Couples therapy FAQs content
What is couple’s therapy?
Couple’s therapy is a form of therapy carried out by psychologists that has the purpose of facing any kind of difficulties that may arise within a couple’s relationship.
It consists of a series of sessions, either in person or online, in which both members of the couple, together with the professional, look for a way to face and solve everything that is making the relationship difficult. The main objective is to ensure that the relationship is healthy and continues to be a source of support, trust and well-being for both partners.
What is a therapy session like? What do you do in couples therapy?
Most of the couples I see have never been to a psychologist before. They usually come restless, to face an unknown situation and us who are unknown people. For this reason, the first sessions have 2 basic objectives:
- The first objective for us is to make you feel comfortable, to make you trust us little by little. And to make sure that you are in a safe place where no one will judge you or let you get hurt. That way you can put all your cards on the table.
- The second objective is to get to know you in order to understand in a profound way what is happening to you and where do you need to row to improve your relationship. It’s about discovering your strengths and your weaknesses.
How do i know when to go to couples therapy?
One of the reasons why couples therapy doesn’t work is because on average couples wait 6-7 years before asking for help. When that happens, it’s often too late.
If you are concerned about something in your relationship, the sooner you ask for help the easier it will be to resolve it and the fewer sessions you will need.
Our first one-hour session is useful to assess whether or not it is a good time to ask for help.
When is couples therapy needed?
Couples therapy is necessary when there are difficulties between you two that you are not able to resolve on your own.
Frequent discussions, some episode that has left a trace of disappointment or distrust, communication problems… the reasons are very varied.
But broadly speaking, couples therapy is the best way to take care of your relationship when you run into some obstacle that you cannot overcome.
Are couples’ therapies helpful?
Of course, couples’ therapy is useful for untangling difficulties in the relationship that are a source of suffering. In the video I tell you the three main objectives of couples’ work.
How much does a couples therapy session cost?
You will start with a one-hour session that serves us to have a first contact and to evaluate if the couples therapy is the best resource for you. For you it will be an opportunity to see if you feel comfortable with your psychologist and to know more about what to expect from the therapy.
From then on, if we see that it fits, we will explain to you how it works but we usually work in sessions of one and a half hours and with a fortnightly frequency.
However, between sessions we provide you with work material such as videos, tests, exercises… so that the therapy is more intensive.
How long does couples therapy last?
Our work methodology seeks to obtain results in the least number of sessions possible.
In general, the first 4 sessions are enough to help you understand better what is happening to you and especially which are the pieces that each one should move to improve the relationship.
From then on, if you see that you can continue on your own, we will stop and continue working.
How can i recognize a good couple’s psychologist?
In some professions, like medicine, there are recognized specialties that allow you to choose a professional according to what happens to you. In the field of psychology, it is sometimes confusing to know who you can really trust.
I am a psychologist with a specialization in systemic family therapy.
You may have seen that there are psychologists who offer all kinds of services: individual therapy with children and adults, couples therapy, family therapy… I recommend that you choose someone who is specialized and has professional experience in working with couples.
What are the most common problems of couples?
I’m sure that when you think about couples’ crises, infidelity is one of the points that comes to mind first.
Obviously, this is one of the causes of deep crisis along with frequent arguments, communication problems, sexual problems, jealousy, misunderstandings with in-laws, disagreements as parents…
What all these problems have in common is that they involve disappointment and/or betrayal. Feelings that are reflected in phrases like this:
- I needed you badly and you failed me, you weren’t there for me
- you’re no longer the person I fell in love with
- what your family says is more important to you than what I say
- It’s been so many years since you’ve heard me that I’ve given up on you understanding me
- you only care about your job, your family is not a priority for you
Here you can find other reasons why couples ask for this kind of professional help.
Is it possible to regain confidence after a betrayal?
When there is trust in a relationship, both partners are willing to do or stop doing things, not only for their own benefit, but also for the benefit of the partner.
The more trust, the more willing to pay attention to what the other needs. And at the same time more predisposition to reject what can give you own benefit but at the cost of hurting your partner.
And on the contrary, the more I distrust you, the less predisposition I will have to take you into account and therefore the more easily I will show myself to be selfish.
Cooperation is the only way you can both feel good. It is the basis for you to do things that you do not want, cost or even dislike just to avoid your partner feeling bad. For example, “I’m going to vacuum because Luis is going to arrive today tired and I know he gets nervous when he sees that there are many things to do” or “I called his mother to ask her how he is because I know that María has not been able to call her today and she is worried that he feels lonely”.
How do i know if it’s too late for us?
It is too late if one of us has already decided to throw in the towel and has made a firm decision. One person alone is not enough to restore a relationship between two people. It is also too late if there is a parallel relationship that you are not willing to give up.
Unfortunately, in our environment, it is still difficult to ask for help and this makes couples arrive when they have already been in a difficult situation for years.
If the thread that binds you, however fine it may be, still holds, you can still try to save your relationship. Therapy will help you to clarify what is happening and to discover to what extent you are willing to move pieces to make changes.
But we are the way we are, aren’t we? do you think it can be changed?
I like to explain that when I talk about making changes, I’m not referring to anyone having to turn around completely like a sock. Obviously, we are the way we are and you can’t ask an elm for a pear.
But it’s one thing to change your personality and another to do it:
- to accept your partner as he is and stop criticizing and attacking him
- seek more constructive and conciliatory solutions…
- discover what you need to feel good and be willing to provide it
- practice empathy to make you feel understood
- learn to approach problems in a less hurtful way
What can you learn from couples therapy?
Couple’s psychology is not just about talking but it will allow you to learn many things. These are some examples:
- to be more aware of how you feel and how you can communicate without losing your temper,
- to really listen to you, like friends do
- Put yourself in the place of the person in front of you and transmit to him/her that you are understanding him/her in a way that he/she can understand,
- to talk about the difficult issues without sweeping them under the carpet any longer,
- raise them and face them without setting off alarms,
- communicate in a more positive and constructive way,
- be more creative in resolving your differences,
- build a solid team …
And many more things that will not only have a positive impact on your relationship with your partner but will also help you in the other personal relationships you establish at home and away from home.