Behavioral Couples Therapy



Cognitive Behavioral Couples Therapy begins with both individuals having a deeper understanding of what psychological occurrences happen between two people over time. Some of these interactions may not be as effective as they were in the beginning of the relationship. Therapists will work with couples so that they can assess these problems and what burden they are having on the relationship. Throughout the session it is actually an opportunity for the couples to practice communicating with each other about topics that may be challenging to them both. There are different types of behavioral couple’s therapy such as treatment to help couples deal with alcoholism or drug use. This form focuses on the cognitive aspect of the relationship and how problems can be solved by looking at patterns and adjusting them.

Goals of Behavioral Couples Therapy

Throughout this treatment the therapist is going to focus on the couple by monitoring their emotions and the way that they communicate with both each other or with the coach. It’s often that individuals will experience destructive responses and feelings throughout the session which is likely to occur in the relationship. When the therapist and individuals can find ways to acknowledge the difference and accept them for the happiness of the other person progress will be made. The goals of Behavioral Couples Therapy revolved around shared goals between the couple and using this to create a satisfactory relationship between the two to build and maintain a positive and long term care. Beneath this marriage a friendship should be created out of mutual respect and care for the significant other.

When is Behavioral Couples Therapy Used?

Behavioral Couples Therapy is used when two people are experiencing more marital distress than the average couple. While it is healthy to have disagreements from time to time it is unhealthy to let these differences get in the way of a healthy and progressive relationship. Healthy marriages are going to accept the differences between two people and find a way to work around them. Behavioral Couples Therapy is used when partners cannot find the friendship underneath their marriage. Trust and treating each other with integrity is the most important aspect. This form of therapy will be used when the individuals cannot find a middle ground or understand why the compatibility has diminished. At times negative expectations and reactions may be learned and result in one person or two people neglecting the relationship altogether. The goal is to get rid of this neglect and create an emotional tone that manifests a positive and learned relationship.

How Behavioral Couples Therapy Works

Therapy works by focusing on four components: criticism, contempt, defensiveness and stonewalling. The therapist will focus on how one person may attack the other’s character and it focuses on the generalizations that are often made. The couple will focus on how one partner deals with intention or insult in the contempt area.  The therapist will monitor their behavior to see if one partner envisions their own self as a victim by making excuses and then cross-complaining to take the weight off of their chest. During stonewalling one individual may withdraw from the relationship to avoid the conflict altogether.  In order to fix this the therapist obtains commitment from both ends to ensure that they both want to mend the marriage and come to a middle ground.

By promoting communication between the two people it can help them with their relationship immensely. This communication will consist of the two people exchanging ideas with one another regardless of whether or not the expressions are strong or minor. By teaching them how to practice empathic communication it’s going to teach them how to create a formula for the relationship and stick to it for long term success in the marriage. Harmony comes from balance and balance can only come from two people understanding and respecting each other through reflective listening.

The solution to a successful marriage is two people who are effectively communicating and listening to each other with the utmost respect. Avoiding a negative tone and intention is essential when forming a bond and keeping it. The therapist is going to teach the couple that instead of fighting with the other person they both must learn how to control their own behavior and deal with a conflict in a mature manner by speaking about it and finding a solution. By creating and implementing shared goals the two people can work together in harmony and deal with personal agendas such as finances and jobs in a pleasant manner. It’s effective when a couple shares a goal because it puts them in tandem with one another which increases their sexual and spiritual compatibility.


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