Lacamas Counseling Serves Vancouver, Camas, Washougal Washington and the surrounding areas
Couples counseling (also called couples therapy or marriage counseling) is a professional relationship that is designed to enhance the strength of a romantic relationship, increase intimacy and closeness, and realign the relationship to values and goals of the couple. A couple may choose to pursue counseling services when they experience relationship problems, life difficulties, or transitions that are beyond their normal ability to cope.
Couples counseling may address concerns about:
- Reoccurring conflicts
- Unhealthy or threatening behaviors
- Unhealthy patterns and roles
- Past wounds
- Sexuality and intimacy
Getting Started With Couples Counseling
Counseling is used to create a therapeutic relationship between the couple and their counselor. The therapeutic relationship offers space, safety, and trust to achieve growth. With this trusting relationship in place, each partner is encouraged to share their concerns and process through the problem or difficulty. The counselor collaborates with the couple to create goals and a plan for counseling.
The counselor assists the couple in reaching their goals by facilitating communication, implementing collaborative problem solving, providing education and skills training, giving an outside perspective, empowering the couple, and using several other therapy skills and strategies.
The couple practices these skills with their counselor and on their own. As the couple experiments with the strategies and skills they have learned in counseling, they gather valuable feedback through successes, failures, and relapses. Feedback is used as a way to re-focus and align the couple toward their relationship goals. Finding the courage to experiment with new strategies can lead to growth, progress, and change.
What to Expect from Counseling
The length of counseling depends on the couple’s concerns and goals. Counseling can be short-term (about 2-6 weeks) to address a specific problem or counseling can be long-term (about 2 months to 2+ years) to address larger and more complex issues.
Counseling appointments are typically scheduled weekly, though more or less frequently scheduled appointments can be arranged depending on the severity and intensity of the problems.
Completing Couples Counseling
Eventually, as the couple reaches and maintains progress toward their goals, and if the couple is satisfied with their progress and no new goals are identified, then counseling is completed.
Couples may decide to meet with their counselor on an infrequent basis (in several months or years) to “check-in” about the problems addressed in session or new problems, life difficulties, or transitions.
Couples may also decide to pursue individual counseling to supplement the growth that they learned as a couple.