The Raphael Remedy

What Couples Want and How Couple Counseling Can Help

by | Aug 4, 2016 | Counseling

The number of couples seeking counseling has undoubtedly increased in recent years, and while some might view this fact in a negative light it actually shows an increase in couples dedicated to resolving what has somehow “gone wrong” in their relationships. While it was once more common to see women initiating the desire to seek counseling, in more recent years, men are increasingly seeking assistance in working out their relationship issues.

It has been my experience that men and women seek many similar qualities within their relationships. Both want respect, acceptance, understanding, open communication, reciprocated love, and quality time with their partner, physical intimacy, and equal partnership.  Couples many times experience dissatisfaction in their relationship when sensing a deficiency in any of these important areas.  While many believe that lack of intimacy may be the main cause of couples that seek counseling, in actuality, it is more often the lack of feeling understood or loved, which can result in physical issues within the relationship.

Once these issues do surface and are realized by the individual, the next step is deciding what to do about it. How do you address them with your partner? What is the answer to your problem? Is this something that can be dealt with as a couple alone together? Or, do you need a third party to help you resolve these issues?

All these questions and more enter everyone’s mind at some point or another. However, many feel apprehensive at the thought of “needing” to open themselves, and their lives to an outsider. Many men and women find themselves venting to a close friend or confidant to find some sort of support or understanding.  While talking to a third party may help, it is important to choose the right person to talk to. That is where couple counseling by a professional Marriage and Family Therapist can help.

Couple Counseling brings both individuals together to address their issues, share their future expectations and begin to mend broken or struggling relationships using various techniques, such as the Family System Method. These therapy techniques help individuals recognize how they let others know how they feel or express affection.  Is it through verbal proclamations or through your actions?  Better yet, how does an individual interpret affection from their partner?  Is it through physical contact?  Verbal affirmation?  Being taken care of or feeling safe? These can differ from individual to individual, and as a result affect how we perceive information and feelings from one to the other. The ability to effectively communicate and interpret feelings and affection are essential in a successful relationship.

So, in allowing a couple to evaluate their communication systems and identify how they are each able to improve it helps lead the way to resolving many issues. Couple are often surprised to see how successfully they are able to address and start to resolve their problems by learning to communicate productively.

It takes committed participation and persistent dedication from both in order to work through the issues to resolve what has caused the couple’s relationship to suffer. It also shows great determination in achieving a successful partnership by seeking professional assistance. Couple therapy can be challenging but it can also help bring about the changes needed to have a successful relationship.

While all couples want to be happy, for some it takes a little help.

Maria Ramos, MS, NAMA
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