What Is Couple Therapy?
Couple therapy is a means of resolving problems and conflicts that couples have not been able to handle effectively on their own. It involves both partners sitting down with a trained Psychologist to discuss their thoughts and feelings.
The aim is to help them gain a better understanding of themselves and their partner, to decide if they need and want to make changes, and if so, to help them to do so. The therapist is a professionally trained, objective third party who will listen to both partners as they express their thoughts and feelings and help them identify and clarify problem areas. Most therapists start with an assessment. In an assessment, the therapist asks about the problems and how both people see them, the history of the relationship, and the individual histories of the partners. This enables the therapist to develop a deeper understanding. Most therapists will discuss their impression of the situation with the couple at the conclusion of the assessment. The couple then can decide whether to accept the therapist’s recommendations about whether or not to enter therapy and what kind of therapy to pursue.
Once the couple enters therapy, the therapist’s interpretation of issues may offer the couple a new perspective, which permits a change in feelings and behaviour. The therapist may act as a mediator, attempting to clear up misunderstandings in communication. This is often difficult for people to do themselves because they are emotionally caught up in the situation. The therapist may also help the partners consider alternative ways of handling problematic situations.