What is Couples Therapy?
Couples therapy can be helpful to couples dealing with crises (e.g. infidelity, parenting stress) in addition to couples who are hoping to proactively work on concerns they have noticed arise in their relationship. For example, many couples hope to work on their communication prior to marriage or want to clarify their parenting goals prior to giving birth/conceiving. To talk more about your specific goals and how COPE can be helpful, contact us below.
Couples Therapy Goals
Although many come to couples therapy with the goal of changing their partner, our overall goal is to help each partner express their unique perspective, help gain greater perspective of their partner’s experience, and to change the pattern of communication that often leads to difficulties in the relationship. Collaboratively, we work towards creating a DEEP understanding of the relationship.
What treatments are there for couples?
Although there are several evidence-based couples therapy interventions, providers at COPE largely operate from an Integrated Behavioral Couples Therapy perspective where the fundamental assumption is that “Differences are not deficiencies.” Every relationship has some natural differences between its members. For example, often times there is one individual who is a saver while the other is a spender. Or one individual is more emotional while the other is more logical. From our perspective, these differences that occur in relationships are natural and are not the cause of problems in a relationship, but it is the pattern of communication that develops as a result of these differences.
What are some of the natural differences in the relationship? (e.g. “I want to save money for our future and all he/she wants to do is spend it.”
• Emotional reactions/sensitivities
What are some of the reasons that make “these” particular situations so triggering for you? (e.g. “My parents cheated on each other.”)
• External circumstances/stressors
What are some external factors that contribute to the present difficulties in the relationship? (e.g. “I lost my job.”)
• Pattern of interaction
What is the pattern of communication that contributes to some of the difficulties? (e.g. “When I ask questions, he/she dodges them.”)