To keep any relationship healthy, just being ‘in love’ isn’t always enough; even the most loving unions can hit road bumps. For most couples the secret to relationship bliss is hard work and commitment, sometimes with the help of couples therapy.
The idea of discussing personal problems with a stranger may be daunting, so what really happens in therapy? We asked Sue Yorston from Relationships Australia and John Aiken, a clinical psychologist and author of Making Couples Happy.
Who has couples therapy?
There are many reasons why couples seek help. According to a 2011 survey by Relationships Australia and Credit Union Australia, the top four issues are financial stress, communication difficulties, different values or expectations, and a lack of trust.
New trends are emerging, however. “Our use of social media and the internet is one, including an increase in virtual affairs,” says Yorston. “There’s also an increase in couples separated due to work situations, resulting in a loss of connectedness.”
“In the survey, 77 per cent said they didn’t get any professional help, while 34 per cent said talking to friends was the most common way to get through relationship problems,” reports Yorston.