Exploring the Validity of Online Marital Therapy
Marital therapy can be for all couples at different points in their marriage. It is for the couple who is on the brink of divorce and for the couple who is looking to improve upon already solid relationship. Whether you are in a difficult place or not, most people have the same questions when stepping into marital therapy: Does it actually work? In reality, marital therapy does help many couples. That does not mean everyone who goes to therapy will end up staying together. However, engaging in marital therapy can help improve relationships and promote positive changes especially if couples step into counseling sooner rather than later. The truth about marital therapy really comes down to this idea: if two people are willing and open to working on their marriage, they have a better chance of helping their relationship. It boils down to communication and respect.
If marital therapy is helpful, what does it look like when you move to an online platform? Couples who are interested in therapy can receive some of the same benefits as those who see a therapist in person. Like most online options, it brings the convenience and cost-efficient factor into the mix. Online marital therapy can be just as helpful. There are some things to consider first in order to make sure your online experience is the best it possibly can be.
Find the right therapist for both of you
For a person engaging in any type of therapy, it is important to find a therapist they trust. However, marital therapy involves adding another person into the therapeutic relationship. Ideally, both partners need to feel comfortable and confident with their therapist. It is also important to look at a therapist’s credentials. Do they have the training to help? Do they have experience with online therapy? Marriage counseling is a completely different dynamic than individual counseling. It will be helpful to make sure the therapist is adequately licensed and trained.
Practice what you are discussing in therapy outside of therapy
Online marital coaching and education has become widely popular. It is also producing many positive outcomes for couples. Marital therapy takes the education and coaching piece to a deeper level. It can be effective for couples because it brings in the education component but it can also look into deeper patterns and emotional concerns that might need to be addressed. Whether it involves education around better communication or examining deeply rooted negative patterns in the relationship, it is important to practice what is learned in sessions and out of sessions.
Do not forget to talk to each other
One of the unique challenges of online therapy is the presence of a screen versus being in front of a neutral third party. It can sometimes be difficult for couples to talk with each other while also trying to look at the computer screen. It may take a couple of sessions to adjust, but if couples can remember to communicate with each other as they normally would if the therapist was in the room, it can greatly benefit the therapeutic process. It really helps a therapist understand a relationship by experiencing a couple’s true dynamic live rather than just hearing it secondhand. By “forgetting the screen” and remembering to talk to each other, couples will give themselves the opportunity to receive the same benefits they would have experienced in person.