Marriage is an intricate relationship. Each couple encounters numerous roadblocks in the course of their married life. Some overcome them on their own and some require a little external help. Those who struggle with their relationship but cannot find a solution to their problems can seek help from marriage counselors. Marriage counselors are proficient in identifying problems in a relationship; they can help couples search, discover and eliminate the hurdles that cause troubles in their relationship. This, however is an oversimplification of what marriage counseling really entails. Had it been so easy, couples facing troubles in their relationship would have head to the counselors, who would have diagnosed and treated their problems, and there wouldn’t have been any broken relationships or divorce!
If you are determined to fix your relationship and want to seek help from a marriage counselor, the first thing that you have to do is find the method of counseling that will be suitable for you. The second step is to find a good counselor that uses your choice of counseling technique. Wrong counseling technique or an inept counselor can make your marital problems worse. There are cases in which couples, under incorrect counseling guidance have ended up creating a battlefield in the therapist’s office, spewed awful venomous things against each other and drove their relationship to the end.
Every marital problem is different, every person in a marriage is different and therefore all marriage counseling techniques are not effective for all the couples. Here’s a list of couples therapy methods that are used to treat relationship problems.
1. Insight-gaining therapy
The couples, who have arguments frequently, strain their relationship to a point that they are not able to view their problems clearly. They perpetually stay angry at each and their resentment keeps growing. After a point of time their fights become absolutely pointless and all they accomplish by that is, blaming and pointing fingers at each other.
Such couples should seek a marriage counselor that uses insight gaining therapy. In this method, the counselor studies the couple’s interaction, their lifestyle and their relationship objectively. The counselor collects data about what goes on between the couple and tries to identify the root cause, the primary reason of their conflict. Then, creates a plan about how to counsel them, how to solve their problem and how to improve their way of interaction.
2. Communication counseling
Communication problem is one of the major reasons why couples drift apart. There are couples who do not communicate their feelings truly due to the fear of being ridiculed or making their partner angry or unhappy. Although this does not cause any verbal conflicts or fights, it does create emotional distance between the couple.
Communication-focused-counselors are most suitable for such couples. They teach couples why expressing their feelings to their partners is crucial for their relationship and how to correctly express themselves, so that they don’t hurt, annoy or infuriate their partner. They help to revamp the couple’s system of interaction and fill the emotional void of their relationship.
3. Attachment therapy
Couples who have been married for a long period time often experience loss of romance and passion in their relationship. The emotional distance between the couples sometimes grows to the extent that they become hesitant about sharing their personal feelings. They fear that their intimate feelings will not be validated or will be rejected by their partners, they feel ridiculous in admitting those feelings and hence they don’t.
In such case attachment therapy can be useful in getting the partners closer to each other. This therapy encourages partners to speak to each other about extremely private feelings, even things that are trivial and don’t really matter. This exchange of emotions helps to rejuvenate romance in the relationship and strengthens the communication between the couple.
4. Psychodynamic couples counseling
When one or both partners act somewhat irrationally in a relationship, conflicts are bound to happen. Reason behind irrational or dysfunctional behaviour can be an unpleasant childhood experience or some minor psychological disorder. Such people have distorted views about their relationship and are hence incapable of reacting rationally all the time.
A psychodynamic counselor can help such people by identifying their behavioural pattern and deciphering the reason behind the odd behaviour and counseling the affected person and their partner about rectifying that and having a better marriage.
5. Gottman method of couples therapy
Misunderstandings also create differences between couple and it’s hard for couples to resolve them on their own. Gottman method of couples therapy can be very effective for them. In this method, the couples are made to map their own and each other’s happiness, sorrows, worries, anxieties and hopes. This helps them understand each other better and erase the misunderstandings that caused conflicts in their relationship. This makes couples see each other in a new light and increases appreciation and respect in their relationship.
6. Positive psychology couples therapy
In a long term relationship the thrill and excitement sometimes gets withered and couples forget how fortunate they are to have a caring and stable partner. Positive psychology therapy helps couples to remember, acknowledge and embrace the good things that happen in their relationship everyday. In this therapy the counselor makes the couple make note of the things that made them smile and feel happy in a day. This makes couples feel positive and brings back some excitement in their relationship.
These are some of the effective marriage counseling techniques can help couples identify the problems in their relationship and can help them improve their relationship.