April 25, 2020

5 Things Couple Therapy Can Help With—Part 1: Overview

Multiracial lesbian couple, at the couple therapy

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​Whether you have tried therapy before, know someone who has, or have a friend who you think should go to couple therapy—you may be wondering what couple therapy can actually help with.  This will be the first post of a 6 part series on 5 things couple therapy can help with; in the weeks to come, I’ll go into each category in more detail.

1. Fighting

Each couple fights differently. Some couples yell and curse, and others are more passive aggressive and function on the silent treatment. Then you have most couples that fall somewhere in-between or have a combination of both. Regardless of your fighting style, you may find that fights about the dishes are never really about the dishes. Couple therapy can help you understand the pattern you get stuck in and help you communicate better when you fight. (Read more about how couple therapy can help with fighting here.) 

2. Loneliness

Many people would say that loneliness is worse than being alone. Nothing is more painful than being emotionally alone in a relationship. This loneliness stems from emotional disconnection.  While communication skills can help, couple therapy can also help you learn to emotionally reconnect so neither of you are alone in the relationship. (Read more about how couple therapy can help with loneliness here.) 

3. Sexual Disconnection

When we are out of sync emotionally, this can impact our sex lives. You may notice more anxiety around sex when there is an emotional disconnect. Some individuals experience an increase in their sex drive after fights, and others find that their sex drive decreases—in couple relationships this can lead to a discrepancy between partners in their interest in sex. Couple therapy can help couples reconnect after fights in order to be on the same sexual page, ultimately enhancing sexual pleasure. (Read more about how couple therapy can help with sex here.

4. Feeling Insecure

A romantic relationship is simultaneously the source of the greatest security and comfort, while being the scariest and riskiest place to be vulnerable. When someone is the most important person in the world, it is only natural to feel insecure. When we are emotionally disconnected, we feel more insecure in the relationship. The key to managing this insecurity is building a relationship where sharing vulnerability is valued and treasured. Couple therapy can help you take the risk to be vulnerable while also training you how to create the emotional safety for you partner to be vulnerable with you. (Read more about how couple therapy can help with feelings of insecurity here.

5. Confusion On How It All Went Wrong

If you are like the rest of us, you probably sometimes wonder, “how the h*ll did we even get here?” Fights and disconnection create a vicious cycle that can take over the relationship. This cycle can appear to come up out of nowhere—even when you thought the relationship was going good. Couple therapy can help you regain control of your relationship by recognizing the cycle you both get into and empowering you to change the pattern. (Read more about how couple therapy can help with understanding what went wrong.

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    About Author

    Elizabeth Polinsky is a Certified Emotionally Focused Couple Therapist (EFT) providing EFT marriage counseling in the states of Virginia, Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Arkansas, and Nevada. She also provides EFT training and supervision to therapists looking to become certified in EFT Couple Therapy. As a military spouse, she has a special passion for working with military and veteran couples, and is also the host of The Communicate & Connect Podcast for Military Relationships.

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