What is couple’s therapy?
Couples therapy may sound very serious and a bit over-the-top, but in reality, it is usually a sign that a couple wants to work on their marriage in a time of turmoil, and not rush headlong for the divorce court.
Couples therapy is a type of psychotherapy, which focuses on helping couples to work through marital challenges, such as learning to understand their relationship better and improving the way they relate to each other.
Many couples come to therapy because of a specific issue which can include sexual difficulties, infidelity, or who may be considering divorce – or a breakup.
What can couples expect from the therapy?
Instant success from just one session of couple’s therapy does not happen. The therapy is a process, and it may take a few sessions before you notice any changes. In between sessions the therapist may give you some homework to do as a couple, and report back at the next session.
- The therapy involves talking about the challenges with a neutral party (the therapist) who should be fully trained to get to the bottom of the issues.
- The therapist will direct specific questions to each one individually with regard to what the other has said.
- This will help partners to communicate in a better open way, which makes it easier to get a better perspective of what each other is feeling.
- An experienced therapist also teaches couples how to ask for what they want without causing the other person to shut down, or be offended.
- Couples are also taught new relationship skills during the therapy sessions. For example, how to cut criticism out of desires and wants – instead of a critical comment like “you never hold my hand,” say instead “I would love you to be more affectionate and hold my hand.”
These are just some of the ways couple’s therapy can help to improve your relationship, and make you more compatible with each other.
When should you go to couple’s therapy?
If you and your partner are arguing again and again over the same thing, without any resolution – then perhaps it is time to consider couple’s therapy before the relationship has reached the point of no return.
Here are some signs that couple’s therapy may be needed to stop your relationship from floundering:
- You and your partner do not communicate well, which leads to misunderstandings and conflict.
- Continually fighting about the same thing without sorting things out.
- A strong desire to work together to stop your closeness with each other drifting further and further apart.
Studies have shown that wanting the best relationship you can possibly have, is actually more than enough reason to begin couple’s therapy. You do not have to wait until there are problems that seem insurmountable.
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