Relationships require work and effort on behalf of the individuals involved. Many relationship challenges are manageable, but when conflicts are left unaddressed, tension will mount, then poor habits develop, and eventually the health and longevity of the relationship is jeopardized.
People in relationships seek counseling when there is disatisfaction and discontent within their relationship, for one or both partners. Couples often seek counseling when the dissatisfaction and issues in the relationship begin to interfere with their daily functioning, or when partners become unsure about continuing the relationship.
The decision to enter counseling may be precipitated by specific issues, such as physical or psychological abuse, alcohol or drug addiction, infidelity, lack of physical and emotional intimacy, poor or absent communication, or chronic illness of one partner.
The decision to enter counseling may also be due to more ambiguous issues such as partners having different expectations, conflict avoidance, feeling unheard and unsupported by a partner, different philosophies in parenting the need to improve communication, or relationship power struggles.
The couples appointment is a scheduled appointment for 45-50 minutes, typically on a weekly, or bi-monthly basis. In some cases, the therapist may see individuals in separate sessions to supplement the couple's sessions. The effectiveness and progress of couples counseling depends on each partner's motivation and dedication to the process. Goals will be established by the couple with the guidance of the therapist and therapy will proceed for as long as the couple is committed to the process and they feel it is effective in resolving their issues.