Our therapists offer research-proven couples and marriage counseling to provide couples with the relationship skills needed to:
- Feel emotionally and physically closer
- Resolve conflict
- Be able to have calm, involved conversations about difficult topics
- Understand each others’ needs, and be able to respond
- Understand and communicate your own needs
- Know that you’re enough for your partner, and important to your partner, even when you don’t get it exactly right
- Be more patient with each other
- Understand why you’re having trouble getting along when you know you love each other so much
- Decide whether or not to separate
- Stay connected even when you disagree
- Heal after an affair, addiction, major secret, or shattered trust
- Parent together harmoniously, even when you see things differently
- Manage your step family and extended family issues
How Does it Work?
The first step in couples counseling or marriage counseling is to understand what’s getting in the way of conflict resolution, closeness, and/or trust. Every couple has a cycle, or patterned way of trying to resolve conflict together. Sometimes the cycle is positive and they can get through it on their own; at other times it’s a negative cycle and they get stuck. Another way to describe the negative cycle is as a pattern of communication happening below the surface of partners’ actual words or behaviors. This “deeper” conversation isn’t about details; it’s about unmet relationship needs. Until these relationship needs are addressed, the real conversation will usually go nowhere.
When couples get stuck, the following ends up happening: one partner escalates while the other shuts down, both partners get escalated and there’s a fight or heated argument, or both partners withdraw from the conversation. Whichever way, the problem doesn’t get resolved. Instead it gets pushed under the rug, only to resurface later. Other times it may seem as if there’s resolution, but it isn’t lasting.
Our counselors are highly trained to help couples understand their negative cycle, which is more often than not completely out of awareness when they begin counseling. When couples don’t have a clear understanding of what’s going wrong, it’s impossible for them to fix things on their own. Our therapists spend the first several sessions helping couples understand their negative cycle.
Once couples and their therapist understand what isn’t working, we can start working on replacing the negative cycle with a positive one. In the process, couples begin to feel empowered to resolve their problems on their own, and emotionally closer. As couples begin to have repeated positive experiences with one another, trust begins to build. Over time, the relationship begins to thrive.
Many couples are struggling with complicated issues such as affairs, abuse, addictions, sexual issues, chronic health conditions, or more. While we treat all couples with the same approach, we adapt our work to each couple’s unique situation. Please contact us to learn more about how our counselors specifically help couples who are struggling with these more complicated issues.
Emotionally Focused Couple Therapy (EFT)
The therapists at Bozeman Therapy & Counseling practice Emotionally Focused Couple Therapy (EFT), which is a highly effective type of couples counseling.
Over the past 30 years, EFT has been rigorously researched with the highest quality of outcome studies. Couples included in the studies showed a 75% recovery rate from marital distress at the completion of therapy, and a 90% rate of significant improvement. This compares with a 35% recovery rate for couples receiving therapy focusing on behavior change alone.
For more information about EFT, visit iceeft.com.
If you’d like to make an appointment, please contact us. We’re here to help.