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What Is Couples Therapy?


Couples therapy is a form of psychotherapy that can help you and your partner improve your relationship. If you are having relationship difficulties, you can seek couples therapy to help rebuild your relationship. Couples therapy can be utilized to address a range of relationship issues such as: reoccurring conflicts, feeling disconnected, intimacy issues, parenting issues, or difficulties due to external reasons. Couples therapy can help you at any stage of your relationship, regardless of marital status, age, race, faith, or sexual orientation.

Types of Couples Therapy


There are numerous approaches to couples therapy, which can include:

  • Emotionally focused therapy (EFT): EFT focuses on improving the attachment and bonding between you and your partner. The therapist helps you understand and change patterns that lead to feelings of disconnection.

  • Gottman method: This method involves addressing areas of conflict and equipping you and your partner with problem-solving skills. It aims to improve the quality of friendship and the level of intimacy between you and your partner. 

  • Psychodynamic couple’s therapy: Psychodynamic therapy explores the underlying hopes and fears that motivate you and your partner, to help you understand each other better.

  • Behavioral therapy: Also known as behavioral couples therapy (BCT), this form of therapy involves shaping behavior by reinforcing positive behaviors that promote stability and satisfaction, while discouraging behaviors that foster negativity.

  • Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT): Also referred to as cognitive behavioral couples therapy (CBCT), this form of therapy involves identifying and changing thought patterns that negatively influence behavior.



Couples therapy utilizes an integrated approach to treatment, using techniques from different forms of therapy, depending on your needs.

These are some of the strategies a couples therapist might employ:

  • Developing Rapport:  Therapist creates a sense of safety by getting to know you and your partner. They work actively and collaboratively with you to help you understand yourself and your partner.

  • Identifying emotions and thoughts: Therapist helps to identify emotions and thoughts felt, and helps to put them into words to one another. 

  • Exploring the past: Couples therapy can involve exploring your past, since that can help you better understand your fears, motivations, and behaviors in a relationship and apply them to present situations. It can also help address unresolved conflicts that affect your present.

  • Solution Focused: Focusing on resolving issues, addressing negative behavior patterns, and focusing on positive aspects of the relationship, to develop solutions. 

  • Teaching skills: Providing education on anger managementproblem solving, and conflict resolution skills. The goal is to equip you and your partner with tools to help you deal with issues as occur.

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