If you’ve been having problems in your relationship, couples counselling can be of great benefit.
When you and your partner are stuck in a loop, arguing about the same things over and over again, couples counselling is more than just a chance to unload to an objective third party.
By seeing a couples counselling psychologist, you and your partner will gain a better understanding of how each of your contribute to the relationship problems, and learn new ideas and skills to help you improve your relationship.
Truth #1: Your Couple Relationship is Important
The truth is, that if you are having relationship troubles, it will affect every area of your life. You and/or your partner are much more likely to also struggle with depression, anxiety, physical illnesses, and substance abuse – not to mention the significant negative impacts on any children.
So it’s really important to make sure that you take care of your relationship as a couple, as ongoing problems can damage both your psychological and physical wellbeing.
Truth #2: You Are Not Alone
Don’t be embarrassed or ashamed to seek professional help for your relationship difficulties. Psychologists see many couples, just like you. Here are just some of the more common problems which prompt people to see out couples counselling:
- Problems with communication and negotiation;
- Arguments and violence;
- Contemplating separation and divorce;
- Mental health issues;
- Problems with sexual functioning;
- Jealousy, possessiveness or impassivity;
- Blended family conflicts.
Truth #3: Couples Counselling Works
Much research has been done into the area of couples therapy, to identify which interventions and strategies have the best therapeutic outcomes. When you see a psychologist for couples counselling, you can be confident that the process is not only tailored to your unique needs, but that it is also based on evidence from published research studies.
The Gottman Method has proven to be one of the most effective in strengthening a couple’s relationship, and for this reason is commonly used in couples counselling.
What is the Gottman Method?
The Gottman Method is based on mastering several relationship principles:
- Building love maps, by asking open-ended questions of each partner;
- Building a fondness and admiration system by expressing affection and respect in even the little things;
- Turning towards each other, instead of away or against, by noticing each partner’s needs for emotional connection;
- Allowing positive sentiment overrides;
- Managing conflict by using dialogue about problems, and practising self-soothing;
- Honouring each other’s life dreams;
- And building meaning into the life you share together.
I have extensive training and practice in the Gottman Method, and clinical psychology. Based on my clinical experience, I believe that good couples counselling is about creating intimacy and emotional bonds between you as a couple, identifying problem areas, and also focusing on equipping you with communication and relationship skills.
NB If you are interested in improving your relationship with couples therapy, but your partner is not keen, please read my article “Couples Counselling on Your Own“.
Author: Claire Pang, B Psych (Hons), Masters of Clinical Psychology.
Claire’s work in the hospital environment, the disability sector and private practice has expanded her knowledge and skills in helping people dealing with life’s challenges, such as improving their relationships. She gains great fulfillment and inspiration through witnessing human resilience again and again in her clinical work.
To make an appointment with Clinical Psychologist Claire Pang, try Online Booking. Alternatively, you can call Vision Psychology Brisbane on (07) 3088 5422.
- Gottman, J., & Gottman J (2008). Gottman Method Couple Therapy. In A. S. Gurman (Eds.), Clinical Handbook of Couple Therapy. NEW York: Guildford Press.
- Clinical Training – Gottman Method Couples Therapy
- Gottman, J. S (Eds.). 2004. The marriage clinical casebook. New York: Norton.
- Taibbi, R. (2009). Doing couple therapy. New York: Guildford Press.