Couples Counseling Specialist

Wellness Road Psychology

Psychologists located in Midtown East, New York, NY & Tarrytown, NY

Are you and your partner struggling to navigate the complexities of your relationship? Do you find it difficult to communicate effectively, resolve conflicts, or maintain trust? Couples counseling might be the solution you need.

Whether or not you have identifiable problems in your relationship, the therapists at Wellness Road Psychology, can help you and your partner improve your communication patterns with couples counseling at Wellness Road Psychology. To book an evaluation and find out if couples counseling is right for you, call the office or use the online scheduling tool at your convenience.

Key Takeaways

  • Couples counseling helps couples address and resolve relationship issues, improve communication, and strengthen their bond.

  • It employs an integrated approach using techniques from various forms of therapy such as EFT & CBT to identify and address communication, trust, conflict resolution & life transition issues.

  • Couples can benefit from improved connection & healthier relationships through open communication, increased empathy & conflict resolution in counseling sessions.

Two people sit closely together, with one resting their head on the other's shoulder, inside a modern, light-filled building.

What is Couples Counseling?

Couples counseling, also known as marriage or relationship counseling, is a form of therapy designed to help couples address and resolve relationship issues, improve communication, and strengthen their connection. It is provided by professionals such as licensed mental health counselors, marriage and family therapists, and even religious or spiritual leaders.

Couples counseling can take various forms, including premarital counseling to prepare couples for marriage or behavioral couples therapy to address specific relationship challenges.

The Goals of Couples Counseling

Couples counseling primarily aims at pinpointing and addressing relationship challenges, enhancing communication skills, and nurturing a healthy, supportive partnership. Through a series of therapy sessions, couples can learn to understand each other’s emotional needs, explore their relationship’s strengths and weaknesses, and develop strategies to enhance their connection and resolve conflicts. Focusing on these objectives enables couples to lay a solid foundation for a lasting, fulfilling relationship.

When to Seek Couples Counseling

Couples may seek counseling for various reasons, including:

  • Communication difficulties
  • Trust issues
  • Conflict resolution
  • Life transitions

The objective is to resolve issues and improve the relationship. Many tools employed during therapy sessions aim to identify conflicts, coping strategies, and their effectiveness. Addressing these concerns empowers couples to collaboratively overcome obstacles and fortify their bond.

Approaches to Couples Counseling

Different therapeutic approaches can be used in couples counseling, depending on the couple’s needs and the therapist’s expertise. Couples therapists often employ an integrated approach, drawing upon techniques from various forms of therapy, such as Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT) or Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT).

One of the most well-known evidence-based methods of couples therapy is the Gottman method, which focuses on both scientific principles and documented evidence regarding relationships.

Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT) is a form of couples therapy that focuses on attachment theory and aims to assist couples in establishing secure and fulfilling connections. EFT’s fundamental tenets include:

  • Emotional awareness
  • Relational focus
  • Empathy
  • Experiential processing

Numerous studies have demonstrated that couples who receive eight to 12 sessions of EFT experience reduced relationship distress and increased satisfaction for both partners. The benefits were also observed two years after treatment ended.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is another form of psychotherapy that assists couples in recognizing and altering detrimental thought processes and behaviors contributing to relationship issues. CBT in couples counseling involves:

  • Recognizing and questioning unfavorable thoughts and convictions
  • Focusing on the present
  • Cultivating effective communication and problem-solving abilities
  • Establishing explicit objectives

CBT can address a range of issues in relationships, such as interpersonal difficulties, communication issues, trust issues, infidelity, and intimacy problems.

Solution-Focused Brief Therapy (SFBT) is a therapeutic approach that focuses on discovering solutions and strengthening the relationship through existing strengths. Some techniques employed in SFBT include:

  • Recognizing prior solutions
  • Recognizing exceptions
  • Offering compliments
  • Executing more of what is effective
  • Recognizing progress

This approach emphasizes finding solutions rather than dwelling on problems, thus promoting a more constructive and forward-looking perspective for couples.

The Process of Couples Counseling

The process of couples counseling typically involves assessment, skill development, and progress evaluation before concluding the therapy. During the assessment stage, the therapist gathers information about the couple, such as their history together, backgrounds, areas of difficulty, and objectives.

Skill development and practice involve learning and applying new communication and problem-solving techniques. Finally, progress evaluation and termination focus on assessing the couple’s progress and determining when therapy should end.

Assessment and Goal Setting

During the assessment and goal-setting phase of couples counseling, the therapist will:

  • Identify relationship issues
  • Establish therapy objectives
  • Evaluate each partner
  • Instruct in constructive communication techniques
  • Create a secure atmosphere for candid communication

The therapist and the couple will collaborate to define clear goals for the therapy and outline a plan to achieve those goals.

Skill Development and Practice

Skill development and practice in couples counseling are critical aspects of the therapeutic process. Learning new communication, conflict resolution, and emotional regulation techniques enables couples to establish healthier coping mechanisms and interaction strategies. Practice is essential for learning and reinforcing these newly acquired skills, both in therapy sessions and at home.

Consistent application of these techniques can bring about enduring positive changes in relationships.

Progress Evaluation and Termination

Progress evaluation and termination are the final stages of couples counseling. During this phase, the therapist assesses the couple’s progress using various methods, such as questionnaires and feedback. The therapist and the couple will determine if the therapy goals have been met and whether the couple is ready to conclude therapy.

If the couple feels they have achieved their objectives and made significant progress, they may decide to end therapy and continue applying the skills they have learned independently.

A couple sits on a couch, attentively listening to someone off-camera. They are holding hands, and a person in the foreground is taking notes. Shelves with books are in the background.

Preparing for Couples Counseling

Preparing for couples counseling involves finding a suitable therapist, setting expectations, and getting ready for the first session. This includes seeking referrals or recommendations from primary care physicians, family practitioners, insurance providers, and acquaintances, as well as researching online to find a mental health professional that specializes in couples counseling.

Once a therapist is found, couples should discuss their therapy goals, session frequency, and potential challenges that may arise during the couples therapy sessions.

Finding the Right Therapist

Finding the right therapist is crucial for the success of couples counseling. Couples should consider the following qualifications when selecting a therapist:

  • Training in marriage counseling
  • Experience working with couples
  • Specialization in couples/relationship counseling
  • Trustworthiness
  • Licensure in a relevant mental health field

The ideal therapist creates a safe environment where both partners feel heard, validated, and equipped to navigate their challenges. Wellness Road Psychology is a leader in this space due to their holistic approach to relationship healing. Their team of dedicated professionals offers evidence-based therapies that prioritize the mental, emotional, and relational wellness of their clients. By focusing on creating tailored therapeutic experiences and emphasizing open communication, Wellness Road Psychology helps couples reconnect, heal, and thrive together.

A couple sits on a couch holding hands while a therapist takes notes on a clipboard at a nearby table. There are glasses of water and a tissue box on the table.

Setting Expectations

Setting expectations before starting couples counseling is important for both partners. Couples should openly discuss their therapy goals and what they hope to achieve from the counseling process. They should also set realistic expectations about the frequency of sessions and mental, emotional, and financial commitments involved in counseling.

A clear understanding of what to anticipate allows couples to approach therapy with positivity and readiness for engagement in the therapeutic process.