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Relationships are dynamic and change over time. Couples therapy can help you develop as a couple, resolve communication issues, or work through sexual problems. Here we look at couples therapy as a treatment.

How couples therapy works

Couples therapy focuses on addressing communication problems in the relationship. Good communication is a prerequisite for dealing with the challenges you face in a relationship. Life exposes couples to challenges and situations that they are often not equipped to deal with.

When necessary, couples therapy can be used to provide professional advice on whether or not your relationship should continue.

A UK study of 30,000 people who attended relationship counselling found the most common issues dealt with at therapy were: communication problems (79.7%), rows and arguments (68.9%), and managing conflict (67.8%).

Couples therapy can help you gain a better understanding of each other, improving the way you manage challenges together.

What set our therapist apart was her genuine empathy and personal insight. Not only did she possess a deep understanding of neurodiversity, but she also shared personal experiences that resonated with us, creating an instant connection and fostering a sense of trust!

Benedetta Osarenk

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Couples therapy is recommended for everyone, even couples without immediate problems in their relationship. Therapy helps strengthen the bonds of a relationship and can prevent future problems you may face as a couple. Consider booking an initial session with one of our therapists to see how they can help you with your particular situation.

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What gets talked about in couples therapy?

Couples therapy is not only about digging into problems. It is equally important to concentrate on what works well in the relationship. A common approach used by therapists is to let both parties talk about how they experience their relationship, what works well and what could work better.

Common questions in couples therapy focus on the past lives of both partners. Previous relationships, childhood, and events that have affected each person are important to understand behaviour. This understanding improves the guidance your therapist will provide.

An important element of couples therapy is getting right to the point and ensuring the both parties are listening. Couples are given space to express their thoughts, feelings, and wishes without interruption. The therapist will listen to you both equally and provide strategies to encourage acceptance of each other’s behaviour.

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8 common questions about couples therapy

When should you seek help with couples therapy?

Here are some examples of situations where couple therapy can help you:
Difficulty communicating. Things have been quiet between you for a long time.
The relationship requires a lot of energy, more energy than you get out of it.
You have difficulty trusting each other.
You are thinking about divorce.
Difficulty forgiving each other.
Unsatisfactory sex life.

How much does it cost to go to couples therapy?

Treatment varies depending on a therapist’s experience and the length of sessions. Sessions generally cost between €30 – €100. Please find out more about our therapists’ prices on their profile pages.

What is the purpose of couples therapy?

Couple therapy aims to help couples improve their communication, resolve conflicts and strengthen their relationship. It can also help increase understanding of each other and create a more satisfying and sustainable relationship.

How long does the process of couples therapy take?

The time frame for couples therapy varies depending on the complexity of the issues being addressed. Some couples might require a shorter period of therapy than others. The therapist will discuss with you and suggest a suitable schedule based on your needs.

What methods and techniques are used in couple therapy?

Therapists use different methods and techniques based on a couple’s needs and goals. Common methods include communication training, managing conflict resolution, emotional processing, and exploring childhood patterns. The therapist may also provide homework and exercises to strengthen the relationship between sessions.

How can you prepare for couples therapy?

Preparing for couples therapy involves being open to reflecting on your thoughts, feelings, and behaviours. It is important to be willing to listen to and support your partner. It can be useful to consider your expectations and goals for the therapy and be prepared to communicate openly with each other and the therapist.

What can you do if your partner is reluctant to engage in couples therapy?

If a partner is reluctant to participate in couples therapy, it is important to respect their feelings and not force them into something they are uncomfortable with. Instead, discuss your concerns and explore the possibility of seeking help later. Being open and non-judgemental helps create an atmosphere of mutual respect.

What if couples therapy doesn’t work for us?

If couples therapy is not producing the desired results, communicate this with your therapist. They can then adjust their approach or suggest alternative strategies. Your specific situation might be suitable for other options such as individual therapy.

Problems often encountered in couples therapy

Relationship problems can take different forms. Here are some of the most common:

  • Communication difficulties
  • Sexual difficulties
  • Infidelity
  • Lack of trust
  • Abuse
  • Divorce
  • Jealousy
  • Financial issues
  • Roles in the home
Lavendla – Making the difficult easier

3 tips on couples therapy

  1. Invest in your relationship.
    Being passionately in love is wonderful. At the beginning of a relationship there are almost no obstacles. Life goes on and your sex life works well. Love and sex are good building blocks for a successful relationship. If there is a strong attraction to each other, you should invest in your relationship. If you feel that communication is deteriorating or sex is not working satisfactorily, don’t hesitate to see a counselor. Allowing a professional counselor to help you find the joy and desire to be with each other again could be the best investment you make.
  2. Learn to express yourself through ‘I-messages’.
    If you have a tendency to frequently point out your partner’s flaws or shortcomings, your partner will probably become defensive about what you say about him or her. It’s easy to get caught up in this dynamic and it can easily kill the wonderful feeling you have for each other. An effective way to have a sustainable connection and fruitful communication can be to learn how to express ‘I-messages’. This is based on taking responsibility for your own feelings and thoughts by expressing them to your partner. You do not pay attention to your partner’s behavior in the first place, but to your own feelings and thoughts. Examples of so-called. You-message: “You are so stupid! Your ears are wrong because you can’t hear what I’m saying!” Example of I-message: Sometimes I don’ t feel listened to. I don’t feel understood. I get sad when that happens.
  3. You don’t have to separate when someone has been unfaithful.
    Many people may think that you automatically have to separate when someone in the relationship has been unfaithful. Infidelity can be an expression of many things. It does not necessarily have to be directly related to the relationship you are in. See a counselor who can help you find the root cause of the infidelity. Be honest in your communication and use the therapist to help you accept each other’s feelings. The wounds of betrayal and infidelity can be healed, even if it takes time. Couples therapy can be a very good investment.

Written by dominic

Dominic is a Cape Town-based copywriter and editor with a background in psychology.