People sometimes see relationship/couples therapy as a last resort, something to be avoided at all costs. Even once they’ve decided to go, they often dread that first session, expecting it to be a negative experience.
But relationship therapy can be an opportunity to develop a greater understanding of yourself, your relationship, and one another by understanding the impact of context and your histories.
Validating your experience
Life can be hard. The things it throws at us can be hard. And navigating those things whilst maintaining a relationship can be really hard.
Having someone that’s a third party see you both in context and acknowledge what you’ve been trying to navigate can feel incredibly validating.
Acknowledging the past
We arrive in relationships with all the experiences and expectations of the past, but we rarely have the time to take stock of how they continue to impact our relationships today.
As well as our individual experiences prior to the relationship, working with a therapist can help you explore the things you’ve navigated together and the meaning each of you may have attached to them.
Acknowledging past experiences in this way can help you better understand each other’s perspective, bringing more empathy to the relationship.
Seeing yourselves as a team
Having dedicated time set aside outside the daily rush allows you to think about more than what you’re having for dinner.
It’s an opportunity to think about your shared values and how the different aspects of your identities intersect.
Just making the decision to go to relationship therapy is a sign of your commitment to understanding one another, investing in your relationship, and building a future together.
Learn new skills
Going to relationship therapy together can help build a wide range of skills.
From being able to put yourself in someone else’s shoes to learning how to diffuse heated discussions and argue well, these are life skills you can use in a whole range of other environments and circumstances.
Being able to identify and express what we need can really increase how happy we feel in all our relationships.
People often find that having had tricky conversations with the support of a therapist, they feel more confident in initiating conversations about topics they’d previously avoided but are important to them.
By coming to relationship therapy, you can explore your needs and boundaries in a safe space and build your confidence in expressing those by practising doing so with someone you’re close to.
This self-reflection and expression can help you develop new ways of relating to yourself and others.
Seeing the good
Relationship therapy isn’t all tough conversations. Having a calm space to hear one another and to reflect together can help increase the empathy you have towards one another.
It’s also an opportunity to revisit what attracts you to one another and to celebrate what’s working well.
Starting your therapy journey
Starting relationship/couples therapy shouldn’t be something you dread. Rather than a scary experience, it’s about having the time and space for the conversations that matter to you, all with the support and guidance of an experienced third party.
Far from being a negative experience, relationship therapy can give you a real sense of self-discovery and understanding that helps you foster the kind of relationships you want in all areas of your life.
At The Room Between, we offer both individual and joint sessions of relationship therapy. Get in touch or book a 10-minute initial consultation to find out more about how we can help you build the relationships you want.