Therapy allows couples an opportunity to gain perspective, learn new communication skills, and discuss their struggles in a neutral environment. The subjects may include intimacy, power, decision making, parenting, and finances. It can help in relationships to realize the difficulty between ongoing individual struggles and struggles that originate in the relationship.
The history of each person and the history of the relationship are important in couples therapy. Differences, assumptions, and expectations may not be intentional or personal. Misunderstanding and conflict will often arise when two families unite through partnership. The daily complexities of children, careers, and life transitions can create misunderstanding, stress, and unnecessary struggles for couples. One or both members may have concerns about couples therapy that could delay their decision to seek help. They may have fear that the therapy will be judgemental or biased. There may be fear that they will separate rather than become closer. One partner might fear that something could be uncovered that would frighten the other partner away. Shame or guilt about appearing to have marital/couples issues is common and seeking help can be experienced as a social stigma. Seeking help is a sign of maturity rather than insecurity. Reaching out for help is a sign of courage and hope. It establishes a foundation for greater trust and satisfaction in a relationship.