Relationship Therapy Counselor in Ann Arbor, MI
Most couples see relationship counseling as a last-ditch effort to save a relationship, when really, any couple that is going through a milestone or big life change should consider going to therapy together, whether they are moving in together, planning a wedding, preparing to have children, or retiring. Making sure that your relationship has the communication and conflict resolution skills that are necessary to get through these big changes, will provide lifelong benefits to ensure a satisfying and happy partnership. Talk to our professionals at Best Fit Counseling and Psychiatry. For more information, contact us today or visit us online to book an appointment. We serve patients from Ann Arbor, MI and surrounding areas.
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Every couple will require different support in working through different issues or conflicts, which is why there are several different approaches to relationship counseling as one method may work better than another depending on the situation. The most common type of therapy used for relationships is Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT), which consists of supporting both partners in figuring out their individual emotional patterns, and then productively communicating those emotions to their partners, helping each other gain a deeper understanding for different actions or reactions that may be leading to conflict. These emotional patterns can make individuals feel stuck with an inability to sufficiently communicate with their partner how they are feeling and what they require to get out of the pattern. EFT is known to be one of the most effective methods of relationship therapy, but other methods may be more effective for other couples, including:
– Reflective listening
– The Gottman method
– Solution-focused therapy
– Narrative therapy
– Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
Almost every single relationship can benefit from relationship therapy as both partners can learn skills to communicate with one another more effectively and can learn skills that will only work to strengthen the relationship and the individuals. Communication is one of the biggest problems in relationships, whether there is a breakdown due to growing up with differing perspectives or values, what communication actually requires from both parties or being worried about what the other will think. Having a non-biased third-party work with the couple to help identify where the communication breakdown is occurring, or make sure that both parties feel heard and understood by their partner can provide the couple with a much deeper understanding of what they require from one another in order to feel truly fulfilled in the relationship, as well as learn new conflict resolution strategies to work through any issues that may arise down the line.
Couples therapy can help even the most “broken” of relationships by providing an opportunity where both individuals can be open and honest about their feelings while that conversation is mediated by a professional to ensure that it is kept productive and respectful. Often seen as a “last resort” means of repairing an unhealthy relationship, couples therapy will offer a safe space where if both individuals respect one another and want to make the relationship work, they will be able to learn how to resolve complex or sensitive problems and come out with an even stronger base for their relationship moving forward. However, it is important that both members of the relationship want to see that the relationship is successful, as a couple that may be considered abusive or toxic may just be able to identify the individual problems through counseling and can work on themselves outside of the relationship.
It is common for the first relationship therapy session to be with both members of the relationship meeting with the therapist together to provide the therapist with any helpful background information about the relationship, and to outline where the concerns or conflict lies as well as what the couple regards as desired goals from the sessions. Following this session, many relationship therapists will meet with the partners individually just to get a more in-depth feel for the individual’s specific needs. The following sessions will be used to discuss the history of the distress and other aspects that may be causing conflict or stress in the relationship and this discussion will be guided by the therapist keeping the individual and relationship goals in mind. At this point, every session may be a bit different depending on how vulnerable and honest all parties involved are able to be. The faster both partners are able to open up to both the therapist and to one another, the sooner they will be able to allow for productive conversation.
If you are struggling with your relationship, talk to our counselor. We are licensed in Ann Arbor MI, Pittsfield Charter TWP MI, Ypsilanti MI, Saline MI, Dexter MI, Scio TWP MI, and surrounding areas.