Couples Counseling: Signs It’s Working
Couples Counseling: Signs It’s Working
There are many reasons why two people come for marriage counseling in Raleigh, NC. Sometimes they are experiencing communication issues or a lot of prolonged conflicts. Other couples struggle with overcoming infidelity. Or they feel stuck in a roommate marriage and don’t know how to regain closeness and intimacy. Some people don’t know how to overcome the patterns they inherited from their unhealthy families.
No matter the reasons, couples counseling in Raleigh, NC can help you address the challenges in your relationship, start the recovery process, and build coping mechanisms to help you handle future problems.
When you come for marriage counseling, you expect results, of course. But how to know whether your couples counseling is working and your relationship is getting back on track?
The Signs of Marriage Counseling Success
I would say that the progress in the treatment can be measured by a lot of factors. But the most important sign of marriage counseling success is how you and your partner are feeling both as individuals and as members of a whole.
You’re Flooded by Strong Emotions
As opposed to easy laid-back chitchatting, you find yourself crying during marriage counseling sessions and often feel like taking a nap after. You probably don’t like to stay in those deep emotions for very long, but always feel more clear and confident about your marriage afterwards.
You also may dread coming to sessions because you know your therapist will take you to deep, scary, and vulnerable places you don’t want to go. At the same time, however, you feel hopeful about your relationship and marriage and you regret not starting the therapy a long time ago.
In fact, research shows that couples wait on average eight years before getting counseling. And let’s be honest, that’s a lot! You may feel overwhelmed because there is so much you’ve missed and so much to unpack now. But, at the same time, you feel clearer about your pattern/cycle (even though you might not be able to step out of it just yet).
Communication is Improving
You can tell the couples counseling is working when you and your partner can identify new tools and techniques to communicate your needs, thoughts, and feelings efficiently. In addition, a good sign of marriage counseling success is your ability to actively listen to each other without the need to judge or defend yourself.
You are learning how to communicate more calmly and positively, respecting each other’s needs and feelings. Also, you both feel committed to the therapy process and the relationship goals you’re working towards. You feel confident to openly identify and discuss your problems, challenges, and dysfunctional patterns in your communication.
You Are Rekindling Emotional Closeness and Sexual Intimacy
Despite the mainstream belief that codependency is bad, I believe that relying on your partner for meeting your emotional needs is not necessarily a bad thing. Attachment research teaches us that we are hard-wired for connection and we need our partners (and other people, of course) to survive and thrive. Once you start rekindling this kind of connection, your relationship may be getting back to life.
You and your partner both feel more love, appreciation, and gratitude for each other. You are spending more time together and you are doing more things together, working on rebuilding your intimacy and closeness.
Your sex life is improving – you show curiosity and interest for each other again. You don’t turn your back to each other when you go bed anymore. Also, you are able to remember why you fell in love with each other in the first place, and that’s another positive sign that your couples counseling is working.
You know how to argue more effectively
You may be arguing just as much as you used to, but you now know how to effectively repair after each disagreement. And this is HUGE! And this is not because you are avoiding topics and resentments but rather because you are able to discuss challenging topics honestly and with respect. You compromise more and are able to show understanding of differences in each other’s viewpoints, feelings, and expectations, which is one of the most common couples counseling goals.
You Are Looking into the Future
Another sign that your relationship is getting back on track is that you are not ruminating on your past issues but enjoying the present and making plans for the future instead.
The Benefits of Emotionally Focused Therapy
There is no magic formula that can fix your relationship overnight. However, statistics show that Emotionally Focused Therapy or EFT has incredible success in couples counseling. Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy works by helping a couple understand their emotional responses and work with their emotional cycles which leads to greater understanding of each other. When couples turn to EFT, 86 to 90 percent of them report significant improvements in their relationship, while 70 to 75 percent of couples recover from distress.
Couples counseling is a wonderful opportunity for your personal healing growth and the recovery of your relationship as a result. The best place for your personal healing is together with your partner who will support and love you, because, after all, we are hardwired for connection.
As you personally heal, there will also be many sigs by the road that your relationship is recovering too. I hope this information helps you recognize the signs that your couples counseling is working.
If you have any questions, do not hesitate to call at (703)-347-3200 for your free of charge 15-min consultation and/or to schedule an appointment in my Wake Forest office or online.