Anyone who has been in a relationship for a while can tell you there are recurring arguments (or at least recurring conversations). Maybe it’s about finances, maybe it’s about responsibilities, maybe it’s about intimacy. The common issue with all recurring arguments is the fact that you haven’t reached a solution. If the conversation keeps coming up every few weeks or months, it’s still a sticking point.
Many people who are new to our Upper Valley therapy practice understand the setting where therapy takes place, but they may not understand the point of talk therapy. It may help to understand that therapy is about solving problems (among other things). If you find yourself bumping into a pattern–a recurring argument–maybe it’s time to consider solving it in a talk therapy setting.
So how can talk therapy help solve an ongoing issue in a relationship? Every situation is a little different, but let’s look at an example. Two partners find themselves arguing about housework every month. While different approaches are tried, nothing seems to work for more than a week or two. In the heat of those arguments maybe both parties are heated and not in a proper problem solving mindset.
In therapy, the two can decide the problem they want to work on first is the housework problem. They can both lay out their points of view to begin with. Who tends to do what chores? How is that working and not working for each party? Are there reasons the issue comes to a head so frequently? Then, with the help of their therapist they can start discussing possible solutions. The discussion may uncover other factors; things that aren’t directly tied to houseword but factor in. Having that conversation may help each party address the issue a little differently.
Once solutions are being tested there may be a little more incentive to make things work. Both parties can see how the other is affected by housework being done or not done. Also, both parties will have to sit in a future therapy session and discuss how it’s going. Perhaps neither will want to report back to a neutral observer (the therapist) that they didn’t really give the new solution a try. By agreeing to work on the issue, discussing it and identifying a solution, they may be able to unpack what’s going on and how to solve it more easily than if they tried again on their own.
Again, this is a hypothetical scenario, but it’s a good example of how Upper Valley counseling can (and has) helped people solve a concrete issue using the talk therapy process. If you feel like you’re ready to give talk therapy a closer look and have any questions, please reach out. We’re ready to help you understand the patterns repeating in your life and, if you’re ready, start working on them.