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Knowing When to Attend Couples Counseling

Whether you’re been in a relationship for three months or three decades, the bumps, hurdles, and roadblocks are inevitable. At times, these obstacles may seem insurmountable, which can leave partners feeling lost, disconnected, or struggling to find common ground. 

Recognizing the need for couples counseling is the first step towards a stronger relationship. Don’t feel ashamed at all - seeking professional help isn’t a sign of weakness, but rather commitment to the growth and well-being of the relationship.

Two people sitting on a couch with a counselor.

Couples counseling can offer a path toward healing and understanding. But how do you know when it's time to seek out couples counseling? Read on to find out notable signs:

1. Communication Becomes a Challenge

Communication is the foundation of a healthy relationship. Yet communication can be hindered by constant misunderstandings, escalating conflicts, or feeling distant from each other. When conversations turn into arguments - or when there’s zero communication altogether -  it's a flashing sign that the relationship might benefit from couples counseling. 

2. Consistent Issues Remain Unresolved

Every relationship has its share of disagreements and issues. However, when these problems persist, they can become a source of distress. If you and your partner(s) are having the same arguments and aren’t reaching a resolution, seeking professional help can provide mediation and support. 

3. Emotional Withdrawal or Disconnect

Emotional disconnect means that you and your partner(s) are no longer on the same page emotionally. Examples of emotional disconnection include a lack of intimacy, feeling emotionally distant, or even withdrawing from the relationship. Couples counseling can help explore the underlying reasons for these feelings (or lack thereof).

4. Major Life Transitions 

Moving in together, having children, changing careers - these are all major life events that may put a strain on a relationship. Seeking couples counseling during these significant times can provide the necessary support to navigate these changes together.

5. Intimacy Issues

Intimacy encompasses emotional, physical, sexual relationships between partners. When intimacy starts to dwindle or becomes a source of tension, it might indicate underlying issues within the relationship. Couples counseling can work through these issues to help revitalize intimacy. 

6. Feeling "Stuck" or Hopeless

Even despite efforts to mend the relationship, you might feel stuck or even hopeless about the future together. If the relationship feels stagnant or you're questioning its worth, seeking professional therapy can offer new perspectives and tools to move forward.

How Bright Future Counseling Can Help

Couples counseling can address the root of your issues and offer strategies and support to effectively communicate and solve problems. As a result, you and your partner(s) can rebuild and heal together. 

If the above signs sound or feel familiar, it might be time to seriously consider couples counseling. Valinda Harlan (she/her) is a licensed couples counselor, specializing in intimacy counseling and Gottman Method couples therapy. 

Get in touch by calling 360-831-2345, where you’ll speak directly with Valinda to start counseling and the path to healing.


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