Couples Therapy, The Potential for Growth

couples therapy

We are often faced with painful and challenging periods in our lives. You may be experiencing a sense of hopelessness as you search for a lasting intimate relationship or strive to improve the ones you have.

Relationships can be both satisfying and bring great happiness to our lives. Intimate relationships can provide the support we need to overcome the overwhelming hardships and difficulties we all experience from time to time. However, all too often, couples feel frustrated and powerless when each other’s needs and concerns conflict, and when that resentment turns to hurt, bitterness and anger.

Couples face many pressures that may negatively impact their relationship: views on financial responsibilities, values and goals, communication styles, parenting styles and issues of intimacy. Couples therapy is a useful modality of help for couples who are experiencing these difficulties as well others such as: repetitive arguments, feelings of distance or emptiness in the relationship, pervasive feelings of anger, and resentment.

Couples therapy is based on the premise that individuals and their problems are best handled within the context of the couple’s relationship. The potential personal growth from couples therapy can lead to improved interpersonal relationships, overall adaptation, and contributions to and enjoyment of life. This type of therapy takes place in a concerned, supportive, nonjudgmental, safe environment with the utmost confidentiality.

Typically, both partners in the relationship attend the counseling sessions to discuss the couple’s specific issues. The aim of couples therapy is to help a couple deal appropriately with their immediate problems and to learn better ways of relating to one another.

 Creating a mutually fulfilling partnership requires both individuals to be committed to the strengthening of the relationship.

Couples therapy provides a setting in which both partners can feel safe to examine their feelings leading to a deeper understanding of each other’s needs. Both partners work through differences to solve problems in the relationship. In this setting you can clarify your issues and learn skills that will improve your relationship, promote intimacy, and sustain your commitment while preserving your individual identities. With the assistance of a qualified clinician, you can bring peace, stability and communication back into your relationship thus affecting your life as well as the lives of those most impacted by you.

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About Ann Marie Termini

Ann Marie Termini, Ed.S., M.S., LPC is co-founder and director of the Cooperative Parenting Institute in Clarks Summit, Pennsylvania. She has worked with children and families since 1979. Ann Marie has co-authored several books including Cooperative Parenting and Divorce: 8-Week group program for separating parents, Cooperative Parenting and Divorce: A Parent Guide to Effective Co-Parenting, The Psychotherapist as Parent Coordinator in High Conflict Divorce: Strategies and Techniques and Crossroads. Respected in their field, Ann Marie has conducted numerous seminars on the international and national levels. She has trained parenting coordinators since 1997, and as a result, co-authored the first and only comprehensive model of parenting coordination.

One thought on “Couples Therapy, The Potential for Growth

  1. pspaulasusan

    There is no question in my mind the value of couples therapy. People move from one relationship to another instead of making the investment in good couples work. The individual growth in that context can be amazing.

    However, I have been trained to see the couple together as well as individually so that the individual work can be done effectively using the modality of EMDR for old resentments and for uncovering and healing wounds that were created long before the couple met. My style has been quite effective – as I celebrate 34 years of working in this area.

    However, My style is not the only style. Overall, couples therapy is a gift to any couple. It can help them recommit to the vows they made long ago and to establish a new kind of intimacy never before existing between them.

    Great article.

    Paula Susan


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