The Surprising Benefits of Couples Counseling (Even If You Think You Don’t Need It)

The Surprising Benefits of Couples Counseling (Even If You Think You Don’t Need It)

There is a common misconception that people only attend therapy when there is something wrong with their lives or relationships. This perception is not only harmful, but it couldn’t be further from the truth. Therapy has many benefits for an individual, even if you aren’t struggling, and the same can be said for couples. Even if you and your sweetie are happy, you can still gain plenty of things from going to therapy. If you haven’t considered it before, here are some surprising benefits of couples counseling.

1. It provides a safe place to vent.

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Relationships will always have conflict, but how you handle the conflict can play a role in the overall health of your bond. In therapy, you’re able to discuss issues on an even playing field with an impartial referee on the sidelines. A guide walking you through conflict can make resolving the problem easier and serve as a model for future conflicts. Even if bringing issues with your partner to your sessions may seem counterintuitive, airing it out and reaching a resolution is better for the relationship than letting it fester inside.

2. Better communication skills.

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Even if you and your partner are on the same wavelength most of the time, it never hurts to brush up on your communication skills. Your background influences how you communicate, and therapy gives you both a way to examine those patterns and learn how they affect the other person. Even if it’s been smooth sailing so far, there’s always a chance that your communication styles become incompatible over time, or there will be miscommunications that cause conflict. Learning a neutral way to approach each other with clarity and respect is always valuable, and it means more domestic bliss for you both.

3. It reinforces your dedication.

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Whether you’re married or just dating long-term, choosing to attend therapy can be a show of dedication. Continually investing time and energy to improve the relationship may reaffirm someone’s care for their partner. This effect can feel even stronger if you have issues, it shows you are fighting to keep the relationship going. This effort and dedication can feel incredibly affirming and encourage the other party to try their best as well.

4. Improved intimacy.

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Intimacy is more plentiful when you’re in a good place in your relationship. However, you can take this a step further and learn about your partner’s intimacy preferences and fantasies and improve communication in the bedroom. This all can be accomplished in therapy. Having a safe place to have discussions around intimacy and bring up concerns can take some of the pressure off of couples to do so at home. All that’s left is for you both to enjoy it.

5. Enhanced self-awareness.

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Let’s be honest—we can all improve on this one. Being aware of yourself, your patterns, and the challenges you face can directly impact your relationship. For example, if you struggle with jealousy, it may have more to do with your self-esteem than your partner’s actions. Having a therapist can be so helpful in untangling those mental knots, making you and your relationship better. Additionally, awareness of your baggage means avoiding pitfalls and finding healthier coping skills.

6. Improved problem-solving skills.

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Finding a way forward that doesn’t hurt one or both parties can be difficult when issues arise. You may not innately have the skills you need to compromise effectively or the willpower needed to enact it. However, learning these skills in couples therapy is a crucial step in the process. Therapy is not a magic wand that will immediately fix any issues you have with your partner; it’s more of a toolbox that gives you the knowledge and skills you need to tackle challenges together.

7. Better conflict resolution.

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Nothing feels better than resolving conflict in a healthy and satisfying way, but it takes significant work. You have to hear each other out, express your feelings, acknowledge each other, and find a solution. This process can be daunting, especially when emotions are running high. If you practice it in therapy or run through the scenarios during a session, conflict resolution can become much more manageable. The best part? Even when you stop attending, you still have invaluable practice that will make you a better partner forever.

8. Learning about setting and respecting boundaries.

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Boundaries are expectations about behaviors that protect your energy, and they can be especially important in a relationship. Learning about healthy, reasonable boundaries you might need to set with your partner can mean fewer transgressions at home. It may even be an activity you can do in a session. Exploring the difference between good and bad boundaries and defining your needs within the relationship can help you and your partner get on the same page.

9. Decreased anxiety and stress.

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It’s natural to worry about your partner’s thoughts and whether or not they feel satisfied in the relationship. You could remove this source of stress if you are willing to have an open and honest conversation about your feelings. Therapy can help make this conversation more approachable. Overall, making a point to share your feelings can mean a higher level of transparency about emotions. The joy is that you never have to guess what they think or feel; they’ll just tell you, meaning you can kiss the anxiety you have about it goodbye.

10. Improved understanding of one another.

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To know someone is to love them. Attending therapy might mean looking at your partner and their insecurities, fears, and emotions and using that as a bonding experience. When we are able to see them for everything they are, it humanizes their quirks and can make us see them with new eyes. This means renewed understanding, empathy for their position, and less resentment. Understanding each other may be the difference between seeing them as bad and just a person who makes mistakes.

11. Support during transitional periods.

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If you or your partner are changing jobs, welcoming a new family member, or coping with loss, it can affect your relationship in unexpected ways. Changing your routine can introduce challenging emotions, which may cause tension. A therapist can provide additional support for both of you and help either party address new or unmet needs throughout the transition process. This can be invaluable and will give you new tools for being a better partner during rough patches.

12. Improved parenting skills.

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Conflicts and unhealthy dynamics between parents can often affect children in detrimental ways. Conversely, children who see a healthy and positive relationship dynamic between their parents often grow up more well-adjusted and have healthier relationships. This alone might motivate you and your partner to attend therapy, but consider that you can also improve your parenting style simultaneously. By discussing your preferences and ideals, you and your partner may develop a more consistent and cohesive parenting style. So, therapy makes you happy and will also be better for your child.

13. Preventing future issues.

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If you address a minor annoyance early, you prevent it from becoming a problematic pattern later. Therapy, when utilized before issues arise, has a preventative power that can mean you never have to reach your boiling point with your partner. By setting boundaries, discussing things before they become serious, and understanding each other better, you are less likely to trigger your partner accidentally. Attending therapy when things are good may seem counterintuitive, but trust me when I say it’s an investment in the future.

14. Rebuilding trust.

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When infidelity or betrayal plagues your relationship, it can be hard to feel safe with your partner. These issues affect our core trust in our partners and erode our ability to give them the benefit of the doubt. This mentality can lead to obsession, jealousy, arguing, or demonizing the other person, which is neither a good nor healthy sign for your relationship. Taking these concerns to therapy can help you get them off your chest and open up a path to rebuild trust and feel comfortable again.

15. Opportunity to bond.

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Though I’ve spoken at length about the benefits of resolving conflicts and building skills in therapy, it’s also worth considering that taking the time to attend can be a bonding experience. You can use therapy days to double as a date, get ice cream, or take a walk in the park afterward to reconnect or revel in a new breakthrough. Therapy also doesn’t have to be all doom and gloom; there can be moments of joy, celebrations of small victories, and profound care for each other. When you are honest and raw with your partner and allow each other to be seen, that is the most beautiful bonding experience of all.

17. Find love with the power of your mind — our sister site, Sweetn, shows you how.

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Take their fun quiz and try their research-powered tools to transform your love life in weeks. They’ll help you change your perspective on love and relationships and restore your belief that your ideal partner is out there. Click here to start.

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