Most people have a general familiarity with couples counseling. They see couples counseling as two people, meeting in a room with a therapist, talking about their problems and focusing on communication and trust. They see it as this type of free-flowing conversation, with the therapist acting as a mediator to help them better understand each other.
But what many people do not know is that couples therapy is actually extensively researched and structured. While “free flowing” couples counseling can be helpful for marriages that do benefit from that mediator, other approaches to couples counseling involve specific activities, actions, and strategies that have been discovered and researched at major universities around the world.
Understanding the Types of Couples Counseling on Long Island
You and your couples counselor will determine the best approach to help you with your relationship. There are many situations when having someone act as a mediator while you and your partner talk is helpful, and there are techniques that your couples counselor may deploy that are not necessarily associated with a specific couples therapy approach, but nonetheless useful in rebuilding your relationship.
However, there are also several specific strategies that your Long Island couples counselor may use to support your recovery as a couple. Some of these therapeutic modalities still have a free flowing component, but most are very structured, and your therapist will implement them with you to help you respond in a healthier way to relationship challenges. Examples of these include:
- Gottman Method – The Gottman Method couples counseling technique is both extremely popular and effective, used successfully by therapists throughout the US. It involves a multi-step approach with several effective tools for rebuilding a “Sound Relationship House” among many other specific techniques.
- EFT – EFT, or Emotion Focused Therapy, is designed to identify and address destructive relationship patterns within a marriage. It is focused on bonding, and has a very high success rate for couples that have used it.
- Imago Relationship Therapy- IRT is an interesting couples counseling technique that attempts to help couples truly understand each other by relating childhood stories and experiences. Not all couples benefit from this approach, but those that do often find that it helps them secure a more understanding bond.
- Narrative Therapy – Narrative therapy is a very specific approach to couples counseling on Long Island, where the couple is asked to tell their relationship as a story, and then rewrite the story with a happier and better outcome. Not all couples qualify for this approach either, but there are specific situations in which this approach makes sense or the couple.
- Discernment Counseling – Discernment counseling is a fascinating approach to couples therapy that is specifically for couples that have different preferences for the ultimate outcome of their relationship, often where one partner wants to stay and the other wants it to end. It is less researched than other forms of therapy as it was only developed about a decade ago.
- Solution Focused Therapy – Solution focused therapy is about just that: finding a solution. For couples that have a specific problem or clear recurring issues that need solutions in order for the couple to feel attached and move forward.
There are other approaches as well that may be available for different couples and different individuals, depending on what your needs may be. At our couples counseling sessions, we work to try to identify not only what you need as a couple, but what approach(es) are likely to offer you the best solutions for moving forward.
If you need couples counseling or would like to learn more about Long Island Counseling Services, please contact us today.