Finding trauma-informed couples therapy – what to look for, and factors to consider
Trauma can significantly impact a relationship, whether it is one or both partners that have been affected by the trauma. Often, it can lead to problems such as impaired communication between the partners, and there may be a negative impact on trust. One or both partners may be suffering from PTSD, which can strongly impact a relationship.
Couples therapy may be ideal for helping you to work through any issues that may have been impacted by trauma, or for you both to come to terms with how the other person is dealing with trauma. Though this may seem daunting, it can be extremely worthwhile in strengthening your relationship.
In this piece, we explore what to consider when finding trauma-informed couples therapy, how couples therapy may help, and answer common queries on couples therapy for trauma.
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Find out how trauma-informed couples therapy could benefit you, and what it involves.
Read what factors to consider when choosing a couples therapist for trauma.
Read the benefits of online couples therapy as opposed to in-person therapy.
We answer common queries on finding trauma-informed couples therapy.
What is trauma-informed couples therapy, and how could it benefit you?
Trauma-informed couples therapy is a form of couples therapy that allows each partner to understand any traumas that the other has endured in the past, and aims to improve communication. Trauma discussed could range from childhood traumas to recent traumas, and it can involve trauma experienced by both partners or just one. This kind of therapy can facilitate better comprehension of a partner’s coping mechanisms and behaviours in order to understand why they may act or respond in a certain way.
Your therapy will likely involve doing extra work outside the sessions in order to help you pick up new communication habits. You will be set some tasks by your therapist to complete with your partner. This might sound daunting or time-consuming, however it is worth having an open mind. These tasks are designed to help improve your relationship and understand each other better. Tasks might include keeping thought diaries or records of any disagreements or practising specific techniques that may help you.
After your first session together with your therapist, you and your partner will both meet individually with your counsellor to explore the issues that you are facing. You will then have a course of weekly sessions with your partner to allow your therapist to help you heal, and there will be some tasks to complete outside the sessions too.
Find out more about the benefits of couples counselling here.
Finding a trauma-informed couples therapist – what to consider
It can be beneficial to find a therapist who has extensive experiencing in dealing with couples therapy rather than simply dealing with individuals. This ensures that you will be provided with high quality services from a specialist in your area of therapy. This may also make you feel more confident about seeking therapy.
Although the type of method provided depends on what your therapist best sees fit, it can be beneficial to choose a therapist who specialises in techniques that are useful for people who have been through trauma. Common therapy techniques for overcoming trauma include:
Eye movement desensitisation: EMDR can help to lessen the effects of trauma on your mind and body which can be a positive step in improving your relationship.
Cognitive behavioural therapy: trauma-focused CBT can help couples to understand each other better, communicate more efficiently and solve the problems in the relationship. Are you looking for a therapist who specialises in CBT? Find out how we can help here.
There are also alternative methods that can be used in couples therapy for trauma. Read more about the different methods that can be offered here.
The benefits of online couples therapy
Online couples therapy can provide an excellent alternative. In online sessions, couples work with their counsellor to learn the same techniques, but sessions are conducted over the internet, rather than in person. This can be particularly useful if you or your partner lead busy lifestyles and struggle with finding time to travel. It can also be ideal if you feel particularly nervous about talking to a therapist in-person, and would rather discuss personal issues virtually.
Are you looking for an online couples therapist? Read our full guide to finding online couples therapy here.
How we can help
The British Counselling Service is an organisation that can help couples who are struggling with issues such as trauma and PTSD. Offering a wide range of therapies, all services are administered by experienced and qualified psychologists, psychotherapists and highly regulated therapists. We also support online therapy, enabling patients to receive counselling over skype calls, telephone calls, or other platforms. Our psychologists have spent between seven and nine years training to enable people to overcome their emotional difficulties, and many hold senior positions in the NHS.
Do you feel ready to reach out to a couples therapist? Contact The British Counselling Service today to find out more about how we can help.
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