What are some relationship challenges?
It can be advantageous to be in couples or family counseling. Some may seek out individual therapy to improve communication or to solve relationship problems. Every relationship can be a work in progress as people and their needs change over time.
Family Relationship Issues
Some common issues families may face are:
- Misunderstandings and poor communication
- Balancing individual needs with family needs
- Financial stress
- Parenting style disagreements
- Generational conflicts
- Coparenting up to, during, or after a divorce
Intimate Relationship Issues
Whether a new relationship or long-term relationship, challenges happen in:
- Financial priorities
- Parenting choices
- Extended family members / in-laws
- Grief from the loss of a loved one
- Differences in desire for sexual intimacy or types of intimacy
- Division of household responsibilities
Types of Relationship Therapy
Premarital counseling helps couples think through potential challenges and develop healthy communication skills. Couples may also share common values and expectations to establish a strong foundation for a healthy marriage.
Marriage counseling, or couples therapy, focuses on conflict resolution, developing better communication, and goal setting. A provider can help enhance understanding and provide tools for effective problem-solving.
The Gottman Method was developed by Dr. John and Dr. Julie Gottman for couples therapy. It emphasizes building friendships, building love maps, and creating shared meaning. It also uses assessments to identify strengths and areas of growth.
Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT):
Emotionally focused therapy aims to de-escalate negative thought patterns and restructure the emotional foundation. It builds on positive interaction patterns, creating a strong emotional connection.
Family therapy can help the dynamics and relationships within a family unit. It helps navigate communication patterns, roles, and interactions to identify and address conflicts. A provider would help with effective problem-solving and tools to navigate challenges. This can be helpful to help family members when one or more family members struggle with mental illness or to help facilitate a healthy co-parenting relationship during a divorce.
What should I expect in a therapy session?
Upon meeting the provider, those in the relationship can expect to discuss various topics such as their communication methods, daily routines, responsibilities, and why they decided to make an appointment.
When a psychologist facilitates a relational/family therapy session, they act as a facilitator and aim to connect the partners/members to one another. The provider starts from a non-judgmental stance with the object of helping all members establish a healthy, happy connection over time.
Clients work on goal-setting during their session such as realistic days/times to connect with each other. A therapist can also help give ideas on how to spend quality time together or navigate difficult conversations.
Making a Couples/Relational or Family Therapy Appointment
If you are struggling with your relationship, please reach out. Our doctoral-level providers are here to help you.
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Why seek help from a psychologist rather than some other type of therapist?
- Psychologists are among the most rigorously trained mental health professionals. Psychologists complete doctorate level coursework, several years of clinical rotations/practicums, a year long predoctoral internship, & a year long postdoctoral fellowship.
- In addition to having the highest level of training, psychologists are licensed to complete psychological assessments (often with comparative normative data to help you understand and target a specific concern) to fully understand a concern. Psychologists often see this initial assessment as the key to designing an informed, individualized, and focused treatment plan.
- Psychologists also receive extensive training in research in order to ensure only treatments that have been studied by researchers and shown to work, are used.
- Psychologists often have medical / healthcare backgrounds and work closely with physicians and other medical providers when biological interventions are incorporated into treatment (e.g., medications).