How did it get like this?
It probably feels like yesterday and yet also so long ago that you and your significant other were feeling connected and in sync. Now it feels like everyday is an emotional wrestling match to see who can “win” and make the other person lose.
What you and your partner are experiencing is normal and common and the fact that you are here reading this puts you miles ahead of millions of other couples who refuse to look into the quality of their relationship. Relationship conflict and a lack of connection is the likely cause for divorce which is how 50 percent of first marriages end.
So how do we fix this?
The first question we need to ask is what exactly are we fixing. At the clarity clinic, we utilize two primary evidence based practices for helping couples escape gridlock. The Gottman method was invented by John and Julie Gottman and involved their famous Seattle Love Lab. In this “lab” a number of couple were studied day and night as they went about their ordinary lives. Through the findings of the study, John created an intervention based on knowing ones partner, communication skills and turning to each other instead of turning away.”
Another treatment we utilize is called the bridging approach
The Bridging Approach is a three-step process that involves understanding and respecting each other's perspectives, finding common ground, and integrating unique perspectives into a stronger and more resilient relationship. This approach helps couples to communicate in a constructive and respectful way, creating a safe and supportive environment for them to explore their issues, build trust and connection, and mark important moments in their journey.
One of the key techniques that It is used to facilitate communication is "The Imago Dialogue." This structured form of communication allows couples to express themselves in a way that is both honest and compassionate. By actively listening to each other's perspectives and feelings, couples can gain a deeper understanding of each other's needs and desires.
Another important technique that Is used is "Active Listening." This involves giving each partner the opportunity to express themselves without interruption or judgment. By creating a safe space for open and honest communication, couples can work towards finding common ground and building a stronger foundation for their relationship.
In addition to these communication techniques, "The Appreciation Exercise" and "The Encounter Process" helps couples develop a greater sense of appreciation and gratitude for each other. By focusing on the positive aspects of their relationship, couples can build a stronger sense of connection and create a shared vision for their future.
OK, maybe couples counseling works, but there are so many barriers.
What if my partner doesn’t want to come to couples counseling?
Often times in relationships, one partner will be in a different stage of change than the other. This can result in one partner desiring couples therapy and the other refusing to go. In this situation, we recommend the motivated partner begin with individual therapy, as this can often provide clarity and strength within the individual. At times, the individual may learn effective communication strategies to allow the other partner to attend therapy. Other times, the partner may decide to accept the things about their relationship they cannot change and continue forward in the relationship. There are unfortunately also times where the individual will come to realize the relationship has become toxic and decide to end the current relationship and move on. While this option is frequently painful in the short term, it usually yields long term benefit and inner peace as healing occurs and sufficient time passes.
Does attending couples counseling mean the likely end of my relationship?
Couples often don’t attend counseling due to the fear and stigma around the phrase. Individual therapy, has become more popular and widely accepted in our culture, but couples therapy lags behind. This is likely due to the misconception that couples in therapy are on the brink of divorce. This is sometimes the case, but often couples just want to improve the quality of their relationship and their quality of life.
It may be cliche, but there really is no “too late” for a relationship IF both parties are motivated to work on the relationship. Even taboo topics such as emotional and physical affairs can be repaired if parties are willing to move forward.
But I’ve heard couples counseling doesn’t really work.
The issue here from our research is that many couples therapists, do not follow an evidence-based effective approach. Some therapists will just allow one member of the couple to vent endlessly, which ultimately results in continued resentment, anger, and frustration.
We at the Clarity Clinic, use evidence-based approaches tailor suited to the individual and couples needs. We also are able to refer an individual from the couple for individual therapy if we deem there are individual problems interfering with the work of couples therapy.
Does Insurance cover couples therapy?
There is unfortunately no billing code for couples therapy through the insurances we are in network with.
If you wish to use your insurance and are on the fence of whether you would benefit from individual therapy or couples therapy, we are able to accept your insurance for individual sessions and conduct family sessions intermittently as clinically appropriate with your significant other to manage your symptoms.
If you wish to attend exclusively with your significant other, private pay is the only form of payment currently accepted for any couples therapy we are aware of. We hope the insurance companies change this policy soon as couples deserve therapy just as much as individuals!
Still Skeptical? That's OK!
It is completely understandable that you would still feel hesitant after merely reading some information from a website written by someone you don’t know.
For this reason, we offer a free 15 minute consultations to determine if our therapists are the right fit for you and your situation.
Feel free to reach out!