Sunday, February 18, 2018

Why Couples Therapy?

Why couples therapy?

By Nicole Reger, MS, CRC, LPC-Intern, Supervised by Katrena Hart, LPC-S

Because relationships are hard.  Having a private place to work through tough places and improve understanding and connection improves our lives.  When couples learn to take care of one another their relationship improves, each person in the relationship grows stronger, and so does the community of people around them, including their children, their parents, their friends, their co-workers, and even their neighbors.  So couples therapy is good for couples, good for us, good for families, and ultimately good for society.  Makes sense, right?

So why is it that when people find out I work with couples their reactions often reveal wildly negative attitudes about couples therapy?  These negative attitudes concern me since research (and common sense) indicate that when people hold a negative view of couples therapy they are less likely to seek help.

These negative views of couples therapy reveal layers of fear regarding the couples therapy process: 1) fear of stigma, 2) fear of scrutiny and/or judgement, and 3) fear of exacerbating their issues.    Fear of stigma is revealed in the hushed way a friend confesses to previous couples’ therapy.  Fear of scrutiny when an acquaintance remarks, “that must be fun” in a salacious/sarcastic tone –as though counseling functions like a tabloid, getting the dirt on couples and exploiting their secrets.  Finally, the fear that counseling will worsen their tensions sounds like “Oh, my spouse would go crazy if I made him/her go to therapy.”   

 Then it’s my turn in the conversations.  I tell them the truth.  I love working with couples.  No, really, I do.  It’s a challenge, with tremendous rewards and times it’ even fun!  At this point the other person in the conversation is either skeptical or doubled over with laughter.  But I’m serious. 

Couples therapy is a gift to yourself and your partner.  And trust me, your kids/family/friends/co-workers/neighbors won’t thank you directly, but they will be glad you went, too.  As for the layers of fear; stigma, judgement, fanning the flames...start with a consultation.  Decide as a couple if it is a good fit.  Set some ground rules and short-term goals, maybe 3-4 sessions, and see how it goes.  Relationships are hard.  Working to strengthen your relationship may be the best move you ever make.




Bridging Harts Institute & Psychotherapy
203 S. Alma St. Suite #300
Allen, TX 75013
T: (972) 562 5002
Email: info@bridgingharts.com


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