The Benefits of Couples Therapy for Healthier Parenting, with Jody Shelby, LCSW, CIT, CPC
Couples who seek therapy often find it to be a great investment that teaches them how to improve communication skills and resolve conflict, which brings them closer together. When couples with children attend counseling sessions, the communication and conflict-resolution skills they learn then trickle down to the children, which benefits the entire family unit.
In couples counseling, you’ll be directed to ask yourself & your partner some questions, such as:
- What are our parenting values?
- What is important to us as parents?
- What kinds of rules do we want to establish / enforce?
- What happens when our kids misbehave? Who will take the lead in discipline?
- How much of a role do you want family members or friends involved in raising them?
Couples counseling gives parents a chance to get on the same page.
You’ll be able to talk about your family’s vision, how you want to approach decisions, and how you each want to spend your time. A counselor can help you develop strategies for communicating your goals so that you both are heard and understood. Counseling is where you can unpack any existing biases / misconceptions that might get in the way of finding common ground.
It’s important for parents to have shared values / visions of how they want their family to work.
If one person wants one thing and another wants something else, it will always feel like a compromise. But if both people share a similar dream, there are more opportunities for collaboration.
You’ll disagree on some things, but that’s ok, couples counseling can help you both stay grounded in what matters most.
Relationship counseling gives couples a chance to express their feelings in a safe setting.
It’s not always easy to tell your partner that they do something that bothers you. Some people have a hard time being vulnerable, which can lead to built up resentment over time. This can result in blowout fights or shut down communication. A counselor provides a safe space for couples to say how they are honestly feeling and also will mediate to keep the conversation on track.
Going into counseling as a couple reduces stress for the entire family.
When parents are able to communicate clearly and positively with one another, the entire family benefits from lower stress levels. The children living in the household then have a safe, calm place to grow up.
Monkey see, monkey do.
Naturally, kids watch and mimic what their parents do. So if they see their parents resolve a conflict in a healthy way, there’s a greater chance the kids will do the same.
Most parents swiftly realize that having kids is one of the most difficult jobs they’ll probably ever take on; requiring a great deal of patience, sacrifice, and a never-ending supply of love & support.