How Can Couples Therapy Help Me?

Core principles of the Gottman Method can be applied to relationships to help improve them.

It is well known that relationships between two individuals regardless of the type of relationship is a two way street and requires a lot of work and empathy from the two people for the relationship to succeed. Non-Platonic relationships often require the most amount of work due to the vulnerability aspect that comes with being involved in a non-platonic relationship. People in such relationships may look for assistance with their relationship in the form of couples therapy. Couples therapy can be a valuable resource for anyone looking to improve their relationship, it also teaches them how to improve multiple aspects of their relationships. The complexity around relationships can give rise to issues, such as miscommunication, unresolved conflicts, external stressors, etc.

There are a wide range of methods that couples therapists use to help their clients, some of these methods are:

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT): CBT will help couples identify negative thinking patterns, communication styles, and behaviors that give rise to conflicts between partners. These patterns are often unconscious and deeply rooted as personal core beliefs. CBT offers tools and techniques for distrusting and reworking maladaptive thoughts and beliefs. This can be done by questioning the evidence behind these thoughts, considering alternative perspectives, and replacing negative thoughts with more realistic and positive ones. CBT also promotes effective communication between partners, this helps them express themselves clearly and communicate their needs and wants effectively. 

Gottman Method: Core principles of the Gottman Method can be applied to relationships to help improve them. The core principles are as such:

  1. The Sound Relationship House: This targets the essential factors of relationships; trust, intimacy and commitment. Couples learn to assess and strengthen each of these factors to create a solid and lasting partnership.
  2. The Four Horsemen: Four toxic communication patterns; criticism, contempt, defensiveness, and stonewalling are labelled as ‘the four horsemen’. These four patterns are specifically targeted and replaced by healthier behaviours to help interactions between the partners. 
  3. Emotional Intelligence: By emphasizing the importance of emotional intelligence it teaches partners to effectively express their emotions by strengthening connection and promoting empathy. 
  4. Conflict Management: The Gottman Method teaches couples how to manage conflicts between the two by helping them understand each other’s perspective, reaching middle ground and also by taking breaks to better understand their own individual thoughts which will help them manage the conflict without hurting their partner.

Couples therapy provides a safe and constructive environment for couples to address these issues. Here are some ways couples therapy can help with these issues:

1. Improved Communication: Communication is the foundation of every relationship, therapy helps couples learn effective methods of communication to express their feelings and thoughts to each other. It also teaches couples how to listen to each other and make the other person feel heard. It also provides tools and strategies for resolving conflicts, improvement in communication will minimize the occurrence of such conflicts resulting in a more understanding and healthier relationship. 

2. Improved Intimacy: Couples therapy can reignite the flame of intimacy between the couple leading to a more satisfying and successful relationship. The bond between the partners can also be fortified as a result of this newfound intimacy. Intimacy between partners can be increased by addressing multiple factors such as, sexual intimacy, emotional understanding, trust, etc. 

3. Individual Growth: Couples therapy also provides partners with tools that help with personal growth. Some of the skills that it teaches are self-awareness, the ability to establish boundaries, to respect space, etc. By learning these skills partners can establish a sense of individuality and respect one another to create a more supportive and healthy environment, it also allows them to be more transparent in their actions and communication as a result of the increased trust between the two. Although self-awareness is very personal and subjective, it still ends up helping the relationship by teaching individuals how to deal with their problems themselves without needing to affect their relationship.

“We come to love not by finding a perfect person, but by learning to see an imperfect person perfectly.”

– Sam Keen

Couples therapy delivered by professional psychologists in Mumbai is a resourceful tool for couples to strengthen their relationship regardless of the current state of their relationship. At ImPerfect, we believe there is no ceiling to a good relationship and can always be fortified. 

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