Personality types vary from person to person producing different actions and behaviors. Hence, conflicts can occur between business partners, neighbors, and even couples!
But while having an occasional argument is probably harmless, persistent conflicts can begin to suffocate a relationship. If arguments and disagreements with your significant other are making you feel stressed and unhappy, then it is essential to seek couples therapy.
What is Couples Therapy?
Couples therapy is a form of psychotherapy geared towards reducing relationship distress, enriching couples’ bonds, and sometimes can help to decide if a couple can continue working things out together or not.
Couples therapy takes a couple through the process of understanding each other and solving problems together. In this case, both partners who are involved in a committed relationship are treated together by the same therapist.
However, despite the considerable success of couples therapy, less than one-third of divorcing couples seek it. Like any treatment, both parties in marriage must be willing and committed to open up.
If you want to improve your relationship with your partner, please consider these couple therapy techniques.
1. Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT)
EFT has proven to enhance behaviors and foster stronger relationships quickly, giving marriages hope. In fact, Empathi reveals that people who undergo this therapy start feeling better by the end of the first coaching session!
EFT has three primary focuses:
- One is to encourage reorganization and expansion of primary emotional responses
- Two, it aims to build a tight bond between couples
- And three, it helps to redirect each partner’s perspective during the interactions and creates new, improved interactions in partnership
2. Reflective Listening
The reflective listening technique is a unique form of listening that involves serious attention to content and emotion expressed in someone else’s communication. The hearer listens and understands what is being communicated and lets the speaker know they are perfectly heard and well understood.
Reflective statements include using ideas or facts like “It sounds like you…”, “For you, it’s like…”, “You’re wondering if…”, “So you feel…”
In addition, the listener can re-echo the speaker’s words, using synonyms to show they fully comprehend.
Couples who participate in reflective listening enjoy healthy communication and quick resolutions when issues do occur.
3. The Gottman Method
The Gottman Method has been used for over 40 years as couples therapists techniques. It was developed to create an unveiling of both parties in a relationship while managing disputes, marital adjustments, and intimacy.
Couples with poor communication in their marriages and who wish to manage conflicts should consider the Gottman method. There is a “love maps” feature it uses that helps you learn what makes your partner happy, stresses them, and more.
4. Solution-focused Therapy
As the name implies, solution-focused therapy provides solutions to attaining short-term goals. So, if you have a plan you are working on or dealing with a particular issue such as burnout, Solution-focused therapy can help to improve your experiences.
SimplyPsychology says the practice is “a goal-focused evidence-based therapeutic technique that creates future solutions rather than focuses on the present issue.”
5. Narrative Therapy
As one of the best couple therapy techniques, narrative therapy, revolves around people describing their troubles and rewriting their life experiences in stories.
Couples who believe their marriage may be falling apart can narrate the stories of their present experiences, and then both parties will work hand-in-hand to rewrite the unwanted part. One good part is that couples can leverage this technique to detach themselves from the narrative — knowing well that the story doesn’t determine who they are.
Another essential angle to narrative therapy is that it teaches that the couple can change an unpleasant story together if they want.
6. Imago Relationship Therapy
A 1980 concept formulated by Dr. Harville Hendrix and Dr. Helen Lakelly Hunt stresses the link between childhood and adulthood experiences to improve relationships. They believe that couples can understand each other better and become more empathetic when they know each other’s background and childhood trauma.
Hence, Imago lets couples see the authentic ‘images’ of themselves, realize how their brains function, and improve relationships by working together and communicating issues.
7. Positive Psychology
Positive psychology focuses on personality strengths, positive emotions, and constructive establishments. Several couples going through challenging times have found positive emotions quite rewarding. Experts believe that perception determines happiness from day-to-day experiences. With this kind of therapy, couples can channel their strength into positive emotions and live in the present moment.
Couples Therapy Techniques: Quick Takeaway
Every relationship problem can be solved through therapy, especially when you engage a trained and licensed professional.
They can help you develop appropriate techniques and exercises to address issues in your relationships — from infidelity issues to feeling disconnected from your partner. They can help to restore your relationship and improve how you interact.