If you think that every married couple lives in harmony, you are completely wrong. The fact is that there are many partners who have a troubled relationship with the other partner. The good news is that these people can rise above the issues in their relationship. Properly conducted Couples Counseling Therapy can help these couples to have positive changes in their lives. Therapists may use five techniques to bring such positive changes in the lives of these couples.
Objective Viewing of the Relationship
The therapist should aim to infuse a different perspective in the minds of couples so that they view the relationship between them differently and more objectively. The first step in this process is that both the partners should stop blaming each other. This may not be easy in the initial stages and so, they can always take time to learn it. They should realize that their relationship hinges on giving respect to the other partner’s views.
They should also realize that it is the contexts that form the basis for health of their relationship. To quote a particular context as an example, for couples who have financial problems, there may be a lot of stress caused due to these problems. Other couples who do not have such financial problems may not have this sort of stress. So, the technique adopted by the therapist should first begin with studying the situations of the couples and also their reactions to those situations.
Modification of Dysfunctional Behavior
The second technique used in effective couples counseling is to change the behavior between the partners. The partners should mainly refrain from engaging in actions that may harm the other partner physically, psychologically, or economically. If the therapist has an apprehension that one of the partners may be at risk, he should arrange for accommodating the partner in a shelter meant for people affected by domestic violence. If the therapist thinks that there is a need for treatment for drug abuse or anger management, he should arrange for it also. Time-out procedures can be tried for the risks that are not very serious.
Reduction of Emotional Avoidance
Therapists should do an in-depth study of the couples and find out if the partners are bottling up their feelings. It is a proven fact that bottled-up feelings can be very risky and may distance the partners emotionally. This non-expression of feelings may mainly be due to the fear of rejection. Once this is found out, therapists should take steps to make the partners express their feelings to the other partner without fear. They should use a behavior-based approach in which there may be a few assumptions. One of the assumptions may be that the partners who are bottling up their feelings may be carrying with them the burden of the unmet needs of their childhood. By removing fear from their minds and making them express their feelings to the other partner, the therapists can bring them closer.
This technique is strongly based on the theory that if communication improves between the partners, conflicts can be resolved. For this to happen, the therapists should focus on eliminating communications based on abuse and ridicule. Partners should learn to have supportive communication that improves understanding with the other partner. The partners should be made to differentiate between effective communication and the ones that create conflicts.
Focus on Promotion of Strengths
There may be certain areas of the relationship that are strong. Therapists should focus on these areas and promote them. Attempts should be made to impart a resilient attitude into the minds of the partners. The shift in this technique lies in the fact that the focus is on the positive points and not on the problem areas. The aim is to make the partners enjoy the relationship between them. If the therapist wants to adopt a behavioral approach, he or she should make the partners do certain things that may please the other partner. But, if the therapist wants to use an emotional approach, he or she must attempt to develop the positive aspects of the relationship between the partners.
To summarize, the aim of Couples Counseling Therapy is to help couples who have troubled relationships. If there is harmony between the partners, that may pave way for happiness and peace of mind.