In even the strongest of relationships, conflict cannot always be avoided. Each of us is a unique person with a unique set of communication and conflict management skills. However, learning have to navigate these differences and preferences is essential to having a successful and healthy union. Many have turned to various couples therapy techniques as a way to resolve issues in their marriage or partnership. This brief overview provides information about a few different styles of therapy that may fit with your particular family needs.
Couples Therapy Techniques Breakdown
The Gottman Method for couples therapy has over thirty years of research and practice. The Gottman Method uses techniques to enhance affection, closeness, and respect. These techniques can also assist you and your spouse in resolving conflict and you will learn strategies to understand each other’s concerns and discuss problems calmly. The Gottman Method emphasizes conflict management rather than conflict resolution. By participating in this form of therapy, you and your spouse will learn to speak openly about your feelings and thoughts.
Narrative therapy helps the individual or couple learn to separate the conflict or problem from the person. The foundation of this therapeutic technique is learning to understand that a problem doesn’t define a person. An example would be for couples experiencing a serious illness – the illness is a problem that the person has, but the illness is not the person. This counseling strategy aims to help couples find new ways to deal with their problems, and in turn, helping them to rewrite the relationship narrative.
Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy
Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy is a type of counseling first developed for couples, but is also useful for family counseling environments as well. This form of counseling is a short-term approach that has been proven to improve the troubled state of a relationship in over 90% of couples. One of the key benefits of this therapy is that couples learn to strengthen their relationship bond while expanding and reorganizing their typical emotional responses to conflict.
Positive psychology is a popular therapeutic strategy that emphasizes the cultivation of positive emotions. Through positive psychology, couples focus on positive thoughts and feelings and learn to live in the present moment.
Analyzing Communication Styles
Communicating in unhealthy ways is a basis for many problems in a relationship. Conflicts will arise in all marriages, but when couples learn to communicate their individual positions clearly, they can experience a constructive discussion instead of an argument. By working with a therapist to analyze the methods you and your spouse use to communicate, you will gain insight into where communication breakdown and misinterpretation happens. A counselor can then guide you to learn and adopt new forms of communication that help to prevent misunderstandings.
Uncovering the Unconscious Roots of Conflict
Some marriage counseling techniques utilize a psychodynamic approach to conflict. This allows the unconscious roots of a problem to be explored, and can shed light onto the causes of irrational behavior patterns. Past occurrences, such as abuse or parental infidelity, can create unreasonable expectations, irrational distrust, or jealousy in a relationship. During psychodynamic couples counseling, the therapist will help the couple explore major past experiences and how the distorted perceptions they have created are driving their reactions to stressful events and conflict.
Promote Closeness, Enhancing Intimacy
Counseling strategies that encourage intimacy can help couples experiencing a variety of difficulties in their relationship, as well as those looking to strengthen their marital bond. Couples therapy can be more than a way to solve relationship problems; it can also be used to promote closeness in a relationship by working to develop the friendship between a couple and the ways in which they show affection to one another.
Individual counseling is a suggested course of action when one spouse is unwilling to participate in therapy or as a precursor to a couple looking to begin therapy together. In some cases, an individual can benefit from therapy and learn strategies to help them be a more active and willing participant in couples-focused marriage counseling.
Contact a Fort Collins Divorce Attorney
If you or your spouse reside in Northern Colorado, Larimer County, or the Fort Collins region, and want to explore the variety of family-focused divorce options that are available, do not hesitate to contact Laura Monty Law. We provide collaborative divorce representation, divorce mediation services, legal advising for uncontested divorces, and a full array of divorce and family law services to meet your family’s needs. We strongly believe in taking a compassionate approach to family law, and recognize that every situation is unique.
Look for additional resources on finding a therapist in Northern Colorado on our blog.