Types Of Couples Therapy: Top 10 Examples And Tips To Choose (2023)

Couples therapy is a process where couples meet with a therapist to help resolve conflicts and improve communication. It can be a very beneficial way to strengthen your relationship, but it’s important to choose the right type of therapy for your needs. In this blog post, we will discuss 10 types of couples therapy and what each one entails. We’ll also give you some tips on how to choose the right type of therapy for your relationship.

Contents

  • 1 Defining Couples Therapy
  • 2 10 Types Of Couples Therapy
    • 2.1 Couples counseling
    • 2.2 Reflective listening
    • 2.3 Behavioral Couples Therapy
    • 2.4 Solution-focused therapy
    • 2.5 Emotion-focused couples therapy
    • 2.6 Narrativetherapy
    • 2.7 Imago relationship therapy
    • 2.8 Discernment counseling
    • 2.9 Gottman method
    • 2.10 Relational life therapy
  • 3 Choosing The Right Type Of Therapy For Your Relationship
  • 4 Conclusion

Defining Couples Therapy

Types Of Couples Therapy: Top 10 Examples And Tips To Choose (1)Couples therapy is a new and very popular form of therapy. It is a process in which two people meet with a therapist to help resolve conflicts and improve communication. Couples therapy can be very beneficial for relationships, but it is important that the right type of therapy is chosen in order for it to work well.

The benefits of couples therapy are many. It can help improve communication, resolve conflict, and increase intimacy. It can also help to reduce stress, anxiety, and depression. Couples therapy can be a very beneficial way to strengthen your relationship, but it’s important to choose the right type of therapy for your needs.

It is important to note that couples therapy is not just for couples who are having problems. It can also be very beneficial for couples who are doing well but want to improve their relationship.

10 Types Of Couples Therapy

Even in couples therapy, there are various types of therapy. Here are ten popular types of couples therapy. Each type has its own benefits and drawbacks, so it’s important to choose the right one for your relationship. Despite the differences, they all have one ultimate goal: to improve the quality of your relationship.

Couples counseling

The very first choice is couples counseling. In basic words, counseling refers to meeting with a professional to talk about the relationship. It is recommended for almost all types of couples, whether they are having serious problems or just want to improve their communication.

In this type of therapy, the therapist will help you and your partner communicate better. You will learn how to express yourself more effectively, as well as how to listen to your partner. This type of therapy can be very beneficial for relationships, as it can help improve communication and resolve conflict.

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The main advantage of this therapy is that it gives the space to work on individual issues in addition to couple’s issues. It can also be a very effective way to improve communication.

Reflective listening

Types Of Couples Therapy: Top 10 Examples And Tips To Choose (2)This is more of a technique than a type of therapy, but it can be very helpful for couples. Reflective listening is a way of listening to your partner in which you repeat back what they said, in your own words.

The purpose of this technique is to help you understand what your partner is saying, as well as to show them that you are listening. This can be a very effective way to improve communication, as it can help you and your partner understand each other better.

The main advantage of reflective listening is that it is quite simple and easy to do. It can also be very effective in improving communication.

Behavioral Couples Therapy

This is a form of therapy that is based on the principle of positive reinforcement. In this type of therapy, couples are taught to reinforce each other’s positive behavior. This can be a very effective way to improve communication and increase intimacy.

The mechanisms of this type of therapy work by increasing the frequency of positive behaviors. As a result, couples begin to feel closer to each other and communication improves.

The main advantage of behavioral couples therapy is that it is very effective in improving communication and increasing intimacy. It can also be quite affordable, as it does not require a lot of time or money.

Solution-focused therapy

This one might be very obvious based on its name. But solution-focused therapy is all about helping couples find solutions to their relationship problems. This type of therapy can help couples learn how to communicate better, handle conflict constructively, and work together as a team. If you’re the type of couple who likes to problem-solve and be proactive about making your relationship better, solution-focused therapy could be a right fit for you.

This therapy requires both partners to be fully invested and committed to the process. If one partner is reluctant or resistant, it’s likely that this type of therapy won’t be as effective.

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It focuses on identifying, understanding, and changing the thoughts and behaviors that are contributing to relationship problems. It then shifts to helping couples build more positive and productive ways of relating to each other.

For example, a therapist might help a couple identify the thoughts and behaviors that are causing conflict. Then, they would work together to find more constructive ways of communicating and behaving.

Emotion-focused couples therapy

This is very self-explanatory; the therapist helps the couple to focus on and understand their emotions. This is done through exploring past patterns, communicating openly, and working towards mutual goals.

The main goal of emotion-focused therapy is to help the couple feel more connected to each other. For couples facing infidelity, this may involve working through trust issues.

The techniques and tools used in emotion-focused therapy can be very helpful for couples who want to improve their communication and emotional connection. For example, learning to understand and express emotions in a healthy way can help couples feel closer to each other .

Narrativetherapy

Narrative therapy is an approach to helping the couple to change their story. It focuses on reframing the way they see their relationship, as well as exploring new narratives. It is based on the belief that we all have the power to change our own stories.

In context of couples therapy, the narrative approach can help the couple to externalize their problems. This means that they are able to see their difficulties as separate from themselves. This can help to reduce blame and shame and open up new possibilities for change.

For example, a couple may have been arguing about money for years. Through narrative therapy, they may be able to reframe their story and see their financial difficulties as something that is affecting their relationship, rather than something that is wrong with them as individuals. This can help to reduce the stress and tension in the relationship and open up new possibilities for dealing with their finances, such as budgeting or financial counseling.

Imago relationship therapy

Types Of Couples Therapy: Top 10 Examples And Tips To Choose (4)

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Imago therapy is based on the idea that we are all attracted to our “opposites” because they have qualities we lack. This therapy is designed to help us understand why we are attracted to our partners and how to work through the inevitable conflict that comes from being with someone who is different from us.

For therapeutic reasons, imago therapy is conducted with both partners present. The therapist acts as a facilitator, helping the couple to understand and communicate their feelings. For example, the therapist might help the couple to understand that the wife’s need for order is a reaction to her chaotic childhood.

The therapist will also help the couple to develop new communication and conflict-resolution skills. These skills are based on the idea that we can only change ourselves, not our partners.

This type of therapy can be very effective for couples who are willing to work hard on their relationship. It can help them to understand themselves and each other better and to find new ways to resolve conflict.

Discernment counseling

This is a lesser-known yet very effective type of therapy for couples on the brink of divorce. It’s designed for couples who are sure they want to end their marriage but want to do so amicably. The therapist helps the couple communicate their feelings and figure out the logistics of ending their relationship.

In this therapy, the therapist takes a more active role than in other types of therapy. They help by giving feedback, providing support, and making suggestions. This type of therapy is usually recommended for couples who are in a crisis or have a lot of anger and conflict.

Gottman method

This is a very unconventional yet effective type of therapy. It’s based on the work of Dr. John Gottman, who has studied couples for over 40 years. He has found that there are four main predictors of divorce:

  • Contempt
  • Criticism
  • Defensiveness
  • Stonewalling

The Gottman method focuses on helping couples to reduce these negative behaviors. It is based on the idea that all couples have conflict, but some couples are able to manage it in a healthy way.

This type of therapy is usually conducted over the course of several sessions. The therapist will help the couple to understand the four predictors of divorce and how to avoid them. They will also teach the couple new communication and conflict-resolution skills.

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Relational life therapy

Types Of Couples Therapy: Top 10 Examples And Tips To Choose (5)Lastly, relational life therapy is a type of therapy that is designed to help couples improve their relationship. It is based on the idea that our relationships are a reflection of our inner lives. This means that if we want to improve our relationships, we need to work on ourselves first.

This type of therapy is usually conducted over the course of several sessions. The therapist will help the couple to understand themselves and each other better. They will also teach the couple new communication and conflict-resolution skills.

This type of therapy can be very effective for couples who are willing to work hard on their relationship. It can help them to understand themselves and each other better and to find new ways to resolve conflict.

So, there you have it! These are just some of the many types of couples therapy that are out there. If you and your partner are having trouble in your relationship, don’t hesitate to seek help from a professional. Couples therapy can be a great way to improve your relationship and build a stronger bond with your partner.

Choosing The Right Type Of Therapy For Your Relationship

Types Of Couples Therapy: Top 10 Examples And Tips To Choose (6)Now that we know more about the different types of therapy, how do we choose the right one for our relationship? The answer to this question depends on a few factors.

Some things you may want to consider include:

  • The severity of the problem: If your relationship is in a crisis, you may want to seek help from a therapist who specializes in crisis counseling.
  • Willingness: Since couples therapy requires mutual participation, both you and your partner need to be willing to work on the relationship.
  • Budget: Therapy can be expensive, so you may want to consider your budget when choosing a therapist.
  • Your goals for therapy: What do you hope to achieve from therapy? Are you hoping to improve communication, resolve conflict, or simply learn more about yourself and your partner?
  • Your comfort level: It’s important to feel comfortable with your therapist. If you don’t feel comfortable, it will be difficult to open up and work on your relationship.

The type of therapy that will best fit your needs will likely vary depending on the above factors. If you’re not sure what types of couples therapy is right for you, don’t hesitate to ask a professional for help. Couples therapy can be a great way to improve your relationship. It can help you to understand yourself and your partner better. This can further improve the quality of your relationship.

Conclusion

To conclude, we now know the different types of therapy available for couples. You and your partner can pick which one would benefit you the most. Each type has its own set of techniques to help improve communication and resolve conflict. Couples therapy can be a great way to improve your relationship and build a stronger bond with your partner. If you’re having trouble in your relationship, don’t hesitate to seek help from a professional.

If you or your partner are struggling with any type of relationship issues, Therapy Mantra is here for you. We are the leading providers of online therapy and counseling. Our team of highly trained and experienced therapists can help you work through your issues. Our sessions are open to individuals as well as couples. Contact us today to learn more about our services. You may also visit our website to book anonline therapysessionor download our freeAndroidoriOS appfor more information.

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FAQs

What is Gottman's method? ›

The goals of Gottman Method Couples Therapy are to disarm conflicting verbal communication; increase intimacy, respect, and affection; remove barriers that create a feeling of stagnancy; and create a heightened sense of empathy and understanding within the context of the relationship.

What is solution-focused therapy for couples? ›

Solution-Focused Therapy helps clients recognize their internal resources, identify personal strengths and build on what is already working for them. Imagine a therapy session where you focus solely on the priority goals of your client and collaborate on the steps to accomplish that goal... ...

Is EFT or Gottman better? ›

While EFT is focused on emotional regulation and emotion awareness, The Gottman method offers practical tools to create more positive experiences between the partners.

How do you make a relationship last 6 tips from a couples therapist? ›

Here is what couples therapists have to say about building a love that lasts.
  1. Communication Is Crucial. Dmytro Zinkevych/Shutterstock. ...
  2. Work Together, Not Against Each Other. ...
  3. Lean On Each Other. ...
  4. Be Intentional About Connecting. ...
  5. Be Truthful. ...
  6. You Don't Always Have To Agree. ...
  7. Grow As An Individual. ...
  8. Keep Dating Each Other.
17 Jun 2019

What is the best therapy for marriage counseling? ›

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, which focuses on how thoughts influence behaviors, is a common form of therapy for individuals as well as couples. With its roots in the early 20th century and wide adoption by mental health workers, CBT is backed by extensive research.

What are the different types of couples? ›

Drawing from over four decades of research data, we have been able to categorize couples into five types: Conflict-Avoiding, Validating, Volatile, Hostile, and Hostile-Detached.

What is the 5 1 rule? ›

According to relationship researcher John Gottman, the magic ratio is 5 to 1. What does this mean? This means that for every one negative feeling or interaction between partners, there must be five positive feelings or interactions. Stable and happy couples share more positive feelings and actions than negative ones.

What is Stonewalling in a relationship? ›

Stonewalling is, well, what it sounds like. In a discussion or argument, the listener withdraws from the interaction, shutting down and closing themselves off from the speaker because they are feeling overwhelmed or physiologically flooded. Metaphorically speaking, they build a wall between them and their partner.

What are the 4 Horsemen Gottman? ›

Gottman dubbed these, The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. They are Criticism, Defensiveness, Contempt and Stonewalling. While most relationships will have some of these, healthy relationships don't use them nearly as often and do more to repair them when they are used.

What is the miracle question in therapy? ›

The miracle question is a popular intervention in Solution-Focused Therapy. It asks the client to imagine and discuss a possible world where problems are removed and issues addressed (Strong & Pyle, 2009). The question may take various forms, such as asking the client, “Assume your problem has been solved.

What is an example of Solution-Focused Therapy? ›

A practitioner of solution-focused therapy asks questions in an approach derived way. Here are a few examples of presupposing change questions: “What stopped complete disaster from occurring?” “How did you avoid falling apart.”

Does emotionally focused couples therapy work? ›

Numerous outcome studies have shown that EFT can help couples cope with a range of problems including anxiety, PTSD, depression, infidelity, frequent arguments, and health conditions. Here are specific problems that EFT has been used to treat effectively: Depression affecting the couple's relationship.

Is Gottman a CBT? ›

Another type of CBT for couples therapy is the Gottman Method (“Gottman”). In use for over three decades, Gottman is a structured and goal-oriented model. It increases respect, boosts affection, and creates more understanding.

Can EFT save my marriage? ›

EFT has been proven to move 70-75% of couples from distress to recovery and help 90% make significant improvements. It is no accident that EFT works. It is backed by 30 years of rigorous research. It works because of its focus on emotion.

What makes relationship last longer? ›

How to Make Love Last Forever
  • Practice forgiveness. Resentment, anger and blame are normal reactions when your loved one does something hurtful. ...
  • Be realistic. Every long-term relationship will have its share of disappointments. ...
  • Develop rituals. ...
  • Listen actively. ...
  • Be honest. ...
  • Fight fair. ...
  • Get help if you're stuck.

What is the secret to a long lasting happy relationship? ›

The four Cs (communication, compromise, connection, and commitment) are important, but there are many other factors that contribute to the health of an enduring romantic bond. Consider these additional secrets to a long-lasting relationship: Focus on having fun and making good memories together.

What is the key to successful relationships? ›

To help better understand, we have condensed the keys into five main topics – positivity, empathy, commitment, acceptance, and mutual love and respect. These five topics are further emphasized by proper and continuous communication.

What is the difference between a marriage counselor and a therapist? ›

Marriage counseling is usually a short-term focused treatment whereas therapies are a therapeutic process that can last several sessions. One could even say that therapy for married couples encompasses counseling and this overlap is the reason why they are confused as one for the other.

What is evidence therapy couples? ›

This therapy entails exploring patterns in the relationship and taking steps to create a closer bond and increase trust. EFT is a short-term, evidence-based therapy that helps couples' relationships to become stronger and healthier.

How do you maintain a positive relationship? ›

These tips apply to all kinds of relationships: friendships, work and family relationships, and romantic partnerships.
  1. Keep expectations realistic. ...
  2. Talk with each other. ...
  3. Be flexible. ...
  4. Take care of yourself, too. ...
  5. Be dependable. ...
  6. Fight fair. ...
  7. Be affirming. ...
  8. Keep your life balanced.

What are the 4 types of couples? ›

They concluded that there are four distinct couples categories. "The four types of dating couples that were found included the dramatic couple, the conflict-ridden couple, the socially involved couple, and the partner-focused couple," said Brian Ogolsky, an Assistant Professor of Human Development and Family Studies.

What questions should I ask a marriage counselor? ›

Here are some questions to ask when trying to find the right couples counselor for you and your partner:
  • How long have you been working with couples?
  • What makes you qualified to work with couples? ...
  • How do you work with couples in session? ...
  • Do you take sides?
  • Why do you do this work?
6 Sept 2019

What is the ratio of positive interactions to negative interactions for couples facing divorce? ›

Outside of conflict discussions, successful couples had an even higher positive-to-negative ratio—20:1. Having a ratio below 5:1 within conflict became one of the many potential divorce indicators found in the Gottman research.

What is a 5 to 1 ratio in business? ›

There is a magic ratio for healthy relationships both personally and in the work place. That ratio is 5:1. Five positive feelings or interactions for every one negative feeling or interaction.

What is a good fiber to sugar ratio? ›

The ideal ratio of sugars to fiber is from 1:1 up to 10:1, yet many processed foods are much, much higher.

What is gaslighting in a marriage? ›

The term gaslighting became popular in the 1960s. It is used to describe the manipulation of another person's perception of reality. Gaslighting is a common tool used by narcissistic and abusive spouses to control their partners. When done correctly, gaslighting can make a spouse doubt their own senses and memory.

What is gaslighting in relationship? ›

What is gaslighting in a relationship? It's a form of psychological manipulation in which one person makes the other partner doubt his or her perceptions, experiences, memories, or understanding of events that happened.

What is Wife Abandonment Syndrome? ›

Spousal Abandonment Syndrome is when one of the spouses leaves the marriage without any warning, and—usually–without having shown any signs of unhappiness with the relationship. It is a growing trend in the United States.

What are signs of contempt? ›

Treating others with disrespect and mocking them with sarcasm and condescension are forms of contempt. So are hostile humor, name-calling, mimicking, and body language such as eye-rolling and sneering.

What is toxic communication? ›

Toxic communication is basically communication that is not straightforward or direct. It can lead to an unstable or toxic relationship. It can come in many forms like: Getting triggered and blaming the person instead of calmly explaining to them why they feel the way they do.

What are 4 major predictors of divorce? ›

The Four Horsemen are four communication habits that increase the likelihood of divorce, according to research by psychologist and renowned marriage researcher John Gottman, Ph. D. Those four behaviors are criticism, defensiveness, stonewalling, and contempt.

What is empty chair technique? ›

a technique originating in gestalt therapy in which the client conducts an emotional dialogue with some aspect of himself or herself or some significant person (e.g., a parent), who is imagined to be sitting in an empty chair during the session.

What are coping questions? ›

Coping questions ask about how clients somehow manage to keep going in spite of the adversity they face. For example, someone who is suicidal obviously has not killed himself yet. Someone living with chronic pain is enduring it somehow.

What is an example of a miracle question? ›

In a specific situation, the counselor may ask, "If you woke up tomorrow, and a miracle happened so that you no longer easily lost your temper, what would you see differently?" What would the first signs be that the miracle occurred?"

What are examples of scaling questions? ›

Scaling questions ask clients to consider their position on a scale (usually from 1 to 10, with one being the least desirable situation and 10 being the most desirable).
...
Questions such as:
  • How come things aren't worse for you?
  • What stopped total disaster from occurring?
  • How did you avoid falling apart?
30 Mar 2009

What techniques are used in Solution-Focused Therapy? ›

Solution-focused Techniques in Counselling
  • Pre-session change.
  • Problem-free talk.
  • The miracle question.
  • Exception questions.
  • Do one thing different.
  • Scaling questions.
  • Coping questions.
  • Breaks.
18 Dec 2018

What are Presuppositional questions? ›

Presuppositional questions are formatted in a way that assumes there is an answer and the answer is implied in the question.

How do you ask a solution-focused question? ›

What would you like to see happen by the end of our session today? (or when we finish counseling sessions) • What have you already tried and what has been useful? What difference would that make? How will you feel when that happens? or What would you like to be feeling? What is already working in the right direction?

What is Choice Reality Therapy? ›

Reality therapy is a form of counseling that views behaviors as choices. It states that psychological symptoms occur not because of a mental health condition, but due to people choosing behaviors to fulfill their needs.

What is brief therapy approach? ›

Brief therapy is a systematic, focused process that relies on assessment, client engagement, and rapid implementation of change strategies. Brief therapy providers can effect important changes in client behavior within a relatively short period.

Is the Gottman Method worth it? ›

Many couples benefit from the Gottman approach, with Gottman therapists being able to predict the success of a relationship with 94% accuracy. Therefore, the Gottman method is one of the most popular types of therapy for people wanting to increase intimacy using intense, tailored couples therapy.

What is the success rate of couples counseling? ›

The American Association of Marriage and Family Therapists reports an overall success rate of 98%. The success of couples therapy and other factors contributes to a decreasing divorce rate in the United States. Today, counseling can indeed save and strengthen a marriage.

What is the difference between a marriage counselor and a therapist? ›

Marriage counseling is usually a short-term focused treatment whereas therapies are a therapeutic process that can last several sessions. One could even say that therapy for married couples encompasses counseling and this overlap is the reason why they are confused as one for the other.

What is the 5 1 rule? ›

According to relationship researcher John Gottman, the magic ratio is 5 to 1. What does this mean? This means that for every one negative feeling or interaction between partners, there must be five positive feelings or interactions. Stable and happy couples share more positive feelings and actions than negative ones.

What is the strongest predictor of divorce? ›

Contempt erodes the bond that holds a couple securely together. It's impossible to build connection when your relationship is deprived of respect. The existence of contempt is the biggest predictor of divorce.

What is the Gotham method? ›

The Gottman Method aims "to disarm conflicting verbal communication; increase intimacy, respect, and affection; remove barriers that create a feeling of stagnancy, and create a heightened sense of empathy and understanding within the context of the relationship."1.

What a marriage counselor should not say? ›

3 things you should never tell your marriage counselor
  • "Don't tell my husband/wife this, but ..." Sorry, as marriage counselors we're not supposed to take sides and we can't keep important secrets from your partner. ...
  • 2. " No, I think you're wrong" ...
  • 3. " That's it; I want a divorce"
1 Feb 2016

How long should couples therapy last? ›

Marriage counseling typically lasts six months or less, and some mental health professionals say that the longer counseling goes on, the less effective it is.

What is the best relationship advice? ›

The Most Important Factor in a Relationship Is Not Communication, But Respect. What I can tell you is the #1 thing . . . is respect. It's not sexual attraction, looks, shared goals, religion or lack of, nor is it love. There are times when you won't feel love for your partner.

How do you fix a relationship? ›

No matter how you dice it, going through a rough patch when you live together is stressful.
  1. Plan a weekly 'couples meeting' ...
  2. Learn to compromise. ...
  3. Spend time with friends outside of your relationship. ...
  4. Engage in affectionate physical contact. ...
  5. Don't be hooked on romance.
27 Aug 2019

What is a couples therapist called? ›

Marriage and family therapists (MFTs) are mental health professionals trained in psychotherapy and family systems, and licensed to diagnose and treat mental and emotional disorders within the context of marriage, couples and family systems.

Should husband and wife have same therapist? ›

It is a clinical decision that each therapist makes on his or her own. There is no hard and fast rule about it. However, seeing each person separately does not necessarily mean that your therapist will keep secrets.

What does LPC stand for? ›

A licensed professional counselor (LPC) master's degree is a broad degree that grants the professional the ability to support counseling — whether through career, rehabilitation, or another counseling sphere — that doesn't directly involve diagnosis or treatment of mental illness.

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