Most commonly known as couples’ therapy, relationship counselling is defined as attempts made by couples to improve their romantic relationships and resolve interpersonal conflicts, under the guidance of a relationship coach. Relationship coach is also known as relationship counsellor or couple’s therapist. Such counsellor listens to both boy and girl, giving advice accordingly. Today, relationship counsellors for gay couples are also available.
As most of the relationship counsellors are trained in more than one modality, they can integrate different approaches as per the requirements of clients (couples), depending on the specific challenges that clients are facing in the relationship.
Couple ‘s therapists consider all options for types of couple's counseling. It is necessary for couples to work with counsellors they feel comfort with and have good rapport with. Only then relationship counsellors can validate the problems of couples and effectively address them.
Need for relationship counselling:
Earlier, counselling for couples was only for married couples and at that time, concept of counselling for couples was all about marriage counselling, not relationship counselling as decades ago, romantic relationships before marriage was not something that most people would pursue openly. However, today unmarried couples often seek counselling to see if it is possible for them to take their relationship to the next level (marriage) or whether their relationship has the potential of being taken to that level.
Relationship counselling can be a powerful tool to determine whether a couple is wishes to increase intimacy, or to build trust after a betrayal, or to improve communication, or just wishing to navigate their differences as individuals.
Responsibilities of relationship counsellors:
Couples seek relationship counselling when they feel that their relationship is in trouble and they cannot solve problems on their own. That is why they seek help from relationship counsellors:
The responsibilities of relationship counsellors are as follows:
Provide a confidential dialogue to couple so that the two partners can normalize their feelings.
Ensure that both partners are heard and can hear themselves.
Help partners to improve communication.
Identify any negative interaction cycle as a pattern.
Understand what kind of emotions drive that pattern.
Help partners maintain intimacy.
Types of relationship counselling:
The Gottman Method:
This counselling focuses on criticism, contempt, defensiveness, and stonewalling that couples might have for each other. Relationship counsellors draw their results by focusing on couples sharing their relationship histories, discovering shared values, exploring areas of disagreement, and various triggers that might ignite tension or situations of argument between the couples. Couple ‘s therapists help couples to gain specific tools (in terms of psychology and game-type exercises meant for building team-spirit or increasing cooperation between couples) to help manage conflict.
According to a 2018 study, many couples scored significantly higher in intimacy rankings and overall relationship quality after they attended ten sessions of Gottman's couples’ therapy.
Originally designed for individual use for the treatment of issues such as anxiety, depression, eating disorders, and substance abuse, cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) centers around the notion that thoughts can influence the behavior of a person.
Initially, a CBT therapist focuses on identifying what each partner is thinking about the conflicts because of which the couples decided to seek counseling. Then he starts giving advice to the couples.
Discernment counseling is for conflicted couples. Conflicted couples are defined as couples where one partner wants to save the relationship and the other wants to end the relationship as soon as possible.
The primary goal of discernment counselling is to help the couple see and explore all of their options to consider before they decide the final fate of their relationship.
Emotion-focused therapy (EFT) is believed to be one of the most researched couples therapy which has been tried and tested successfully on various occasions.
Here, a couples therapist asks each partner to share specific, problematic events in the relationship. After that, he/she helps the couples to work with him/her to identify, explore, and figure out the underlying emotions that are contributing to those situations.
Imago relationship therapy:
According to the beliefs of this therapy, the problems between couples happen due to unmet childhood needs and unhealed wounds that are very likely to become conflicts, sensitivities, or pain points, later in adult relationships.
Imago therapy is based on the premise that each partner experienced certain images in their childhood and based on those images, developed perspectives about what a relationship should look like. The therapy aims to bring these images into consciousness so that both partners can identify negative thoughts, feelings, and behaviors and work accordingly to figure out the childhood experiences that impact how one should behave with his/her partner.
Imago relationship therapy takes place as a three-step process of mirroring concerns, validating concerns, and expressing empathy.
Narrative therapy is based on a philosophy that the stories two partners tell themselves can shape their decisions and behavior toward each other. This therapy revolves around correcting negative narratives that may have the potential to sabotage the relationship dynamic.
Here, the relationship counsellor helps the couple to see and understand the erroneous beliefs and themes from their lives that can or are deteriorate their bond. The therapy focuses on developing new narratives that foster greater intimacy.
Solution-focused therapy is suitable for those couples where both partners want to save their relationship.
This therapy invites couples to envision the positive changes they aspire for. Therapists helps couples talk and decide the steps they should take to achieve their goals.
Benefits of relationship counselling:
The key benefits of relationship counselling include improved communication between couples, deeper connection at emotional level, and renewed intimacy.
CBT helps couples to develop better methods of communication with each other. According to a research, CBT can effectively treat communication difficulties and present conflict resolution desirable to the couple seeking counselling.
According to a 2019 review of nine studies, emotion-focused therapy could effectively improve marital satisfaction. Additionally, according to a 2015 study whose sample comprised of 30 infertile couples, EFT significantly helped the respondents to derive higher physical, emotional, and sexual satisfaction from their partners.
According to a 2017 study, couples experienced "statistically significant" hikes in marital satisfaction after completing 12 sessions of Imago relationship therapy.
According to a 2016 study, couples undergoing eight sessions of narrative therapy not only experienced a reduction in their marital conflict, but also an improvement in their sexual relationship.
According to a 2018 study, brief solution-focused couple therapy could significantly reduce "couple burnout". Couple burnout is defined as a condition where a person (or both partners) feels lack of interest and attachment towards one‘s partner at physical level, mental level, and emotional level.
Finding Relationship Coaches with HelloDr:
Not just teenage, even early adulthood is also the time for young love. Whether worries about proposing or coping with break-up, HelloDr can find you relationship coach that you would like to confide in. And even if you are in a relationship and wishing to find ways to keep it stable, HelloDr can also help you to find couple therapists whose advice would guide you towards the right path. So click here and find the relationship coach that suits your requirement. The list of relationship coaches affiliated with HelloDr is visible only to the registered users.