Have you ever experienced challenges in your relationship? If you answered “no” to that question, we’d love to hire you to lead our couples counseling services here at Cornerstone Christian Counseling! But in all seriousness, you answered yes to that question because you realize every relationship has its own challenges, including yours. Don’t worry, you’re in good company.
When two unique people come together, they have to adjust to the differences in each other’s habits, lifestyles, and expectations. These differences inevitably lead to communication breakdowns and misunderstandings, or more serious issues like financial problems, parenting conflicts, and even infidelity.
It’s usually not the issues themselves that matter, it’s the way they’re handled.
Couples counseling is an excellent way to get the tools for handling relationship issues in a way that pours into the relationship instead of taking away from it. By going through counseling with your partner, you learn to communicate better, handle conflict, and find ways to strengthen or repair your relationship. A survey by the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy found that around 75% of respondents felt couples counseling helped strengthen their relationship and improved their communication skills.
There’s often this stigma that couples counseling is only for people on the brink of breaking up or getting a divorce. That’s simply not true. ALL forms of relationships “qualify”, although their specific challenges might be different. That’s why our Christian counselors treat premarital counseling and marriage counseling as two separate focuses. Some focus on one, while other therapists are extremely well-versed in both.
Check out the tips below, and schedule a couples counseling session today (Online, CO, FL).
7 Ways to Strengthen your relationship through couples counseling:
1) Be open and honest
The first step to getting the most out of couples counseling is to be open and honest with your partner and your therapist. Share your feelings, your concerns, and your fears. It’s essential to remember that your counselor is there to help you, and they can only do so if they have all the information they need. Holding back or being dishonest will only hinder the therapy process and prevent you from seeing the change you need.
2) Be willing to change
One of the most significant benefits of couples counseling is that it helps couples identify areas where they need to change. This can be challenging. Change is uncomfortable for many of us, and it’s human nature to resist it. However, if both you and your partner are willing to at least be open to change, it can lead to significant improvements in your relationship. Remember, the goal of couples counseling is not to assign blame. The focus should be on identifying areas of improvement and finding ways to make the relationship stronger.
3) Listen to your partner
Communication is one of the biggest challenges couples experience, and it’s often the main reason they seek couples counseling in the first place. During each therapy session, it’s crucial to listen to your partner and try to understand their point of view. This means actively listening, being present in the moment, and avoiding distractions. When you truly listen to your partner, you can learn more about their needs, fears, and concerns, which can help you work together to find solutions.
4) Be patient
Couples counseling is not a quick fix. It takes time, effort, and patience. Progress is gradual and setbacks can happen along the way. Don’t get discouraged if you don’t see immediate results. Keep working at it and trust the process. Again, the goal is to build a stronger, more resilient relationship that will last a lifetime.
5) Practice outside of therapy sessions
Couples counseling sessions are only one aspect of the therapy process. To get the most out of this journey, you and your partner need to practice what you learn outside of therapy. This means actively implementing the strategies and techniques discussed in sessions in your everyday lives. For example, if you’re working on communication, make a conscious effort to listen actively and speak honestly with your partner. Set aside a “safe space” time each week to talk about what you learned and agree to not place blame. Practice makes perfect, and the more you implement what you learn, the more it will become a part of your natural behavior.
6) Stay committed
Commitment is key to the success of couples counseling. Both partners need to be committed to the process, and this means attending all sessions, participating actively, and following through on the strategies discussed in therapy.
7) Celebrate your progress
Finally, it’s essential to celebrate your progress along the way. Couples counseling can be challenging, and it’s easy to focus on the negative aspects of the process. Intentionally recognize and celebrate the positive changes you’ve experienced from therapy.
At Cornerstone Christian Counseling, we believe that every relationship can benefit from counseling, whether you’re a premarital couple or have been married for decades. Our Christian counselors are well-versed in premarital and marriage counseling, and we’re committed to helping you build a stronger, more resilient relationship that will last a lifetime. When you’re ready, give us a call or schedule an appointment online. Strengthen your bond, not your arguments. Couples counseling can help improve communication, deepen intimacy, and build a happier relationship.
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- Stephenson, K. R., Sullivan, K., Christensen, A. (2021). The role of couples counseling in improving relationship satisfaction. In J. B. Jones (Ed.), The Handbook of Relationship Counseling (pp. 121-136). Elsevier.
- About Marriage and Family Therapists. American Association for Marital and Family Therapy (Accessed 3/2023)
- Sprenkle, Douglas H. Marital and Family Therapy: A Practice-Friendly Review of Research on Its Effectiveness (Lebow et al., 2012)/li>
- Journal of Marital and Family Therapy
- Gottman, J. & Silver, N. (1999, 2015). The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work. Random House, LLC: New York.
- Johnson, S., & Hunsley, J., & Greenberg, L., & Schindler, D. (1999). Emotionally focused couples therapy: status and challenges. Clinical Psychology: Science and Practice, V6 N1, 70-73.