How Can Marriage Counseling Help New Couples?
The goal of Marriage Counseling or Couples Therapy with new couples is to build a strong and healthy foundation, with effective communication skills, in order to reduce the conflict and discord that leads many couples to need Marriage Counseling in the future. At the beginning of most relationships there is little to no conflict, attachment is strong, and intimacy is frequent. If the relationship goes as desired, a solid foundation is built including communication skills, effective ability to empathize, and relationship habits are formed to help manage stress, obstacles, and busy lives as a team. The trouble comes when more and more people are growing up without healthy examples of relationships, leading to many people not having the skills needed to form this healthy foundation. This is where couples therapy comes in. This brings in a professional to help teach and develop these skills that will lead to growth as a couple and a solid foundation for a long and satisfying relationship.
What Will Therapy Focus On?
This type of counseling, often referred to as pre-marital counseling, starts by setting goals as a couple and building the basic tools that couples need to work through the common stressors and difficulties that they will face in the first few years of marriage. Communication skills building is the foundation and promotes listening, empathy, compromise, and an understanding of each other and how one another thinks. The goal is to reduce arguing that forms rifts and improve the ability to negotiate stressors that can lead to arguments in and effective way. Also, focusing on if those inevitable arguments happen, recovering from them with the minimal amount of hurt and using them as tools to learn for the future. Skills that lead to healthy behavioral habits for a marriage are also taught.
Open discussions about the most common sources of conflict for couples is another foundation of this type of counseling. The focus here is to work through a picture of what both partners think a family should look like in the future and how to get there. The idea behind this is that everyone thinks differently and even though you think your goals are the same, the ideas of how to get there can be very different and this can lead to conflict. Compromise and an understanding of how the other thinks and plans can reduce conflict and help achieve these goals in the most efficient ways possible. Some examples of common triggers to this type of conflict are finances, parenting, intimacy, boundaries with extended family, work, or friends, and the break down of responsibilities.
Length of Therapy:
Pre-Marital or New Couples Therapy has no set length; however, it is typically suggested that the starting point be six sessions and then reassessing needs and going from that point. The goal is to build a healthy foundation and prevent the conflict that can lead to needing therapy in the future.