseling near me?"
How Do You know If Your Relationship Is In Crisis?
Sometimes in a relationship, something happens that lets you know right away that your relationship is in crisis. For example, if you find out that your significant other had an affair, there's no doubt that your relationship is in crisis. However, there are also times when things aren't great, but people aren't sure if it's a problem or not. After all, everyone says that relationships are hard so it can be difficult to tell if you are experiencing real problems or normal struggles.
Here Are Some Signs That Your Relationship Problems Are Something That Needs to Be Addressed:
- You spend more and more time apart. At the beginning of a relationship, it's normal to want to spend all your time together. It's also normal for this to ease up a little the longer you are together. However, if you notice that you're spending less and less time together, it could be a sign that your relationship is in trouble.
- You never resolve your disagreements. Disagreements are normal in a relationship, but if you find that you're constantly disagreeing and then never resolving the disagreement it could lead to future problems. When you don't resolve disagreements, it can build up into resentment and bitterness. While you aren't going to agree on everything, it's a problem if you find that you're constantly ignoring issues.
- Needs are being met in unhealthy ways. It's unhealthy to expect that your significant other is going to meet all your needs, but it's also a problem if one of you is meeting needs in unhealthy ways such as with drugs, alcohol, pornography, shopping, or eating.
- You can't agree on how to parent. When you can't agree on how to parent your children, it can leave your relationship in a constant state of frustration. Over time this can make the relationship seem unbearable to one or both of you.
- You don't care to argue anymore. It's not that arguing is a good thing in a relationship, but it's a problem if you don't even care enough to argue. When couples don't even care to argue anymore, it's because one or both people have checked out of the relationship
How To Know When It's Time To Try Couples Counseling?
If you know that your relationship is in crisis, you have three options. The first is to simply stay in the relationship without making any changes and just deal with it. The second option is to call it quits and just throw in the towel. The third option is to seek help, such as couples counseling, to work on improving your relationship.
If your relationship has been hit with a crisis or if you have reached an impasse where things just don't seem to improve then you might want to give couples counseling a try.
How Couples Counseling Can Help
When you meet with a licensed therapist for couples counseling, they will help you get to the underlying issues in your relationship. Many couples tend to fight about surface problems without ever truly getting to the real issue in their relationship. This means no matter how much they argue they are never solving any problems. A therapist is trained in helping sort through the surface problems to find out where the real problem lies.
Therapists also help you spot breakdowns that you have in communication. Sometimes problems in a marriage can start to be solved simply by improving the communication skills between the couple. Other times the therapist can help the couple determine where boundaries need to be set in their lives. It could be setting boundaries with their parents, spouses, friends, or employers.
Therapists are often able to help a couple that has experienced larger problems like broken trust by helping them work to a place of forgiveness so they can start rebuilding trust with each other.
Sometimes the problems that couples have within their relationship stem from situations or experiences that one or both individuals experienced in their past. This could be situations like bad relationships with their parents or having been abused. Therapists can help people to identify these situations and work through their processing their feelings, so they don't bring past problems into a current relationship.
These are just some of the ways that therapists can help couples.
Options For Couples Counseling Near Me
If you have decided to give counseling a try, there are several options you can consider. There are some nonprofits and religious organizations that offer couples counseling. One of the advantages of this is that they are often more affordable. However, the individuals performing the counseling might not be licensed and specially trained in relationship counseling. Therefore, you may want to consider another option.
Licensed therapists are a popular option for couples counseling. Many therapists offer both individual and couples counseling. You can find a therapist with a simple online search. However, you want to make sure to check the reviews and credentials for any therapist you will work with.
Another option is to consider online counseling or telecounseling. These services allow you to communicate with a licensed therapist without having to leave the comfort of your home. Many times these services are also more affordable than going to counseling in person.
What to Look For In A Counselor
It's important that you gather all the facts before deciding what options to choose from couples counseling. Some of the things that you should look for in a counselor include:
- Education - You want to choose a counselor that has been trained in counseling. There are many individuals out there that call themselves things like "relationship coaches" that have no real training on providing counseling for couples. You want to make sure that you choose a counselor that has been trained.
- Doesn't take sides - If you are meeting with a therapist or counselor that seems to be taking one side over another, it's a good sign that you need to find a different therapist. A good therapist will stay out of getting in the middle of choosing sides in your relationship. If they are taking one side over another, they will not be in a position to help the relationship improve.
- Someone that you are comfortable with - Sometimes certain people just rub you the wrong way. If you're uncomfortable, it's going to be hard for you to open up and be honest about your situation and your feelings. The same is true for your significant other. For counseling to be the most effective it needs to be with a therapist that both of you are comfortable talking to.
- Someone who keeps their opinion to themselves - Therapists are people, so there's a chance they may have an opinion about whether you should stay together and work through your crisis, however, a good therapist will never reveal their opinion. Regardless of how much training they have, it's not their place to tell you whether you should call it quits on your relationship. Those in the relationship should make that decision. The only time a therapist should recommend that someone leaves a relationship is when it's unsafe for them because of abuse. A therapist will work with you on your goals, whatever those may be.
- Cost -Therapist come with a range of prices. Make sure to see if your health insurance provides you any covered benefits. You can also ask the therapist if they have a sliding scale based on income. Or, you can check with a local university to see if they have any graduate students that provide counseling at more affordable prices. Licensed therapists oversee them.
Remember to trust your gut. If your gut is telling you something's not quite right, then finding another therapist.
Finding A Couples Counselor
If your relationship is in crisis, then it's time to start looking for a couple's counselor. You can search for someone in your local area. You'll want it to be someone easy for both you and your significant other to get to for appointments, or you can find a service online like BetterHelp, that allow you to meet from anywhere you can connect to the internet. There are some advantages to online counseling such as the convenience of location and sometimes a lower price.
When looking for a counselor, it's helpful to talk to a few first. This will give you a good idea of who you might be comfortable working with. Remember, that counseling is not an immediate fix when your relationship is in crisis. Counseling requires a commitment to attend and follow through with the work.