“Do we need to see a therapist?”
“Could a couples counselor help?”
No couple really wants to have these sorts of thoughts or conversations. Often, if couples have gotten to the point of thinking about seeing a psychologist, things have gotten pretty bad. Disagreements. Yelling. Silence. Maybe all 3.
So how do you know if seeing a couples therapist could be helpful to your relationship?
You keep having the same argument over, and over, and over. Living with someone is tough – there are just so many things to argue about! Sometimes those arguments can go in circles – meaning they keep happening in the same old way with no resolution. Couples therapists can help you communicate differently and hopefully get out of the old ruts.
You’ve stopped arguing and don’t know what to say. Some couples stop communicating altogether after a while – and that can be damaging too. Learning how to re-start the conversation by communicating (and listening) effectively are great goals for therapy.
You’re not where you wish you were. One of the biggest challenges in the life of a couple is weathering changes, transitions and different phases of life. Just because you love each other doesn’t mean you deal with change and challenge in the same way. Couples therapy can help folks get back on track after a transition (becoming parents, retiring, relocating, etc).
Of course I’m a little biased, but I think just about every couple could benefit from seeing a psychologist at some point in their relationship. There are no side effects, and even a meeting or two can be helpful!