Written by: Courtney Kershaw
“Do we keep doing things the way we’ve been doing them, or do we do something different?”
There is a common place most couples find themselves right before starting counseling. That place is the decision point. Making the choice to do something different and reach out for support can be an incredibly powerful experience, and there is no one reason to do it. Couples can have a variety of outcomes they’re looking for when it comes to starting counseling.
These can be some common reasons couples reach out for counseling:
- You feel stuck
Have you ever hit a point in a disagreement where you can almost predict how it’s going to go? Like, if it was a movie script, you already know all the lines by heart? Well, you’re not alone. Many couples report having the same fight over and over again. This can happen for years and the couple eventually reaches a point where they just can’t figure out a way through the fight any differently.
Couples counseling can be a great way to take a look at these repeated conflicts to help you get unstuck.
- You feel disconnected
Do you notice an absence of connection, excitement, or intimacy? Has there been a rupture in trust? Couples often experience a point in their relationship where it feels like the “spark” has faded and they miss that feeling when they used to be excited to see their partner. There can be many reasons that this connection feels strained or absent, and couples counseling can help you explore not only what created the disconnection, but also how you can help build it back together.
- You are about to make a life change
Big things are on the horizon. I know that sounds like a horoscope reading, but altering your life in a significant way can also have a significant impact on your relationship. Moving, changing jobs, having kids, buying a house, etc., all of these impact your dynamic and routines. Sometimes exploring expectations, hopes, fears, and desired outcomes before you make the change can be a great way to reduce anxiety and reinforce a secure connection in the relationship.
- You just made a life change
Same idea, but on the other side of a life change. Say you thought you knew what to expect and you and your partner had discussions about expectations, and now things look different than either of you could have predicted. This can be a great place to re-negotiate some of the plans you set out and come back together if it feels like things got off track. Being able to plan and set expectations together is just as important as being able to re-negotiate those expectations together to maintain your connection.
- Want to keep learning about the relationship
It’s a misconception that there has to be something “wrong” in the relationship in order to seek counseling. Maybe nothing is new or different, you just want to make sure you and your partner are growing together. This is perhaps one of the least expected but most connective uses for couples counseling. When you are both feeling okay and there is trust and safety in the relationship can be an amazing place to lean into exploring how to grow and strengthen your connection.
In summary, if you want support, growth, or change, couples counseling can be an amazing resource to help you and your partner reach your goals.
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