4 Practices You Can Use In Online Couples Therapy To Help Partners Revive Their Relationship
The wonders of online couples therapy are innumerable. It is one of the perfect solutions for resolving relationship issues that are breaking the precious bond between a husband and wife.
At Holistic Living, we have witnessed many couples holding hands and leaving after their couples therapy. It simply gives us hope that love does not die if two are willing to nurture it every single day.
Yes, marriages and relationships are tricky affairs but when done right it can be the most beautiful creation that makes your life worth living. Human beings are social animals and no matter how much we take pride in our solitude, our mind, body, and soul needs the human touch and connection.
That is the reason why relationship therapists work relentlessly to help couples become better at talking, listening, problem-solving, and genuinely understanding and empathizing with each other so that when difficult situations arise they can deal with them together instead of creating tension between them.
In our many articles, we have shared heart-warming experiences of couples who have saved their relationship with the help of online couples therapy. We have also had real-life stories where two people have mutually agreed to separate ways with respect and care for each other.
We have often wondered, what exactly happens in online couples therapy that helps the partners reconnect with each other and resolve their problems. So, we asked our relationship counselor who has more than 15 years of experience in online couple counseling to enlighten us on what goes into online couples therapy.
“There are several factors that make online couples therapy successful. It is good to talk to your family and friends and take their advice but many times it can leave you confused and fearful. In online couples therapy, we do not believe in advice-giving. There are several tools and techniques that help couples clear their heads and see what they want from the relationship and how they can achieve that.” says an expert relationship counsellor at Holistic Living.
In this article, we have listed down the 4 most effective strategies used in online couples therapy. These include
Unbiased and Non-judgemental Space: The biggest success factor of online couples therapy is how safe and comfortable the partners feel in expressing their emotions, thoughts, and concerns with complete honesty.
Problems can only be resolved when you accept that there is a problem and are willing to communicate the same to your partner. However, it is difficult to talk about what is bothering you because of some fears, or the fact that the opposite person will not understand or they may use it against you in the future.
In online couples therapy, we are trained and skilled to keep a non-judgemental attitude. We are not bothered about who is right or who is wrong. The main focus is to help couples remove their suppressed aggression, disappointment, and all other emotions that are drifting them apart.
Once everything is out in the open, there is clarity on what are the next steps that need to be taken to resolve the tension, issues, or whatever it is that is affecting the relationship.
There was a young couple who was taking online couples therapy. Now, the wife was scared to talk openly because her mother had taught her that she had to compromise in everything. This was creating turmoil in her head and she started resenting her husband. During the sessions when she finally communicated her feelings, she understood that her husband is not a mind-reader and it was okay to communicate her expectations.
That was all they needed to resolve their issues and reduce the relationship stress. So, in online couples therapy, you will find a safe space where you can be yourself without any fears or hesitation. It is the most effective technique that brings many positive changes within individuals.
Role-playing Exercises: This one is focused on building empathy between the two partners and helping them understand each other’s points of view. In my 17 years of experience, I have observed that many couples get lost in translation. They waste too much time in playing blame games rather than focusing on the solutions.
In this exercise, I ask the couples to think about a common conflict and switch roles. For instance, let’s say the major reason for fights is a lack of time or misplaced priorities. I encourage the wife to take on the role of the husband, and for the husband to be in the shoes of his wife.
Then I give them a scenario. For example, I ask the husband (who is in the role of the wife) to imagine that he has spent the whole day making her favorite meal, and at the last moment, she cancels it because of work commitments. This happens more than once every week. He looks forward to having dinner together but ends up eating alone and all the food get wasted in the refrigerator. How would he feel in the situation and what would be his response?
Initially, the partners get defensive but as the exercise continues they are able to shift their perspectives and understand the other person better.
The Gottman Method: This one is an interesting and guaranteed strategy that is based on years of research studies. It aims to help couples build stronger, more intimate connections by improving communication, managing conflict, and increasing emotional attunement.
One of the key elements of the Gottman Method is the concept of the “Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse,” which are four negative patterns of communication that can lead to relationship breakdown. These include criticism, defensiveness, contempt, and stonewalling. The Gottman Method helps couples identify and avoid these patterns by teaching them specific communication skills and strategies.
The Gottman Method also includes a number of other key components, including:
The Sound Relationship House: The Sound Relationship House is a metaphor for a healthy, stable relationship. The house has seven levels, including things like building a friendship, managing conflict, and creating shared meaning. The Gottman Method helps couples identify where they are in the Sound Relationship House and work towards building a stronger foundation.
Love Maps: Love Maps are a way for couples to understand each other’s inner world – their hopes, dreams, fears, and values. The Gottman Method teaches couples how to build and maintain Love Maps, which can help them feel more connected and intimate with each other.
Rituals of Connection: Rituals of Connection are daily or weekly routines that couples can use to strengthen their bond. These might include things like having a weekly date night, taking a walk together after dinner, or saying a daily affirmation to each other. The Gottman Method helps couples identify and establish Rituals of Connection that work for them.
Conflict Management Skills: The Gottman Method teaches couples specific skills for managing conflict, such as using “I” statements, active listening, and finding common ground. These skills can help couples avoid the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse and work through conflicts in a healthy, productive way.
So why is the Gottman Method effective in resolving conflicts between partners? One reason is that it is based on decades of research on what makes relationships successful. The Gottman Method has been tested in numerous studies and has been found to be effective in improving communication, managing conflict, and increasing emotional attunement.
Mindfulness and Meditation Practices: Another major concern tackled in online couples therapy is the lack of sexual and physical intimacy between the partners. For this problem, I have observed that certain meditation practices work like magic.
Here are a few ways these practices can help:
Increased self-awareness: Mindfulness and meditation can help individuals become more aware of their own thoughts, feelings, and sensations. When it comes to sex, this increased self-awareness can help individuals identify their own desires and needs, which can then be communicated to their partner.
Improved communication: Mindfulness and meditation can also help individuals develop better communication skills. When couples are able to communicate effectively, they can discuss their sexual desires and needs in a non-judgmental and open way. This can lead to greater intimacy and satisfaction in the relationship.
Reduced anxiety and stress: Mindfulness and meditation have been shown to reduce anxiety and stress, which can be helpful in the context of sexual intimacy. When individuals are able to relax and feel more comfortable in their bodies, they may be more open to exploring new experiences with their partner.
Increased empathy: Mindfulness and meditation can help individuals develop greater empathy and compassion for themselves and others. When couples are able to see things from each other’s perspectives, they may be more understanding of each other’s needs and desires, which can lead to greater sexual intimacy.
Enhanced sensation and pleasure: Mindfulness and meditation can also enhance sexual sensation and pleasure. When individuals are able to fully focus on the sensations they are experiencing in their bodies, they may be able to experience more pleasure and deeper intimacy with their partner.
I believe these practices not only boost sexual intimacy but overall help to improve the connection and communication between the partners. At an individual level, it helps them to manage their own emotions without lashing them out on their partner.
There are a lot more strategies and techniques applied in online couples therapy. An expert relationship counsellor will be able to understand which therapies work the best for you and your partner and then accordingly set the plan in action.
It is unfortunate to see that the divorce rates are increasing. Yes, if a marriage is toxic, abusive, or lacks respect and love then there is no point in dragging it. However, it is important to understand that all marriages will have conflicts, disagreements, and tension, but what matters is how both partners choose to resolve them. You are not perfect and so is not your partner, that is why it is best to continually help and grow with each other instead of suppressing the issues and living in a passive-aggressive marriage.
Relationship counselling may still be seen as taboo in Indian cultures, but I have seen that change in recent years. If there is a chance to save your marriage and live happily with your partner then why not go that extra mile and work on your relationship, right?
If you and your partner are willing to build a better and successful marriage then take online couples therapy because it helps to create a stronger bond and understanding.
Note: At Holistic Living we provide 10-minute Free consultation with expert counselors. So, if you have any doubts or queries regarding online couples therapy then Call/WhatsApp today to book your free consultation and get the best recommendations from our certified counsellors.