No matter who you are, any long-standing interpersonal relationship in your life will at some point face challenges of some kind. These can be platonic, romantic, familial, or even work-related, but every relationship is prone to issues. These can often be communication based, or related to other problems like intimacy or infidelity. Whatever the nature of your relationship, if you find there is strain and stress that is beginning to impact your mental health, you may benefit from group therapy for relationship issues.
Before you jump into therapy, it is helpful to analyze what type of core problems the relationship is facing. You can discuss this with your partner/the other person in the relationship, evaluate on your own, or reach out to a trained mental health professional to begin to understand what your needs and goals will be for therapy.
The most common core issue couples (and other relationship types) seek counseling for - whether they realize it or not - is communication. We all come from different backgrounds and experiences with our own trauma and understanding of how to communicate, express ourselves, and resolve conflict. It is no wonder these do not always align! Common communication problems often surface through regular arguments, blameshifting, defensiveness, withdrawal or avoidance. Oftentimes one person is much better at expressing their feelings than the other, or one feels steamrolled by the other. Different comm unication styles can lead to a perspective that you are not being heard, understood, or cared for which creates a rift in your relationship and can lead to a sense of hopelessness when you don’t see eye to eye. Group therapy for communication problems in relationships allows the therapist to function as an impartial third-party mediator to help you both see the other’s side and learn to communicate in healthier, more constructive ways to diminish likelihood of conflict.
Many romantic relationships begin with the honeymoon stage, where intimacy is thriving and everyone’s sexual needs are being met. Over time, this passion can wane, and can create a sense of distance from your partner. You may feel less bonded, less attracted, and less fulfilled on an emotional and sexual intimacy level. Do you feel a desire to be close, but sense the distance? This is a good sign that there may be intimacy issues in your relationship. Group therapy for intimacy issues in relationships can help you rediscover the spark and connection that drew you to your partner to begin with.
If you or your partner have experienced any traumatic life events, they may be diagnosed with PTSD, and might struggle with anxiety, depression, fear, or all sorts of side effects of trauma. Whether you, your partner, or both are working through the long-term impact of trauma, it can be difficult to know what to say and how to offer support. For this reason a completely exterior circumstance can lead to a disconnect in your day to day relationship, manifesting as angry mood swings, avoidance, restlessness, insomnia, or fear. Group therapy for trauma in relationships can help you and/or your partner learn how to better communicate in a way that makes the other person feel safe and cultivates a sense of peace and respite in the relationship, rather than adding stress to it.
Most relationships will go through periods where one person or the other feels their emotional needs are not being met adequately by their partner. Meeting emotional needs is critical to the health of your relationship (on both sides), as this creates a sense of comfort and love which contribute to healthy attachment styles and communication. If you’re feeling distant or disconnected from your partner, you may be experiencing emotional disassociation. Group therapy for emotional distance in relationships can help bring you back together in order to meet each other’s needs in a healthy and fulfilling way.
Affairs (both emotional and physical) are one of the most difficult things to overcome for any relationship. The good news? People have done it. Couples who experience infidelity over the course of their relationship DO go on to repair their relationship afterwards, and can even experience a greater sense of closeness and companionship. Group therapy for infidelity issues in relationships will help guide the unfaithful partner to the cause of their infidelity and lead both people toward the healthier, more honest communication that is required to repair trust.
Concerned about any of these relationship problems, or others? Group therapy for relationship issues can help!
April 27, 2022