Couples therapy helps
couples, married or
not, straight or gay, understand and resolve conflicts or improve their
relationship. Couples are given tools to communicate better, negotiate
differences, problem-solve and even argue in a healthier way.
therapy focuses on the problems
existing in the relationship between two people. But, these
relationship problems always involve individual symptoms and problems,
as well as the relationship conflicts. For example, if you are
constantly arguing with your spouse or partner, you will probably also
be chronically anxious, angry or depressed (or all three). Or, if you
have difficulty controlling your temper, you will have more arguments
with your partner. Additionally, there are many social issues
concerning gay couples that can seriously influence negative feelings
in these relationships.
couples therapy, you and your partner
will identify the conflict issues within your relationship, and decide
what changes are needed, in the relationship and in the behavior of
each partner, for both of you to feel satisfied with the relationship.
changes may be different ways of
interacting within the relationship, or they may be individual changes
related to personal psychological problems. Couples must learn how to
avoid competing with each other, how to identify common life goals and
how to share responsibilities within their relationship. Sometimes the
process is very similar to individual psychotherapy, sometimes it is
more like mediation, and sometimes it is educational. The combination
of these three components is what makes it effective.