Disagreements and arguments are normal occurrences in marriage. But, if these fights are happening every single day, then it becomes a problem. For married couples who have frequent communication problems, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) may do them good.
What Is CBT
Cognitive behavior therapy is a psychological treatment approach that lets the patient examine their negative thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. This therapy is commonly prescribed for people with mental illnesses, but it can be used for couples counseling.
To clarify, CBT for married couples, also known as couples therapy, is not intended to ‘fix’ your spouse or partner. CBT lets you focus on what you and your spouse, as individuals, can change so your relationship will work. Marriage runs with two people, not one. If you and your spouse can change the patterns that constrain the relationship, then it will significantly improve your marriage. “Even better, these insights and skills that you’ll gain from marriage counseling and couples therapy can have great and lasting benefits in your other relationships, including in your relationships with colleagues, children, and other family members,” says Julie Williams, Psy.D.
Couples therapy lasts for six to 12 one-hour-sessions. To assess the problem, the psychologist will talk to both of you together, then individually. Afterward, the psychologist will discuss the issue and propose a solution. At first, the meetings will be done weekly, then moved monthly, depending on how the sessions are going.
Why Should You And Your Spouse Take CBT Sessions
Taking couples therapy may do so much good for you and your spouse. Take a look at the benefits that a successful CBT session brings to your marriage.
- Greater Presence
A lot of married couples express that their spouse or partner isn’t there for them at all. While it seems like a small issue, a spouse’s lack of presence in a relationship is a tremendous strain. After all, how can you be in love with someone who’s absent in your life? As Dana Baduna, PhD, LMFT explains, “Through the counseling process, couples find ways to improve their level of relationship satisfaction, sometimes they can also identify obstacles or characteristics that are too much to bear for either person or for the relationship to overcome.”
Fortunately, CBT sessions can help address this issue by introducing mindfulness. Practicing mindfulness helps you become more attentive to the needs of your spouse. It also enables you to translate the intention of being there for a relationship into action.
- Turn Intentions Into Actions
Most people would like to become a generous, attentive, and supportive partner for their spouse. But, are they making an effort to become one? It is important to remember that intention does not necessarily mean action. According to Donna M. White, LMHC, CACP, “While divorce may be necessary and the healthiest choice for some, others may wish to try to salvage whatever is left of the union.” You may say that you love your spouse with all your heart, but you’re not showing that by being inattentive.
CBT sessions help you commit to those intentions. If you can commit your whole life to your spouse, then you can certainly commit to becoming a better partner. In CBT, you are asked to reflect on your current relationship and set goals for the betterment of your marriage.
- Healthier Thinking
Some couples are quick to assume things. For example, a spouse left their laundry on the floor. The other spouse might quickly assume that their partner thinks they are a maid. These irrational assumptions can foster spiteful and quarrelsome behavior, which can drive your marriage to the ground.
With CBT, a married couple learns how to correct these irrational assumptions. CBT also helps couples identify the four horsemen of the apocalypse in marriage and prevent them from destroying the relationship.
It is challenging for couples to admit that there’s something wrong in their relationship. But, the quicker that they can accept fault, the better they can find help. CBT has been proven to help fix marriages and produce happier couples. So, if you think that your marriage needs help, maybe it’s time to pay a visit to your psychologist.