Couples Therapy - How Does It Work?

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Louise Hay
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Relationship problems are currently one of the main causes that bring people to the psychologist's office. It is not strange if we consider, for example, that in Spain every 4 marriages fail three.

In fact, couple problems not only damage the quality of the relationship, but also the emotional stability of each of the partners. Often these problems cause the person to constantly experience ups and downs on an emotional level, which are difficult to endure for long periods and end up leading to separation.



The truth is that a conflicted relationship affects virtually every aspect of life, from relationships with friends to work. Not to mention self-esteem, self-confidence and mood. Therefore, the crisis of one's marriage is one of the main reasons for seeking professional help.

The reasons that lead one or both partners to approach couples therapy can be different: some want to improve communication, others want to overcome sexual problems, the difficulty in raising children, the change of interests that comes with passing time, jealousy, infidelity, disrespect ...

What can couples therapy do for you?

  1. Change the perspective of the relationship.
    Through the therapeutic journey, the psychologist encourages both parties to see the relationship from a more objective point of view that includes the other's perspective. This stops the game whereby each blames the other, thus causing inconvenience and irritation.
  1. Improve communication.
    Many couples find it difficult to discuss their problems and therefore are unable to find concrete solutions. Couples therapy focuses on constructive dialogue, in which everyone is able to express their emotions and ideas with full respect for the other. It is a real learning process, in which you not only learn to make constructive criticisms but also to listen. As a result, the couple develops greater emotional empathy.
  1. Reinforce the solid points of the relationship.
    Every couple has things in common, but often when they argue they tend to focus only on the differences. The psychologist serves as a mediator to help rediscover the shared interests that allow you to rediscover the other person and maximize the strengths of the relationship. He also encourages positive behaviors that the other likes, such as stroking, attention to detail, or expressions of love.

What if the other does not want to take part in couples therapy?

We know that the ideal for relationship and couple therapy success is for both partners to participate. However, it is often only one of the two who asks for help. In these cases, we psychologists can do important work with the person who came to us, because even if it is evident that we will only hear a bell and this will leave a void about the other half of the couple, we can still focus on how to obtain changes in this person, changes that will have an indirect impact on the partner as well.



For example, if one of the issues to be addressed are loud discussions and negative feelings, we can teach the person who comes to us a whole range of strategies and offer tools to develop more positive communication, without having to shout. So, indirectly, we get to increase the chances that the partner will also reduce the tone and improve his communication.

However, we must emphasize that during therapy we will always try to find the motivation of both, we are not satisfied with solving only the problems of one side.

What are the odds of success?

Normally, the goal of this therapy is to provide tools to help the couple solve their problems and make sure they continue together, experiencing a healthy and positive relationship for both. In statistical terms, it is estimated that about 70% of couples who use couple therapy are able to resolve their conflicts.


What happens to the remaining 30%? This failure rate almost always refers to couples who have resorted to therapy as a last resort, when they were already in the final phase of the relationship and the breakup was imminent. In cases where couples therapy is intended as a last resort, it is difficult to achieve good results, as these people usually carry with them.
a relationship tainted by negative experiences and complicated situations that hinder reconstruction.


When love is over, conflicting personal interests arise or simply everyone has already planned goals other than those of the partner, and in these cases it is almost impossible to save the relationship.

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