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A couple's relationship has a pragmatic-logistical, intellectual, sexual and social dimension – some weaker, some stronger – but for the relationship to blossom it must include also a strong emotional bond. This emotional connection provides sense of security, closeness and support, both in good times and bad – when we are stressed, sad, exhausted, confused. Especially then. Especially during the difficult times we need partner's supportive shoulder, words of understanding and encouragement. We need the partner to be there for us.
Closeness, being tuned to each other’s needs, trust, respect and sense of security for the present and future form the psychological foundation of a good relationship. Most of us dream of this kind of relationship when entering the magical world of courting. Unfortunately, many settle for less or lose the kind of connection over time. Conflict takes the place meant for closeness.
In the couples where quarrel has become a part of everyday life one feels that the partner does not understand her, does not respond in a timely and/or desired manner. Sense of security and self-worth will not last in this situation for long. Then it is the time to come to couples therapy. Better sooner than later. It is a widespread bitter joke of family therapists that the couples arrive to therapy about five years too late. This is usually when one of the partners feels that it is impossible to continue the journey together, the differences are unsolvable or staying in the relationship brings more pain than pleasure. When a large part of the relationship is broken.
Couples therapy may improve daily doings of the family or couple, increase emotional involvement and mutual understanding, restore lost or fading contact. And help the family to move from a deadlock or constant power struggle to a more rewarding relationship and commitment.
If the emotional bond is hopelessly broken and the needs of the couple cannot be sensibly aligned but at least one partner would like to continue, the family therapist can help the couple to split up in the least painful manner. The outside help could be crucial if the couple in this situation have children. Using outside help of counselling (at least at first) instead of a lawyer can save the involved parties from a lot of torture.
A relationship or family can be a source of unparalleled support and joy, but also of stress or pain. Family therapy allows family members to express their difficult feelings in a safe environment, become aware of the needs, experiences, opinions and feelings of others, therefore create a change in relationships and life in general. In couples therapy we explore and look for ways for improving the relationship patterns of the couple in maintaining the relationship or in contribution for creating a conflict.
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