Couples Therapy in New Hampshire

Couples counseling is a form of psychotherapy aimed at helping couples navigate relationship stressors with the help of a licensed couples therapist.

Contact Us At: (888)610-2847

A range of 70 to 90% of couples have reported that couples therapy was beneficial for their relationship. Two-thirds of them also stated that therapy helped with their well-being too.

Even after stopping therapy, couples continue to thrive in their day to day, using the tools they acquired during sessions. More than 70-80% of couples who don’t go to therapy break up faster than those who do.

In this post, we aim to educate those in relationships on the benefits, principles, and effectiveness of couples therapy. We’ll explain what to expect and what not to say as well. Read on for answers to some frequently asked questions too.

What Is Couples Therapy? Impressive Statistics to Know

Couples counseling is a form of psychotherapy aimed at helping couples navigate relationship stressors with the help of a licensed couples therapist.

Additionally, couples therapy isn’t strictly for couples. It can also address marital issues, problems with long partnerships, and troubles that first-time parents go through.

Let’s take a look at some interesting numbers to further prove how important couples therapy is:

  • 98% of couples report receiving excellent help from couples counseling therapists (according to the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT)).
  • AAMFT also found that 93% of couples reported having the necessary tools to deal with relationship stressors and common issues.
  • In another AAMFT study, 90% of couples claim to see a significant improvement in their emotional and physical wellness.

Now that we’ve defined couples therapy and its effectiveness, time to learn what happens in couples therapy.

What Happens in Your First Couples Therapy Session?

You’ve likely heard the myths about how therapy doesn’t work, that couples still end up breaking up after it and that therapists end up blaming one partner for all the relationship issues.

It’s myths like these that cause more than 80% of males in a couple pairing to put up a fight and refuse to attend a session. Instead of expecting the women to keep pushing their male partners, this section demystifies relationship counseling. 

Assessment

Your therapist, after introductions are made, will start by assessing you as a couple. They’ll ask about the reasons for coming in, what each of you is expecting from couples therapy, and if you have concerns. They might also ask if there’s a pressing issue you need to discuss first.

Understanding the Underlying Issues

Next, the therapist will continue to ask questions, prompting different conversations between the couple. These help the counselor see where the problem lies – whether it’s communication, emotional disconnection, major life transitions, mental health issues, or lack of intimacy.

Opening the Floor for Questions

After establishing a safe space, your therapist will move on to opening the floor to you. During this part, you’re free to ask questions concerning the future. Some examples to get the ball rolling are:

  • What’s expected from us out of this office?
  • What approaches and techniques will you be using in therapy sessions?
  • Is therapy going to work for us?

Discussing the Future

Towards the end of your 50-minute session, the therapist will outline what future in-person meetings will include and how frequently they’ll need to see you. They might also recommend additional counseling services (such as individual therapy or premarital counseling) if needed.

What Not to Say in Couples Therapy

Just as knowing what to expect is important, knowing what not to say in a session is equally crucial. Since you’d like couples counseling to be worth the investment of time and money, keep in mind our advice below.

  • “You always/never do this”: This type of black-and-white thinking is highly inefficient and unproductive. These accusations shut your partner down and lead them to be more defensive.
  • “Why can’t you be more like my ex?”: Comparing your partner to previous ones never bodes well. You’re in therapy to make your relationship work, not the one with your ex.
  • “You’re so (lazy/rude/…etc.)”: Insulting your partner will also cause them to withdraw, hindering progress.
  • “It’s not my fault.”: Lashing out or acting in defense doesn’t help. Be open to new perspectives and go in with a flexible mind.
  • “Sure, like you’re so perfect.”: Sarcastic statements like these, or even humorous ones, do more harm than good. They show you’re not taking the matter seriously and that you’re deflecting.
  • “You’re overreacting/being sensitive.”: Don’t dismiss or belittle your partner’s emotions. Allow them this safe space to share their thoughts.

We’d also recommend that you don’t interrupt your partner while telling their truth about the relationship. Make sure your body language is open too, instead of defensive. For example, don’t cross your arms or roll your eyes but look at them and show that you’re actively listening.

Finally, avoid ultimatums at all costs. Don’t put pressure on your partner by saying “You have to do this or it’s over”. Ultimatums rarely help a person be less reluctant to do what they aren’t comfortable doing. The solution here is to work with your therapist toward a compromise that benefits you both.

What Are the Principles of Couples Therapy?

It’s advised that you know what couples therapy is based on—even if loosely. This way, when you go in for your session, you’re not completely clueless about what the therapist says. While they’ll still explain everything unprompted, having some idea of what principles they might follow won’t hurt.

Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy (EFCT)

EFCT is a psychotherapy that follows the same basis as EFT (emotionally focused therapy) but is more catered to couples facing emotional issues. With EFCT practices, therapists guide clients toward identifying the behavioral or mental patterns that lead to relationship distress.

Further, EFT, which EFCT is based on, is an evidence-based approach derived from attachment theory. The latter explains the different attachment styles one can develop either with their caregiver/parent or partner.

Interestingly, a staggering 70-75% of couples reported their relationship dynamic improving because of EFT. In the same study, 90% of them added that they experienced major positive changes as a couple, thus proving the psychotherapy’s efficacy.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

CBT, on the other hand, is a type of talking therapy. Its primary focus is identifying the cognitive patterns responsible for certain negative behaviors. With the help of a therapist, you and your partner can better understand what leads you to act a certain way or do certain things.

As a result, CBT helps couples bond on a deeper level. For instance, when you know your loved one’s triggers, you can avoid them better. Additionally, CBT helps you acknowledge the damaging behaviors you exhibit that harm your partner. The therapy also offers you the tools to combat them.

The Gottman Method

This is a form of therapy invented by the power couple Dr. John Gottman and Dr. Julie Schwartz Gottman. The Gottman Method is made by a couple, for couples. It’s a science-rooted, evidence-based approach that rebuilds an entire relationship.

The Method has nine parts that a therapist can help a couple apply to their partnership. With those characteristics, they learn to strengthen their bond, form a friendship (not just a companionship), problem-solve, and increase intimacy.

FAQs: Understanding Couples Therapy Better

Can couples therapy help with a breakup?

Couples counseling doesn’t just help with active relationships but with breakups as well. A licensed therapist shows both partners how to navigate the feelings of grief, hurt, pain, and often denial that come with a breakup.

Can couples therapy bring back love?

Conflict is inevitable and couples therapy isn’t a magical, all-round solution. Instead, it’s a mediator, a facilitator of effective communication and conflict resolution. With the tools gained, you end up with a healthy relationship.

Is couples therapy the end of a relationship?

Couples therapy should never be a last resort. It’s also a myth that attending a couples counseling session equates to the end of your relationship. Many couples wish they had started therapy earlier than 3-5 years in.

How long do most couples do therapy?

Depends. Your therapist has to factor in the intensity of the issues you’re facing, your commitment to getting better, and more. On average, couples attend therapy for 8-12 sessions before seeing results. That can last a few weeks; though, you can always go for longer (a couple of months).

What percentage of couples break up after couples therapy?

It’s established that couples counseling has a high success rate. Many studies also point to how satisfied couples are with the results. That said, nothing is definite. 38-40% of marriages still end in divorce 4-5 years after.

Can Couples Therapy Save My Relationship?

Couples therapy can indeed save your relationship if a licensed therapist deems it salvageable.

They’ll prep you with the proper therapeutic tools and principles to better navigate your relationship stressors. They’ll do so while remaining objective and would never blame one party for everything wrong in a partnership.

So don’t wait. Contact us today at Live Free Recovery Center and schedule your first session with one of our esteemed couples counselors.

Published on: 2024-07-10
Updated on: 2024-07-10