Does couples therapy work?

Relationship counseling is the process of counseling both parties in a relationship in an effort to recognize and manage better or reconcile troublesome differences and repeating patterns of distress. Couple’s therapy is somewhat related to that though the procedure may differ in terms of duration.
If you can’t communicate without yelling at each other, it’s time to seek help.  Net photo.
If you can’t communicate without yelling at each other, it’s time to seek help. Net photo.

Relationship counseling is the process of counseling both parties in a relationship in an effort to recognize and manage better or reconcile troublesome differences and repeating patterns of distress. Couple’s therapy is somewhat related to that though the procedure may differ in terms of duration.

According to Wikipedia, it is more about seemingly obstinate problems with a relationship history, where emotions are the target. The mere suggestion of couple’s therapy is enough to send a guy into a tailspin, regardless of whether he’s happy with his relationship or not.

And to be honest you can’t really blame him. I mean the idea of airing your dirty laundry and seeking advice for personal problems you are facing as a couple isn’t exactly the most excellent way to spend the day.

That said, this kind of therapy might not be the best solution for every couple. Candidly put, some couples have issues so vast, no therapist can fix them!

Again, in reference to one of my favourite TV shows, Desperate Housewives, Marcia Cross’ character Bree Van de Kamp was having trouble in her marriage to Rex. She suggested couples therapy much to Rex’s frustration. He eventually agreed and the things discussed in that room were downright hilarious although I must say, these are some of the things going on in real life.

For example, I’ve heard of men who claim they cheat on their wives because there is something they are not getting from them – sexually. Rex claimed he liked to be dominated during intercourse with suggestions of kinky encounters which Bree, being the lady that she was, would rather die than participate in.

When Rex unintentionally blurted out in the presence of their friends that they were actually in therapy and not taking tennis lessons like Bree made them believe, she threw a fit and later embarrassed him during dinner, unleashing way too much information.  I believe some of you have experienced an incident where you attend a party and the hosts start fighting and spilling secrets, making you want to fake choking and hide!

It is widely acknowledged that this therapy is the most challenging –not just for the couple but the therapist too. It’s frightening to be caught in the cross fire, faced with the force of two bitter individuals. Frankly speaking, I don’t’ know how these therapists aren’t forced to get therapy of their own because seeing all the anger and precariousness - couples fighting in their office and calling each other belittling names - would send even the most sane of therapists signing up for a session!

As for the couples, therapy isn’t the place to sort out common relationship problems like ‘leaving clothes strewn all over the place or ‘not putting the toilet seat back down’; there has to be true inability to communicate. It is most effective when dealing with large scale issues that the two of you are not capable of sorting out on your own. These issues range from infidelity, the loss of a child, health complications and other matters of that nature.

If you are having problems of this kind, how you deal with them is truly up to you. Bear in mind that therapy does not only mean using a professional, you could have a trusted friend or relative whose experience serves as great advice.

 

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