Relationship problems often take the form of poor communication, unmet needs, or even manipulative or exploitative behavior by one or both people. Although going to counseling for these kinds of problems is often thought to be for couples or spouses, therapy can also provide benefits for relationships with parents, children, or other loved ones. Additionally, if a person is finding themselves continuously getting into unsatisfying or toxic relationships, it can be helpful to go to counseling alone to gain insight about what is happening and how to stop the pattern.
How Can Therapy Help?
Therapists can help achieve healthier relationships in a few ways. First, therapists are trained to act as facilitators to help all people involved communicate with each other clearly and openly about their feelings and expectations. Having an impartial observer (the therapist) can help people solve conflicts with each other in a more productive manner that doesn’t involve shouting or shutting down the conversation—two extremely common roadblocks to healthy conflict. The second way therapists can improve relationships is by working with individuals who are suffering from problems that may be contributing to interpersonal issues. These problems could include mood disorders like anxiety or depression. Sometimes, a past traumatic relationship may be at the root of the problem; in this case, the therapist can help by working with the patient to resolve previous traumatic relationships so that he or she can make healthier choices with current loved ones.