What is couple therapy?

Couples Therapy with Spouses or Lovers Joining Together

Couples therapy is a psychotherapy method used to resolve conflicts within a spouse or life partner. When problems become inextricable and couples’ understanding of each other is lost, couples therapy can help dissolve the knots in the relationship that have become impossible to get out of. In this context, the therapist certainly does not take sides with either of the couples, but rather encourages both parties to communicate in an open manner that shows that they value the other. You can find more detailed information about how couples therapy is applied below.

What is Couples Therapy?

Even in the most successful relationships, difficult situations can arise that cannot be overcome without outside help. Each period of life brings with it certain challenges and how solid the relationship is tested.

When couples have a child, they suddenly have no time or enthusiasm for romance. Because the work that needs to be done and the working life now cover a large part of life. Likewise, retirement brings with it great changes in people’s relationships. Although couples have different ideas about the continuation and progress of the relationship, couple therapy can be a beneficial and logical choice for both.

In couple therapy, all problems and disagreements can be discussed openly and clearly with the therapist. The therapist always displays a neutral approach and maintains a neutral attitude. This means that he puts himself in his place on both sides, but certainly does not take any sides and does not take his side. Couples therapy not only focuses on existing problems, but also rekindles the positive aspects of their relationship that the couple can no longer perceive due to conflicts.

It is important to be aware that terms such as couple therapy, marriage counseling or couple counseling are not legally protected. Therefore, it is not always clear whether a couples therapist is adequately trained. On the other hand, the term psychotherapist is a legally protected title, which ensures that the therapist has completed and graduated from the required therapy training.

Psychotherapy methods accepted within the scope of couple therapy; behavioral therapy, psychoanalytic psychotherapy, logotherapy and systemic therapy.

When should couples therapy be done?

Many couples find it difficult to step into couples therapy. Because they think that this will be an indication that something is not right in their relationship or that there is a problem. Therefore, they decide to seize the opportunity for couples therapy only when the relationship is in danger of ending in failure and there is no other way. In fact, couples therapy can basically be beneficial and effective in maintaining a healthy relationship successfully. For example, couples therapy can be very helpful and effective if couples repeatedly bring up certain issues and cannot resolve and clarify them. The longer these disagreements and conflicts continue, the harder it is usually to break these patterns.

Couple therapy becomes especially important when conflicts begin to negatively affect daily life and the mental health of spouses. In such cases, couple therapy can be a way for the parties to get rid of situations that turn into a vicious circle that they are not successful in getting out of.

The goal of couples therapy is not to save the relationship at all costs. It’s more about reconciling different perspectives, needs and life goals for the couple’s lives. The result of the work and therapies carried out can sometimes show that separation is a better and healthier solution.

Couples Therapy: Participate alone or together?

In couples therapy, it is not always necessary for both partners to be present in therapy. The advantage of couples therapy is that the therapist knows both parties’ perspectives on life and their relationship. In this context, spouses or life partners also have the opportunity to exhibit different approaches and behavior styles towards each other during couple therapy.

However, sometimes it is undesirable to talk about some issues in front of your spouse or partner. Sex is one of these issues. For most people, explaining their sexual needs and dreams to their partner or partner is a difficult situation.

Worse than this, there are situations when one of the spouses or life partners definitely wants to break up, but cannot somehow explain it to the other. For such sensitive issues and situations, individual sessions can be arranged by the therapist for each of the couple concerned.

If the other party is not ready to work on the couple’s relationship, it is also possible to organize the therapies as individual therapies. However, the more appropriate and beneficial method is the participation of both parties in the therapy processes together. In the best case, the spouse or partner should participate in therapy processes at least a few times.

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Abdullah OZER

Social Worker, Scientist (Clinical Psychology)

Schools of Psychotherapy that he has been trained in:

  • Focusing (DFI)
  • Positive Psychotherapy (WAPP)
  • Psychodynamic Psychotherapy (CSU)
  • Ego State Therapy (EST-DE/ESTI)
  • Ericksonian Psychotherapy (MEG-DE)
  • Logotherapy and Existential Analysis (VFI-Wien)

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