Principles of effective couples’ therapy: When we say principle, what do we mean in the actual sense?
According to an online dictionary, “Principle has to do with a fundamental truth or proposition that serves as the foundation for a system of belief, or behavior, or for chain reasoning.
From this angle, we realize that the truth behind couples’ therapy has to be learned before application. Specifically, in this article, we shall learn the various principles that couples should follow during therapy.
- 1 Principles of effective couples therapy – What is couples’ therapy?
- 2 What are the Principles of Effective Couples Therapy?
- 2.1 Let’s look into these basic principles of effective couples therapy together
- 2.1.1 Change the opinion or view of the relationship
- 2.1.2 A therapist should encourage emotional awareness
- 2.1.3 Couple Therapy should improve Communication
- 2.1.4 Couple therapy should expose couples to each other
- 2.1.5 Couple therapy should improve understanding between the partners
- 2.1.6 Couple therapy should tackle dysfunctional behaviors
- 2.1.7 Couple therapy should evaluate the opinion of the partners
- 2.1.8 Couples therapy should increase love between the couples
- 2.1.9 Couples therapy should avoid future conflict
- 2.1.10 Couples therapy should make partners focus more on each other
- 2.1.11 Couples therapy should be able to make couples stay accountable for each other
- 2.1.12 Couples therapy should teach couples how to be intentional
- 2.1.13 Couples therapy should enlighten the couples on how to show appreciation
- 2.1.14 The couples must learn how to respect each other
- 2.1.15 The couples should learn how to be generous
- 2.1.16 Couple therapy should enlighten the couples that taking responsibility is important
- 2.1.17 Couple therapy should lead to the provision of financial and emotional support
- 2.1 Let’s look into these basic principles of effective couples therapy together
Principles of effective couples therapy – What is couples’ therapy?
Couples therapy has to do with the psychotherapy in which a relationship counselor or therapist that is endowed with clinical experience has to work with couples. He or she must have been licensed in Marriage and Family therapy so that he can help two people who are engaged in a romantic relationship understand the principles to be followed in other to maintain it, avoiding future conflict, and improve the standard of the relationship. This is normally done through the application of therapeutic capability.
The involvement of the therapist varies, depending on the level of the problem that is involved. However, there are general elements of the situation they all handle which are:
They focus on a specific problem. Probably, things like sexual problems, alcoholism, internet addiction, pornographic addiction, and many other issues that hinder the growth of the relationship.
The ability of the therapist to focus more on repairing the relationship rather than treating the couples separately.
They ensure they follow up with the treatment by shifting the focus when the need arises.
A clear provision of the treatment objectives.
In one way or the other, these principles above will be related to the main topic at hand:
What are the Principles of Effective Couples Therapy?
The principles of effective couples therapy have to do with the selected rules and regulations that strengthen the relationship. For instance, when a specific problem arises between the couples, there should be a particular means through which you must follow to control it so that it does not destroy the relationship.
Let’s look into these basic principles of effective couples therapy together
Change the opinion or view of the relationship
The view of the relationship could have been a very major problem. What you need to do is to change it. Ensure that the couples change the way they do some things before or improve on doing them effectively. For instance, if there is no effective communication between the couples before, as a therapist, it is your job to lead them on how to communicate more effectively. Remember, communication is the heart of every relationship, so, if weakly handled in a relationship, threatens it.
A therapist should encourage emotional awareness
What is the emotional level of the partners to each other? What should they do to balance this emotion equation? This is also very vital in any relationship. The therapist must be able to let the couples understand that hiding problems from their spouse or partner could silently kill the relationship without your awareness. For this reason, I emphasize that a therapist should work very effectively at this angle to ensure that the couples are well-connected emotionally.
Couple Therapy should improve Communication
What is the result of the counseling? Are the couples now communicating effectively? Have they changed their attitude towards the percentage of the time they give each other when it comes to rapport? A therapist must be able to make this happen as it is very important.
Couple therapy should expose couples to each other
Couples may not know each other very well. Organizing therapy for them will make it easy to understand each other better. This is one of the most important aspects of couple therapy. For instance, the couples may not know that their emotional reaction to situations has been the bedrock of the problem they face in the relationship.
Upon inviting the right therapist, these concealing features of the spouse will be revealed. The therapist will work on it as a means to strategize a way to avoid future conflict.
Couple therapy should improve understanding between the partners
What is the essence of a relationship in which the couples don’t understand each other? It is better such relationship does not exist. For this reason, a therapist should try his or her best to ensure they lead the couples to understand each other’s needs and wants at a certain time. Couples should know that when a partner behaves in a specific way, he or she needs probably breathing space. Every attitude should not lead to fight or quarrel. We are humans, and our level of understanding differs, therefore, before the argument, the couple should first understand the situation. By doing this, they both should be able to avoid conflict.
Couple therapy should tackle dysfunctional behaviors
Couple therapist should focus on how to stop abusive behaviors occurring between the couples. It could be emotional, physical, materially, or what have you. Once this is done, there should be a drastic decrease in a future conflict.
Couple therapy should evaluate the opinion of the partners
Everyone has his or her opinion concerning issues which must be acknowledged. Failure to do so will bring about conflict. This job is left to the therapist to figure out a way in which the couples will get to know each other’s opinion about a matter. For instance, concerning how to manage wealth. Depending on our background, some partners believe in spending money extravagantly, while other partners believe that being greedy about how we spend money is indiscipline. As a well-trained therapist, you must find a way to resolve this conflict.
Couples therapy should increase love between the couples
One of the aims of the couple’s therapy is to be able to increase the love between couples. This is because, when there is love between the couples, there will be tolerance for each other. There will be a space for understanding to come in since both of them will not like to lose the other.
Couples therapy should avoid future conflict
couples’ therapy done that cannot avoid future conflict is either not carried out well or the couples were not complying with the therapist when it was done. So, it is important for a therapist to figure out what to do, in order to guide the couples on how to avoid future conflicts. He or she can expose them to one of their attitudes that are bringing problems to the marriage.
Couples therapy should make partners focus more on each other
There are many marriages in which the couples don’t give attention to each other’s needs. This kind of attitude can kill a marriage or romantic relationship. This is like that because; there is no room for each of the couples to express their feelings for each other or about what is bothering them. In some homes, couples are highly addicted to the internet. This has broken many homes into pieces. In fact, to pick the pieces is impossible. As a professional therapist, you must be able to take care of this problem for the couples. Let them understand that this particular attitude is what is killing their relationship.
Couples therapy should be able to make couples stay accountable for each other
Teach them new tools that will help enhance their bond in the relationship. Tell them many new things they don’t understand how to keep a relationship healthy. Give them the chance to evaluate each other’s behavior so that it will be there on the behavioral mirror for them to see and act accordingly. In so doing, many relationships will be safe as long as the couples abide by the principles issued by the counselor.
Couples therapy should teach couples how to be intentional
If you want your relationship to be effective and healthy, you must be conscious of your time and action. You must know when to take an action and when not to. This means you must be calculating. You must be ready to give your partner full attention and time to spend together.
For instance, you can start a full night date—it will give you the chance to spend more time with each other. Through one or two conversations, you begin to know who your spouse or partner really is. You can also go on a brief walk together after your daily routine—it is important in bringing both of you together emotionally. It makes you feel like friends or blood brother and sister that gist along the road in a beautiful evening. You can also plan your time and actions together, by watching TV shows together. If a therapist can persuade the couples to be time and action conscious, it will really help the relationship.
Couples therapy should enlighten the couples on how to show appreciation
Every human being has this feeling of importance. It is very important we take note of it. You can’t disregard the human feelings about a matter; otherwise, you will both have some issues. If you really want to make your relationship strong and lasting, you must learn how to appreciate your partner even though for a very little good deed done towards you.
The couples must learn how to respect each other
Marriage is a very serious matter that every married person must take as seriously as it should. You must understand that you are no longer singles; therefore maturity should come into play. Respect your spouse in person and also in terms of his/ her opinion. This will give them the confidence to respect you in return.
Remember, respect is reciprocal. Whatever you give, it returns to you. So, if you are the type that loves respect, I encourage you should exercise it first. A therapist should take note of this aspect of human behavior, and work on them when discovered within a couple.
The couples should learn how to be generous
One good aspect of any relationship is the ability to give without hesitation. You must learn how to give your partner whatever they want or need at a certain time in their life – as far as it is not illegal to do so and you can afford it. Giving sometimes, may not be by material things or cash, it could also be by giving them instructions on what to do or advise them on a specific matter. Through this good act of charity, the relationship will last longer.
Couple therapy should enlighten the couples that taking responsibility is important
The root of the problems of many homes has to do with not taking good responsibility. Some partners don’t even know their roles in the family. They are just there doing nothing. Such mistakes can quickly destroy your relationship. A therapist, who may discover this problem during the process of counseling, will have to inform the couples on the importance of taking responsibility. If done as expected, would strengthen such relationship.
Couple therapy should lead to the provision of financial and emotional support
What is the essence of couples that cannot support each other financially and emotionally? In the first place, why are they called couples? You must first understand that one of the major parts of any relationship is support for each other in times of needs. The very day you started your love story, you vowed that you love each other. This is exactly what should continue after the wedding. You must always be there for each other when the need arises. Show value and respect for your loved one; ask them questions when they switch their emotion. Use these power words “What’s happening?” So your partner may open up their problems to you and then do the needful.
Couple therapy should enable couples to share and forgive each other
Forgiveness is a powerful tool in a relationship. If you need your relationship to last, all you need to do is to learn how to overlook so many mistakes. Encourage people to share but before then, you must have learned how to do so. Sharing love, wealth and emotion is a key factor in enhancing a relationship.
With this little information on the principles of effective couples’ therapy, a therapist should be able to figure out other means to curb the issues or problems that exist between couples.