Guiding Principles of Couples Therapy

Couples therapy has become one most important part of urban life-style. The reason is simple – both the spouses are so busy in their own lives, they don’t have time to share those romantic moments and cherish their memories in privacy. Anyhow, couples therapy is not easy, it requires a lot of training and learning. Here are 5 guiding principles and benefits of couples therapy.

  1. Couples Therapy Toronto Changes the views of the relationship

Throughout the therapeutic process, the therapist attempts to help both partners see the relationship in a more objective manner.  They learn to stop the “blame game” and instead look at what happens to them as a process involving each partner. They also can benefit from seeing that their relationship takes place in a certain context.  Different therapists Toronto will use different strategies, but as long as they focus on altering the way the relationship is understood, the couple can start to see each other, and their interactions, in more adaptive ways.

  1. Solution to dysfunctional behavior

Effective couples therapists attempt to change the way that the partners actually behave with each other. In addition to helping them improve their interactions, therapists also need to ensure that their clients are not engaging in actions that can cause physical, psychological, or economic harm.   In order to do this, therapists must conduct a careful assessment to determine whether their clients are, in fact, at risk.

  1. Decreases emotional avoidance

Couples who avoid expressing their private feelings put themselves at greater risk of becoming emotionally distant and hence grow apart. Effective couples therapists help their clients bring out the emotions and thoughts that they fear expressing to the other person. Attachment-based couples therapy allows the partners to feel less afraid of expressing their needs for closeness.

Behaviorally based therapists, assume that adults may fear expressing their true feelings because, in the past, they did not receive “reinforcement.”  Either way, both theoretical approaches advocate helping their clients express their true feelings in a way that will eventually draw them closer together.

  1. Improves communication

All effective couples therapies focus on helping the partners to communicate more effectively. Building on principles #2 and #3, this communication should not be abusive, nor should partners ridicule each other when they do express their true feelings. Couples may, therefore, require “coaching” to learn how to speak to each other in more supportive and understanding ways.

The Toronto therapist may also provide the couple with didactic instruction to give them the basis for knowing what types of communication are effective and what types will only cause more conflict.  They can learn how to listen more actively and empathically, for example.

  1. Promotes strengths

Because so much of couples therapy involves focusing on problem areas, it’s easy to lose sight of the other areas in which couples function effectively. The point of promoting strength is to help the couple derive more enjoyment out of their relationship.

The behaviorally-oriented therapist may “prescribe” that one partner do something that pleases the other.  Therapists from other orientations that focus more on emotions instead might help the couple develop a more positive “story” or narrative about their relationship.  In either case, the therapist should avoid trying to put his or her own spin on what constitutes a strength and let this be defined by the couple.

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