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Couples Therapy vs. Couples Counseling – Is There a Difference?

Couples Therapy vs. Couples Counseling – Is There a Difference?

It is important to have as healthy a relationship as possible. That is why so many partners seek out therapists that specialize in enhancing and growing relationships. Couples therapists, like our team here at Flourish Psychology, create a comfortable space for both partners to talk about their needs, desires, hopes, and goals, in order to be better understood and put on a path toward strengthening the relationship.

Within this field, you’ll often see several different terms used to describe this process:

  • Couples Counseling
  • Couples Therapy
  • Relationship Counseling
  • Relationship Therapy
  • Marriage Counseling
  • Marriage Therapy

You want what is best for your relationship, so it’s not uncommon to find yourself unsure about the differences between these services and which one is best for you.

Language with Distinctive Definitions

Luckily, for the average couple, these terms have no distinctive meaning. They are used interchangeably to describe the same process – a type of therapy that revolves around your relationship in order to help you grow stronger as a couple. Most of the time, couples counseling vs couples therapy (and most variations) refer to the same thing, and you’ll often find them used to describe the same process.

However, it should be noted that the word choice may have implications for the type of therapy and approach, particularly the choice between “counseling” and “therapy.”

Relationship Counseling and Relationship Therapy

When we use a phrase like “couples counseling,” we are talking about the idea of receiving guidance and feedback from a trained therapist that can help you grow your relationship. Couples therapy, while used in similar situations, tends to imply a more structured type of approach, typically provided by an experienced psychologist that has been trained specifically in effective modalities.

However, since all couples are different, a structured approach is not always best for every situation, in which case a less structured couples counseling may be used instead.

Contact Flourish Psychology for Relationship Help and Support

Most of the time, the terms couples therapy and couples counseling are used interchangeably to refer to the same or a similar process. However, relationship therapy has been extensively researched, and there are structured approaches that therapists – especially clinical psychologists – may use to help address your relationship struggles and concerns. No matter the term, our therapists at Flourish Psychology are available to support you and your relationship, helping it grow and giving you the tools you need to move forward. Learn more about our relationship counseling or get started by calling Flourish Psychology, today.

Can Having a Child Save a Struggling Relationship?

Can Having a Child Save a Struggling Relationship?

It is stressful to feel like your relationship is struggling. It is even more stressful to not know what you can do to help fix it. Sometimes, that stress leads to desperation. One way that couples try to solve their relationship issues is by choosing to have a baby. The idea is that bringing a child into the world will create something magical that will awaken a shared love as you watch after this new baby.

Will Having a Child Save Your Marriage?

Generally, this is not the type of question that can be given a “Yes/No” answer. There are likely some relationships that have been saved by bringing a child into the world, so a firm “no” is overstating the variability in relationships and personalities. 

However, in a general sense, having a child *in order to* save a relationship can be very risky. That is because:

  • Children Are Stressful – It is true that bringing a child into the world can enhance a strong relationship considerably. It is a joy that many couples share. But if a partnership is already experiencing some very heavy challenges, adding additional stress to those challenges can lead to further problems with less ability to solve them. 
  • Children Are Costly – Finances are the number one cause of stress in a relationship. If your finances are already a source of disconnect, a child is only going to make those challenges worse, which could lead to more arguments. 
  • Coparenting Requires Communication – Both partners are gong to want to parent differently. In order to make sure that there is harmony in the household with how you parent, you will need to make sure that you’re communicating effectively. Typically, a struggling couple is not communicating the way they need to, in which case coparenting can make it worse. 
  • Pregnancy Separates Couples Experiences – Both partners typically struggle to understand each other during pregnancy itself. One partner may not be able to empathize with the experience of the pregnant one or be able to show them they care, and the other may not feel well enough to meet their partner’s needs.
  • Having a Child Reduces Time for Physical/Emotional Intimacy – If you’re struggling with a lack of physical or emotional intimacy, it is not likely to improve with a child. It becomes more difficult to find time to connect, with a child taking up much of your alone time. 

In a marriage, two partners need to be able to talk, show and accept love, communicate in a healthy way, and find ways to overcome obstacles together in order to maintain intimacy and affection. If those are already struggles, bringing a new life into the world is unlikely to help and may make it worse.

Children Are Wonderful – But Not a Miracle Cure

It is possible for a child to reconnect two partners and strengthen their bond. But it also shouldn’t be something you assume will happen, or used to try to save a failing relationship. If you and your partner both want a child, but you also have your struggles, then it is always a good idea to consider couples counseling. 

Before having a child, couples counseling can strengthen your relationship and make it easier for you both to withstand the stresses of parenthood. After you have a baby, couples counseling can provide the guidance you need to maintain intimacy, show love, and make sure that you’re responding to each partner’s needs.

If you’re interested in NYC couples counseling, call Flourish Psychology today. We are a Brooklyn based boutique private practice that works with couples throughout New York to strengthen their marriages and support their mutual growth. Learn more or get started by filling out our online form.

Brooklyn Couples Therapy: Benefits of a Safe Space for Both Partners

Brooklyn Couples Therapy: Benefits of a Safe Space for Both Partners

Flourish Psychology provides couples therapy and couples counseling in Brooklyn, NY. We work with couples at all stages of their relationship, whether dating, married, or in a non-traditional partnership.

We also know that it can sometimes be difficult to get both partners interested in pursuing couples counseling. Even if both partners know they have to work on their relationship, or that they’re having problems, there is often at least one partner that is hesitant about couples therapy, or may not feel themselves to be ready about the process.

That is why one of the things we emphasize most is the idea of objectivity and fairness – of letting the couple know that we are here to listen to both partners, and see the entire relationship as an outsider from an objective lens. If you’ve been thinking about Brooklyn couples therapy, and you’d like to talk about it with your partner, it is always a good idea to emphasize the idea that this is a judgment-free space.

Creating a Safe Environment for Both Partners to Share

Part of our goal here at Flourish is to create a safe, judgment free space where both partners are free to share their thoughts, feelings, and experiences. No matter who is “at fault” for specific problems in the relationship, the truth is that a relationship is made up of two people, and both partners need to be able to be ready for personal change and growth.

That is why we create an environment where both partners:

  • Can speak without being interrupted.
  • Are encouraged to listen to what their partner is saying.
  • Provide alternative explanations and viewpoints.
  • Have someone to help them find better words.
  • Recognize each other’s strengths.

When a partnership is starting to struggle, it is often linked back to communication. What we do with our couples therapy services here at Flourish Psychology is we make sure that both partners have the ability to talk to each other openly, and without fear that they’re going to be interrupted or misunderstood.

One of the reasons that people are hesitant about couples counseling is because they’re used to experiencing blame, or used to discussions turning into arguments. That is exactly the reason that couples therapy is so valuable – it presents an opportunity to communicate without that fear.

Learning About Each Other – No Matter Where You Are

Couples counseling is an opportunity to learn more about your partner and yourself, all in a way that is mediated by our experienced therapists. If you are looking for a way to enhance your relationship, please contact Flourish Psychology, today.

What Does it Mean to “Walk on Eggshells?”

What Does it Mean to “Walk on Eggshells?”

Much of our communication in our relationships comes before we’ve said a single word. We often have conversations and arguments in our minds and expectations about how a specific experience will go if it doesn’t happen the way the partner expects.

In couples counseling, one of the phrases we hear most that relates to this is the feeling that you are “walking on eggshells.” This phrase can be incredibly revealing about the relationship, and a sign that there are communication issues that need to be addressed.

What is “Walking on Eggshells?”

The exact origin of the phrase “to walk on eggshells” is unknown. But when we use that phrase, we’re typically describing a situation where we feel if we make one wrong move, and if we’re not cautious, our partner is going to respond in a negative way.

For a marriage to get to a place where one or both partners feel they’re walking on eggshells, it typically means there have been communication issues for quite some time:

  • They may be quick to argue.
  • They may feel they are treated unfairly.
  • They may believe that their partner sees them as a failure.

Often, if at least one partner says they’re walking on eggshells, it can indicate a lot about the state of the relationship. Not only does it make it sounds as though at least one partner feels like there is a lot of criticism – it also means that the partner that feels they’re “on eggshells” is already upset at their partner for a slight that hasn’t happened yet.

What We Mean By Communication in Couples Counseling

“Communication” is an often misunderstood term in couples counseling. Many assume we’re talking only about what you both say to each other, and whether or not you talk about your problems. Communication is much more than that. It’s how you talk. It’s what you don’t say. It’s body language. It’s how you feel when you talk. It’s even about what you’re saying in your mind when your partner is not even in the room.

What we work on in NYC couples counseling is this idea that a marriage is made up of two people, both of whom are trying to figure out how to be understood by their partner. During couples counseling sessions, if a partner says that they feel they’re walking on eggshells, we may ask both of you questions about your tone, your eye contact, your frustration levels, and any factors that affect your ability to communicate.

We want to help you reach a point where you both can share your feelings and needs with each other, and know that you’re being heard. We also want you to be able to hear your partner, as there are often uncommunicated needs and feelings that lead to this “walking on eggshells” feeling. If you’d like to learn more about our Brooklyn couples therapy services, please call Flourish Psychology, today.

Divorce Prevention and Emergency Couples Counseling in NYC

Divorce Prevention and Emergency Couples Counseling in NYC

Flourish Psychology Provides Emergency Marriage Counseling in Brooklyn and Throughout NYC for Couples on the Brink of Divorce

Flourish Psychology has a team of experienced marriage counselors in NYC, available for emergency help if you feel like your marriage is in need of immediate support. We help all types of couples, including those dating, married, LGBTQ+, and non-traditional, schedule in emergency couples counseling and marriage therapy right away. Learn more by calling us at 917-737-9475 to schedule your appointment.

Scheduling for Emergency Couples Counseling in Brooklyn and NYC

Couples counseling is a service for all couples in any stage of their relationship. It offers ideas and solutions for growing and strengthening your marriage, teaching valuable skills that will improve your communication, trust, happiness, and more. 

Yet, our NYC couples counseling services are most commonly used by those in relationships that are struggling. Many people turn to marriage counseling when they are on the brink of divorce, or their relationship is nearing an end. This may be due to situations that include:

  • Infidelity
  • Big Arguments
  • Unresolved Conflicts

These are situations when it is important to get help fast, with marriage counseling in NYC designed to provide you with the support you both need to move forward from the urgent challenges you face.

Can All Relationships Be Saved?

Marriage counseling is not a magic formula. Not all relationships can succeed. Our goal, as Brooklyn marriage counselors, is to guide you towards the outcome that is as emotionally healthy for you both moving forward as possible, able to talk through any issues you may have and figure out what the best way forward may be for your future. 

No matter where you both choose to end up, it is important to ensure that you’re in the process of healing together with mutual respect, trust, and understanding. Many marriages can be saved with couples counseling. Many others move forward in a way that is healthier and less emotionally charged.

Do You Need Emergency Couples Counseling in NYC?

Flourish Psychology is based in Brooklyn, and provides remote/online couples counseling for patients located anywhere in New York State. We have flexible scheduling available with several outstanding couples therapists, so if you need emergency support for your marriage, we’ll make sure to make ourselves available to you. 

Call Flourish Psychology Today to Get Started

Flourish Psychology offers all types of couples and marriage counseling in NYC. We encourage you to contact our front office as soon as possible by giving us a call, or using our online form to reach out and we’ll get back to you quickly to schedule an appointment.

Family Conflict: How to Navigate Thanksgiving Drama

Family Conflict: How to Navigate Thanksgiving Drama

Thanksgiving is tomorrow (happy thanksgiving!). For many, that means that it’s time for all of your families to get together and spend some quality time together.

Still, for so many of us, family time isn’t always a relaxing time. There are unaddressed tensions. There are family dramas. There are hosting challenges. There are many issues that arise on Thanksgiving that make the holiday anything but the relaxing celebration of “thanks” that it is meant to be.

What Should You Do?

There is no single, magic formula for addressing all of the many conflicts and traumas that can arise during Thanksgiving dinner. Every experience is different, and it’s possible that there may be something you can do easily to feel calmer and happier, just as it’s possible that what you’re struggling with requires regular and ongoing help.

Still, there are some strategies that can help provide some relief. Consider the following:

  • Journal Your Rapid Thoughts – If you find yourself stressed over the holidays, it’s common to feel like you have many things to say and no way to process them or get them out. Try writing them down. Writing them down in some type of journal will give you an opportunity to process your thoughts/feelings and think about what you want to say.
  • Have a Plan – It’s ultimately your choice if you want to address these concerns or not. We can talk about this more in therapy, but there are some situations where you’ll want to share your thoughts/feelings and some situations where you will not. That said, if you decide you would like to talk about them, make sure you have a plan. Decide when and where the conversation will occur, so that it doesn’t bubble up and explode at an inopportune moment.
  • Take Breaks – It is perfectly okay to give yourself some “me time” in order to de-escalate a situation or calm down when you’re feeling particularly high emotions. Even in the middle of a busy Thanksgiving, prioritize yourself any time you need to by taking some quiet breaks where you can calm yourself and feel more comfortable going back to dinner.
  • Sleep and Exercise – Better sleep and regular exercise are always important. But it is especially important during stressful holidays. Sleeping a bit earlier the night before can help make sure you’re ready to take on the stresses of the day, and some morning exercise today or early tomorrow can reduce some of your tensions.

It’s also important to consider seeing a therapist to help you process some of your family traumas. Your mental health is always important, and it is easier to navigate family issues when you have someone you can talk to about your mental health. 

No matter how you celebrate, who you celebrate with, or how difficult or easy the holidays feel to you, we at Flourish Psychology in NYC hope that you have the best Thanksgiving possible, and of course, please give us a call if you feel you’d benefit from any ongoing help.