Family is one of the most important building blocks in life. Each family member has certain duties and roles. In addition, when we look at today, we observe that the family and couple structure is gradually changing. Socio-economic structure and social norms are the most important factors affecting the family structure. These structures can also affect family relationships deeply and disrupt the integrity of the relationship and marriage. Another issue is the problems and conflicts in the household. At this point, the change in the couple and family structure, the change of roles or statuses can cause such conflicts. When we look at some family figures, they face difficulties in the face of these changes. And most of them cannot cope with the problems faced in figures. These changes cause the expectations based on the relationship, family and marriage not to be met, and cause an increase in problems. Another problem encountered in relationships and family structures is the lack of effective communication between individuals. Families who have difficulties in overcoming such situations in the family may need psychological support.
Psychological Support Process:
Within the psychological support process demanded by families, eliminating the relational conflicts in the family, providing support for relationships, reducing domestic unrest and most importantly establishing a healthy communication are among the basic working principles.
The family counselor considers the family structure as a whole. It goes down to the source of people’s communication conflicts and sheds light on this source for spouses to see.
We support families in matters such as strengthening communication within the family, dealing and evaluating problems effectively, and resolving conflicts.
On the other hand, an individual’s disorder can be a source of basic stress, as well as hindering the ability of spouses to meet their needs in their relationships with each other. Thus, whether a clinician specializes in the treatment of marital problems or not, the probability of encountering distressed couples during clinical practice is very high, and the question of how individual and couple traits interact and whether couples therapy is a primary treatment or a component for the multitude of problems that lead to coming to therapy. It is very important to understand whether it will be a side treatment or not.
Couple therapy and evaluation of couples’ relationship problems The problem of partner relationships is briefly defined as follows:
“A relationship between spouses or partners with elements of negative communication (e.g., criticism), distorted communication (e.g., unrealistic expectations, or miscommunication (e.g., resentment)) consistent with clinically significant damage to the individual or family functioning, or the manifestation of symptoms in one or both of the couples. communication model.”
You will find brief descriptions of the key factors involved in each of these three areas that distinguish distressed couples from troubled couples.
Behavioral factors in Couple Relationships
There is a substantial body of empirical evidence to support the social exchange theory view. According to this view, individuals with troubled relationships exchange more annoying behaviors and less pleasing behaviors compared to those who do not, and the exchange of negative behaviors in unhappy couples tends to be reciprocal.
When couples complain of a lack of intimacy, a systematic assessment of their relationship history reveals that they often devote less time to activities they mutually enjoy than in the early stages of the relationship. Another factor that perpetuates the pattern of few positive activities in common is the possibility that individuals may have developed a negative expectation that if they spend time together they will discover that they no longer have anything in common.
He determined that partners who exhibited higher frequencies of complaints/criticism, defensiveness, contempt, and avoidance were more likely to break up and divorce.
He found that distressed couples were more likely to engage in problem provocation than troubled couples.
The skills of expressing thoughts and feelings clearly and constructively, empathetic listening skills, troubleshooting skills, the explainer role and the listener role of the other is the “relationship enhancement” approach. The expresser is obliged to express his thoughts and feelings concisely and to express these views as subjective truths, not absolute truths. On the other hand, the listener will focus on trying to understand the subjective experience described by the narrator and will convey what he understands by changing the narrator’s expressions without adding his own ideas to the narrator.
Troubleshooting communication is a process in which couples are taught not to express their feelings towards a problem, but to engage in a systematic behavioral description of a problem, identifying one or more possible (i.e. reasonable and logical) behavioral solutions to the problem, and engaging in a concrete plan for solving the problem in daily life.
Cognitive factors in couple relationships
Five types of automatic thought have been identified:
Selective attention, in which each individual pays attention to some aspects of the events that occur in the couple’s interactions and ignores others.
Inferences or comments made by each individual about the causes of positive and negative events in their relationships,
Estimates and expectations about the likelihood of special events occurring in the relationship in the future,
Assumptions, including beliefs about the general or personal qualities of the relationship and how they work.
Beliefs or standards held by each individual regarding the characteristics of general or personal relationships.
It has been determined that individuals who advocate less boundaries between spouses, equal distribution of power, and more time and energy for one’s relationship tend to be more satisfied with their relationships and to communicate in more constructive ways.
Couple therapy and mood factors
Therapists need such emotional processes when observing couple interactions and help couples counter such wide-ranging emotional responses and the possibly erroneous thoughts that fill them. Similarly, individuals with inability to control their nerves that affect the conflict in conflict with their spouses may need some specific interventions for nerve reduction. It is also possible that certain psychological problems present in one or both members of a couple will have significant effects on the couple’s relationship. If psychological problems are caused by relationship factors, these factors can be removed through couples therapy or individual therapy may be required for psychological disorders.
Cognitive-behavioral treatment strategies
As with individual therapy, couples often enter therapy with apparent indecision, driven by despair over the possibility of change and some fear of what the effects of successful change will mean for their lives. But couple members also tend to be defensive and blame each other for problems.
a-)Communication Skills Training
b)Troubleshooting Skills Training