Relationship Therapy

All relationships require work-the work of communication, compromise, and compassion. When a relationship seems to require more work than the partners can offer on their own, but there is a desire to maintain the relationship, a couple may seek professional assistance.

People seek relationship counseling for a variety of reasons. The most obvious reason people attend couples counseling is when the partners in a relationship are having difficulty getting along. Couples often present with communication troubles, frequent arguments, emotional ups and downs, feelings of distance, betrayal, or contempt, affairs, or disagreements over basic relationship issues such as children, money, sex, or time.

Relationship counselors will neither recommend preserving nor dissolving a relationship; instead, they will help each partner communicate more clearly their needs, thoughts, and emotions, and listen more carefully to the other partner, and they will help the couple as a couple, by supporting the goals the couple agrees to–whether the goal is to “stay together forever,” “stop fighting”, “make the transition to being friends”, or just “learn more about each other and ourselves.”

Confidentiality  will raise unique issues in relationship work , therapists will only engage in relationship counseling if both partners waive their right to privacy from the other partner. This prevents one partner from sharing a “secret” with the therapist and undermining the trust and equality of the therapy relationship by keeping the secret–and forcing the therapist to keep it–from the other partner.\

However, relationship problems can be associated with diagnoses in two ways. First, chronic relationship conflict or emotional difficulty can certainly contribute to clinical mental health conditions like depression or anxiety. Second, the presence of certain illnesses may seriously impede the health of a relationship.