The word relationship is oftentimes stereotyped with a sexual or romantic meaning. But not all relationships are sexual or romantic. A relationship is a connection between two people. The four basic types of relationship are; family relationship, friendship, acquaintanceship, and romantic relationship. Hence, relationship therapy is one of the numerous forms of counseling. It involves people in a relationship, receiving assistance on the resolution of conflict or problems in their relationship. Relationship therapy is available to help a relationship that is dwindling or has gone south. It may be siblings, marriage, a parent and child, or friends seeking therapy. Hence, it is not limited to involving just two people in a romantic relationship.
As earlier defined, relationship therapy is to help solve relationship problems. Common relationship problems that usually involve the need to seek a therapist are:
- Communication issues
- Intimacy issues
- Emotional distance
We will focus more on the most common and effective therapy methods. Each method will relate to romantic and platonic relationships. Imago relationship therapy and Child-Parent relationship therapy.
Imago Relationship Therapy
The word “Imago” is a Latin word, meaning ” unconscious image of familiar love”. Adult experiences in a relationship are sometimes linked to childhood experiences. For example, the parent abandons a child at an early age. The child grows into an adult and gets into a relationship. But later on, begins to have feelings of loneliness and fear of abandonment in the relationship.
The essence of this therapy method is to make couples learn to understand each other’s feelings. Also, IRT helps reveal the emotional pathway formed in childhood that led to current situations. The aim is to heal childhood wounds so as not to affect the relationship. Furthermore, it brings improvement of communication and listening skills between partners.
5 Steps Of Imago Therapy
Imago relationship therapy consists of 5 basic steps:
- Reimagine your partner as a wounded child.
- Romantic gestures via pleasurable surprises, gift-giving, and displays of appreciation.
- Restructure your disappointments and frustrations by changing complaints into requests.
- Resolve feelings of extreme anger.
- See the relationship as a source of happiness, satisfaction, and safety.
Meanwhile, the intentional dialogue process is the most important aspect of Imago Relationship Therapy. This dialogue incorporates speaking and listening techniques that facilitate contingent communication.
The first step of intentional dialogue is called mirroring, and it involves repeating your partner’s words. During the validation phase, the partner who is listening summarizes and expresses understanding of the points his partner raised.
Showing empathy is the final step of the dialogue process, and it encourages each person to try to appreciate the experience in question, from his or her partner’s point of view.
Child-Parent Relationship Therapy
Child parent relationship therapy is a 10-week therapy program, in which the therapist teaches parents and guardians of children in learning the skills that can be used during their playtime with their child. So, the aim of CPRT is to strengthen the quality of the parent-child attachment bond, as a means of reducing child behavior problems and stress in parent-child relationships.
Raising kids, toddlers or adolescents can be challenging. In addition to high tantrum rates, there will always be power tussles between the parent and child. Hence, CPRT seeks to support parents and caregivers to learn how to:
- Regain control without being aggressive
- Help the child develop self control
- Support in implementing discipline to limit inappropriate behavior
- Understand the child’s emotional needs with ease.
Relationship Therapy for Singles
As earlier said, relationship therapy is not just for couples. Single people can benefit from relationship therapy too. It sets up good habits for when they decide to date again. As a result, it promotes self-love and helps them examine their own behavior. Furthermore, attending relationship therapy as a single person is hugely beneficial for your future relationship. Going to therapy while single is a form of self-care. Also, someone coming out of a breakup can engage their own heart again to reflect on why they love the way they love. The therapy helps decide what you want in a partner, and date in a healthy and positive way when you finally get back into the dating scene.
Relationship Therapy Online
In recent times, we have lived through a pandemic and numerous lockdowns. Sometimes, waiting can cause more damage or take a toll on your relationship. You may not get yourself around to seeing a therapist and booking an appointment. Therefore, this can cause delays. And you know what they say, delay is dangerous. Online therapy meets your needs at the comfort of your home, in your spare time. Besides the fact that it is convenient, it is also effective. Here are some recommended sites for relationship therapy:
- Betterhelp. com
- Couples therapy Inc
- Rethink My Therapy
Check out these therapy sites, and get mental and emotional peace today.
Relationship Therapy FAQs
What does a relationship therapist do?
A relationship therapist is someone who is trained professionally in psychotherapy which is also known as couples therapy or couples’ counseling. Couples of all types can benefit from this type of counseling since it enables them to investigate, acknowledge, and overcome difficulties in order to strengthen their relationships and interactions.
What therapy is best for relationships?
Some of the best therapies for relationships include;
- Reflective listening.
- Emotionally focused therapy.
- Narrative therapy.
- Gottman Method.
- Imago relationship therapy.
- Solution-focused therapy.
Do therapists help with relationship problems?
A therapist can assist you and your partner in identifying the source of your problems, developing new communication methods, and strengthening your bond.
What is toxic relationship?
A toxic relationship makes you feel abandoned, misunderstood, devalued, or attacked. On a fundamental level, any relationship that makes you feel worse rather than better over time might become toxic.
When should you quit a relationship?
The following are signs you should quit a relationship;
- Physical and/or emotional abuse.
- No sense of purpose.
- Lack of respect.
- Emotional distance.
- Prolonged unhappiness.