Many couples can become entrenched in negative cycles, power struggles, or difficult feelings that arise during the course of their relationships. The good news is that you are not alone. On the road to true intimacy, trust, and connection, relationship friction is considered normal and even a necessary part of a viable relationship process.
What is Marriage Counseling?
Marriage counseling, also called couples therapy, is a type of psychotherapy that helps couples better recognize and resolve conflicts and to improve their relationships. By bringing to light previously hidden patterns, encouraging authentic communication, and assisting couples to make thoughtful interpersonal decisions, partners can learn to communicate better, negotiate differences, and even resolve conflicts in a healthier way.
Couples counseling assist couples through:
- Creative problem solving
- Challenging the “status quo”
- Mediating difficult conversations
- Creating safety
- Enhancing connection
- Advocating to minimize emotional neglect
What Happens in Marriage Counseling?
In marriage counseling…
- Both partners are given the chance to share their concerns and perceptions of the marriage.
- You’ll each learn communication skills and other ways to strengthen your marriage.
- Spouses are asked to respectfully listen to each other and attempt to truly understand what concerns their partner has.
- You’ll help repair and heal relationship injuries.
- You’ll have the opportunity to grow and connect more deeply
- You’ll be invited to examine yourself as well as your partners contribution to some of the challenges in the relationship
- You’ll learn active skills to help you stay connected and engaged
- Focuses on repairing the past, healing the present, and creating a more positive future.
Who is Marriage Counseling For?
Marriage counseling is a great option for couples who…
- Have grown apart
- Gave unproductive arguments
- Clash around “hot button” issues
- Have threatened divorce
- Have significant amounts of resentment
- Desire assistance with difficult conversations
- Need help navigating an unconventional relationship
- Have gone through affairs
- Have parenting, financial, or sexual concerns
- Are struggling with addiction or codependency concerns
- Have religious, spiritual, or cultural differences
- Feel stuck or lost
Counseling Theories That Can Offer Greater Understanding And Help Improve Your Marriage
Erickson’s Theory Of Psychosocial Development
This theory postulates that partnering and intimacy are human developmental mandates and that as such there is an important developmental task inherent within intimate relationships. Additionally, because coupling is seen as developmental, it is not viewed as necessarily an easy area to navigate and thus some of the challenges can reach a critical mass and benefit from some intervention and additional support.
- The Intimacy vs. Isolation stage, a crucial period when people develop relationships with one another, learn how to resolve conflicts, and form bonds.
Communication Styles & Love Languages
These ideas have become more and more popular in recent years and really shed light on some of the unique differences within human beings. This thought shares that by having a better understanding or “love map” of your partner’s “language” that you’ll have fewer “misses”, more compassion, and be positioned better to meet your partner's emotional needs.
- That everyone’s different—we all communicate differently and have different social needs.
- Communication styles can affect the way we share and receive information with others, and while some are helpful, others can be harmful to your marriage
- Moreover, romantic partners often express and experience love differently…. knowing your partner's love language and letting them know yours’ can help you ensure you both feel loved and appreciated in your relationship.
Individual Beliefs & Cultural Considerations
Every relationship can be considered its own culture made up of each other’s cultures, ideas, and beliefs. By becoming more consciously aware of your partner’s cultural background and experiences you can increase empathy, bonding, and support within your relationship.
- How a person’s individual beliefs about marriage can greatly effect how they ‘show up’ in a relationship.
- How being open to your partners’ individual perceptions can increase your empathy for each other, allowing you to be more sympathetic about each other’s perceived flaws.
- How a person’s upbringing and culture can also influence an individual's perception and expectations regarding marriage and family.
Speak to Professional Marriage Counselor in Austin, Texas
Louis Laves-Webb provides comprehensive marriage counseling for Austin couples’ who need help improving their relationship.
Our science-based, process focused, and goal oriented therapy is used to help marriages and couples bond more deeply, trust more effortlessly, and find more joy within their partnership.