Couples Counseling in Texas
Some people feel intimidated when it comes to going to couples therapy but in reality, going to couples counseling can be a very healthy step for a relationship. Things do not have to even be that bad to benefit from going to couples or marriage counseling. Wanting to go to couples therapy can be a sign that you are interested in working on your relationship in a committed and intentional way. Here is a guide for couples counseling in Texas to help you understand a bit more about couples therapy and when you should go and what the benefits could be for you and your partner.
What is Couples Counseling in Texas?
Couples therapy is a form of psychotherapy that can help you and your partner improve your relationship. If you are having struggles in your relationship couples therapy can give you the tools and skills to overcome them.
Couples therapy can help address a wide range of relationship issues such as feelings of disconnection, recurring conflict, issues related to sex and intimacy, an affair, substance abuse, grief or difficulties due to external stressors.
Couples therapy can help at any stage of a relationship regardless of age, marital status, faith, race, or sexual orientation. It is never too early or too late to seek support with your relationship. Our culture does not really teach us how to have a healthy relationship and the tools and skills needed to support this. Therefore many people are also not taught the right skills and tools from their families that will support a healthy and happy relationship or marriage.
Is Couples Counseling Right For Us?
Do you wish that you could communicate better with your partner? Do you wish you could find ways to stop arguing over certain things? Do you wish you could feel closer or more connected to them but are not sure how to do this? Couples counseling could help you achieve all of this.
It is common for couples to face difficult times. It is normal for relationships to have ups and downs. Sometimes though you may find you feel stuck and are not sure how to get out of some unhealthy patterns that are keeping you and your partner disconnected. At this point, it might be good to seek out some help from a marriage or couples counselor. They can help you find and learn new ways to approach problems or difficulties and to help build greater intimacy and connection.
10 Signs You May Benefit From Seeing a Couples or Marriage Therapist
Couples seek counseling for many different reasons but here are signs you and your partner may benefit from couples counseling.
- You fight or bicker all the time.
Negative communication includes anything that makes you feel ashamed, judged, blamed, disregarded, or insecure. Negative communication can be in the tone of a voice, it is not always what you say but how you say it. Negative communication can turn into emotional abuse as well as non-verbal communication. Often the issues that are being fought over or bickered about are actually signs of something deeper that is going on such as past hurt or pain or feeling like one’s needs are not being met.
- When you are not talking.
Lack of communication in a relationship can be very painful and make you feel alone even when you are around those closest to you. When communication has deteriorated all together it is often hard to get it going in the right direction. Counselling can help facilitate this reconnection and give new tools and skills to help with communicating.
- The same issues keep coming up.
If you find that you continue to argue over the same things it might be a sign you need some support with processing whatever is coming up in a different way. Often couples do not have the tools or skills to process what is coming up effectively thus they continue to resurface. It can be helpful to learn those new tools and skills that might just not have been modelled to you growing up.
- You are going through big life transitions
Big transitions can be hard to navigate and going to counselling can help make it smoother. Learning as a couple to address and process endings and creating new beginnings can be a positive experience. Making sure you both are on the same page can help with a big move, career changes, new additions to the family, also large losses. Both positive and difficult transitions can present challenges for couples, having support can make it a true growing experience.
- You believe everything will be better if they just change.
It is common to put everything on our partner and believe that they are the source of our frustration, pain, irritation, anxiety, etc. but when we do this, we give away our power. You have more control over your reaction to people and how much you take on others’ emotions and behaviors. This does not mean you do not set and communicate boundaries with your partner to help improve behavior but if you place your well-being and happiness in another’s hands you will suffer more. A lot of people get into relationships hoping the other person will change or become their potential eventually, but this is a very dangerous desire.
- You feel you have to pretend everything is fine.
When you feel like you have to pretend everything is fine to keep the peace or you are scared of what will happen if you say how you are feeling or what you need you may benefit from some support. Many people’s past experiences may result in fear around bringing up certain topics as they do not want to upset their partner, so they keep them inside. This builds greater separation and resentment in a relationship. Couples can help with communication in a way that feels safe and so you can feel heard and seen.
- You are on different pages when it comes to intimacy
Intimacy includes not just sexual but also mental and emotional intimacy. The desire to be close to your partner and to be seen and heard is all part of intimacy. Some people may be okay with sexual intimacy but not with emotional or mental. When one has an avoidant or anxious attachment style this also greatly impacts one’s ability to be intimate in a relationship. Couples often struggle with both sexual and emotional intimacy during certain periods of relationships.
- You are thinking about or have had an affair
The fantasy of having an affair is a sign that you are desiring something to be different than what it currently is. It is a sign that there needs to be honest communication around your needs with yourself and with your partner. It is possible for a relationship to survive after an affair, but it helps to get help before that occurs. If both people are committed to therapy though and open to being honest and creating positive change a marriage can be re-claimed after an affair. Or therapy can help with a more conscious uncoupling where both people feel it may be healthy to move on.
- When there are financial disagreements
Money can be a difficult topic for certain couples. How we view money is impacted by how we grew up and the value we put on it. Couples can have different views and beliefs about money. It can be damaging if one partner is keeping the other in the dark about their spending habits also if one partner feels the need to control everything money related.
- When there is a conflict in parenting styles
Differing parenting styles can be difficult for couples to discuss and can lead to a lot of tension in the family. This is especially true for blended families. Having a counsellor create a neutral space where each person can be heard and understood can help facilitate more coherence and alignment between couples when it comes to parenting.
Benefits of Couples Therapy
There are a number of proven benefits that couples receive from counseling. It can help reduce relationship distress while increasing relationships satisfaction. It helps people to feel more connected to their partner and themselves. It helps to create a sense of secureness in the relationship along with more connection, fun, playfulness, and a deeper sense of intimacy.
Here are 8 benefits that couples counseling in Texas can offer:
- Deeper Understanding of Each Other: Often in long-term relationships one can have the false belief that they really know everything about their partner, but in reality, we can never really truly know someone completely and this is okay this opens the door to ongoing curiosity and growing with your partner. Therapy can reintroduce your partner so you can better understand their fears, hopes, feelings, values, priorities, and beliefs. Bringing back the curiosity you had when you first met helps keep the passion alive in relationships.
- The Feeling of Being Seen and Heard: Sometimes it can be hard to feel truly seen and heard, even by those closest to us. Counselling can open the door to this feeling of being truly witnessed and accepted for who you are with your partner. Feel truly seen is a beautiful feeling that helps build greater connection and compassion in relationships.
- Better Communication Skills: Many couples struggle to communicate what they really need from the relationship and from their partner. This may be because they are not totally clear of what these needs are yet. Counselling can help you better understand your needs and how to communicate better with each other. It can help with expressing yourself without falling into attacking or blaming.
- Identifying Relationship Issues: Your therapist can help with identifying issues that are leading to conflicts, feelings of disconnect, and lack of trust. It can be hard to spot the underlying causes of these emotions and feelings, but a therapist can better see them and help couples to communicate and process any unmet needs or unhealthy beliefs patterns that might be sustaining them.
- Conflict Resolution: Often issues get brought up but not fully resolved. In therapy, these issues can be resolved. Often when couples try to discuss and process these things on their own everything is not brought out onto the table and thus things continue to go unresolved. Counsellors can help each partner through the steps needed to move through true forgiveness or resolution.
- Better Attachment: Many couples struggle when they have an insecure attachment style. A counsellor helps to make each partner’s attachment style more secure which creates greater bonding and intimacy.
- Strengthen Friendship: Through therapy, couples can strengthen their friendship. They can bring more fun and playfulness back into the relationship as well. It is easy for couples to fall into different roles like the parent, career roles, caretaking, provider etc but what often gets lost is the friendship and playfulness, counselling can help bring this back.
- Learn New Skills: Couples therapy is often short-term and meant to teach you and your partner new skills so you can use them in your relationships. Having new skills and a deeper understanding of each other should take you forward on your own in your relationship.
Types of Couples Counseling
There are several different couples’ therapies that can be supportive. Here are a couple of popular approaches:
Emotionally Focused Therapy: This form of therapy helps couples improve their attachment and bonding. It helps couples identify negative patterns and helps them to reframe issues and helps each partner feel heard and accepted. It helps partners become more aware of each other needs and helps partners with being able to communicate with more empathy and understanding rather than defensiveness or anger.
This approach helps create a safe haven within the relationship with better emotional functioning and stronger bonds. It is effective with addictions, trauma, depression, chronic illness, and infidelity.
Gottman Method: This approach helps couples reach a higher level of intimacy and interpersonal growth. It helps couples achieve a deeper sense of understanding, empathy, awareness, and connection to the relationship. It helps couples to identify natural defences that are negatively impacting effective communication. It uses therapeutic interventions, and couples exercises to help couples build a stronger, healthier and happier relationship with each other.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT): this form of therapy helps couples to identify and change thought patterns that are negatively impacting their behaviour and the relationship. This approach works to improve communication, empathetic understanding, and positive behavioural changes that support the positive growth of the relationship.
How To Get Started with Couples Counseling in Texas
If you feel like your relationship may benefit from couples therapy, it is important to discuss this with your partner and see how they feel about this option. If they are unsure or resistant explain to them why therapy is important to you and how you feel it will help.
If your partner is willing, and you are ready to seek couples counseling in Texas, you can always reach out to LiveBeyond Counseling and Coaching at one of our offices in the Fort Worth, Alliance, Southlake, Keller, Texas areas to book a consultation to meet a therapist. It is important to also discuss scheduling and times that work for you both. Couples therapy can be offered in-person or online if you both have busy schedules or one of you works or live out of town.
Couples Counseling in Texas involves joint sessions, but sometimes individual sessions are also suggested to help each individual work through some issues that have been impacting the relationship. If one partner is dealing with issues such as trauma or substance abuse a therapist might suggest specialized therapy treatment for this.
In your first session, you may be required to fill out detailed medical records and if you have insurance information. Sometimes, counselors, have you complete a questioning so they can understand your relationship better and the issues you are facing and goals and hope you have for therapy.