What are the different types of couples therapy techniques?
Couples counselling can be daunting at first, however, the potential progress that can made in your relationship is worth getting past those initial nerves. Couples therapists are trained in a variety of different techniques, and can recommend the ideal option for you.
Here, we explore the different couples therapy techniques, explaining what each one has to offer and what to expect from a couples therapy session.
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Find out how couples therapy could benefit you and your partner.
Find out more about the common therapy techniques:
Find out whether couples counselling could benefit you and your partner.
Find out what types of issues each method can assist with and which may be ideal for you.
Find out how we can help you and your partner overcome your relationship issues.
What are the benefits of seeking couples therapy?
How couples therapy could benefit you depends on your specific circumstance; however, some of the common issues that are addressed in couples therapy include:
Dealing with the aftermath of an affair
Strengthening an emotional bond
Understanding your partner better.
Find out more about what issues can be addressed in couples therapy here.
Are you looking for a couples therapist to help you overcome your relationship problems? Find out how we can help.
Couples therapy can encourage both of you to communicate honestly, and help you navigate relationship issues in a healthy way. Having a therapist in the session can help ensure your conversation stays on track, and a specialist can help you identify the key issues that need resolving.
Common types of couples therapy techniques
Some of the common types of couples therapy techniques include the following:
Cognitive behavioural therapy
CBT for couples focuses on your thoughts, and how they can impact both your emotions and your actions. Using CBT, a therapist will help you to identify negative or inaccurate thought patterns that have been learned throughout your life and aid you in replacing them with more accurate and positive thoughts. This will aim to help you develop better behaviour patterns.
When this applies to couples, your therapist will support you in identifying negative thoughts and patterns that you may have towards your partner, address these and seek to help you overcome these obstacles to having a healthy relationship.
A CBT technique may often be used as the primary therapy, where the main focus is working through emotions and thoughts and developing positive thought patterns.
Find out more about the benefits of using couples cognitive behavioural therapy here.
The Gottman therapy technique
The Gottman couples therapy method is an evidence-based form of couples therapy that strives to assist couples in achieving a deeper sense of understanding and empathy with their relationships. Developed by John Gottman, the technique is based on decades of research, and John Gottman found in his research that some marriages end in divorce while others succeed due to the way couples interact and navigate conflict.
Read our full guide to the Gottman therapy technique here.
Emotionally-focused couples therapy
Emotionally focused couples therapy was developed in tandem with the science of adult attachment. This takes the view that human relationships are innately relational, social and wired for intimate bonding with others. EFCT prioritises the emotional aspect of human bonding as the key to relationship interactions. As a result, it is suitable for all relationships, regardless of personality type and sexuality.
The basic premise of EFCT is to expand and reorganise emotional responses in an attempt to create a positive shift in individual interactions and behaviours. This helps to foster a secure bond between both parties.
Find out more about what emotionally-focused therapy has to offer here.
Person-centered couples therapy
Person-centered couples therapy holds the belief that when you gain a better understanding of yourself and your partner, you can better understand how you function within the scope of a relationship with another person. This process encourages honesty and openness with your partner, improving communication and views you as the experts on yourselves. Person-centered couples therapy can help you see that feelings around how your partner views themselves can influence how they view your relationship.
With person-centered therapy, the client themselves chooses what to discuss and at what pace they would like to address their issues. The therapist supports the individual as they discuss their issues and come to conclusions and possible solutions independently.
Are you curious about what person-centered therapy could offer? Read our main guide to person-centered therapy here.
Imago couples therapy
‘Imago’ means ‘image’ in Latin, and Imago relationship therapy is all about people’s unconscious and idealised idea of familiar love. This idea is developed in childhood and often goes unchallenged in adulthood and often involves early interactions with parents and other significant adults in early life.
The key aims of Imago couples therapy are to help both partners unveil their relationship images and to comprehend how these unconscious expectations are impacting the dynamic of their current relationship. In doing this, each partner will gain a better understanding of the other’s history and perspective.
Read our full guide to Imago couples therapy here.
Narrative couples therapy
There are various methods and exercises when it comes to the narrative couples therapy technique. They are all aimed at helping couples heal and move on from a problematic story. Find out more about these methods here.
Could couples therapy be ideal for you?
If you are struggling to overcome relationship issues, and you want to reduce conflict and find healthier ways of working through your problems – couples therapy can help. Whether your issue be trust, intimacy, communication or other issues – couples therapy can help you work through a variety of problems.
Are you ready to talk to a couples therapist? Contact us today.
Which type of couples therapy technique could be ideal for you?
Your therapist will be highly experienced in recommending the best method for you, and they will use the best couples therapy technique for your circumstance. For example – if you struggle with negative thought patterns causing negative conflict – cognitive behavioural therapy may be used to help you to alter harmful behavioural patterns.
Preparing for your first couples counselling session
There is no set answer to what you can say in couples therapy, as everyone’s situation is different. However, having an idea of what might be useful to discuss and what you hope to get out of therapy can sometimes reduce nerves and help you feel prepared.
Here are some things you may want to discuss with your partner so you have a clear idea of what you want to discuss in couples therapy:
What are you hoping to get out of therapy, and what are your key goals?
What do you feel are the key issues in your relationship?
Have we made a clear, concise, and mutually agreed-upon list of issues to discuss?
Do we both understand the issues each of us are facing?
These key things can put you in the right frame of mind to begin your first session. However, bear in mind that even if your partner is not willing to be fully cooperative, couples therapy may still help you.
How British CBT and counselling can help
We specialise in a range of couples therapy techniques – one of which is person-centered couples therapy. Our therapists will assess what therapy technique is the best option for you depending on your problems and circumstances. To find out more about how we can help, please get in touch or read more about our couples counselling services here. We understand that this can be a difficult time for you, so we will show care and compassion throughout any communication with you.
What is the Gottman couples therapy technique?
The Imago couples therapy method
Emotionally-focused couples therapy