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What can a couples therapist help with?

A therapist can help a couple navigate a wide array of challenges, including balance in the relationship, communication and conflict, boundaries, intimacy and sex, parenting and conflicts with children, family dynamics, life transitions, stressors, job losses, deception, affairs, grief, alcohol or substance use, mental or physical illnesses, general unhappiness, and separation or divorce.

When does a couple need to see a counselor?

A couple may want to seek counseling if they have relationship challenges that they can’t solve themselves. Common circumstances that lead couples to seek therapy include a breach of trust (such as an affair or financial deception), increasingly frequent arguments, poor or dysfunctional communication, a tragedy or loss, diminished emotional or physical intimacy, and the feeling that something is wrong, even if they don’t know what it is.

What therapy types are most suitable for couples counseling?

Couples counseling encompasses many effective techniques, including emotionally focused therapy (changing emotional responses to improve attachment), the Gottman method (solving problems and building intimacy), Imago relationship therapy (unearthing childhood experiences), narrative therapy (exploring narratives about the individuals and the relationship), solution-focused therapy (creating a plan for change), and cognitive behavioral therapy (targeting problematic thoughts to change behavior).

How can I recognize a good couples therapist?

A great couples therapist strives to unify a couple’s individual goals; the therapist views the relationship as the client—not partner A or partner B—and collaborates with the couple to achieve their relationship goals. A good couples therapist asks questions that help the couple better understand one another, facilitates healthy communication, teaches problem-solving skills, and maintains a collaborative, positive tone.