Couples sometimes wonder if their relationship therapist knows more about their lives than they reveal. After all, many people take time to open up about their personal lives, and you may have issues that you are not yet ready to address. While our professional counselors are experts and not mind readers, they are highly trained at paying close attention to visual and verbal cues that you give off about the status of your relationship.
Don’t let this worry you, however. A professional therapist always uses this information to help you grow together, and they would never reveal a secret that you might not be ready to tell. As you prepare for your session, it helps to know that your therapist may be able to detect these four common relationship issues so that you can begin to work on them right away.
Difficulty Communicating Effectively
Almost a fifth of all couples report that they do not communicate well as a couple, and because that includes just the ones who know it, the actual number is likely higher. When you go to relationship therapy, your counselor already knows that poor communication is at the heart of many relationship challenges. Whether your partner is prone to nagging or giving you the silent treatment, it is common for people to resort to negative communication methods when they are angry. You will quickly notice that this impacts all of your interactions, and a professional counselor’s suspicions are often confirmed within the first few minutes of your session. This is because even little things, such as rolling your eyes or talking over your partner, are clear signs that your communication patterns are strained.
Problems Trusting One Another
Your partner should be the one person that you can trust in the world, yet the everyday occurrences in a relationship can sometimes slowly chip away at your ability to trust your partner. For instance, you may find that they react negatively to a private story that you share, or you may be one of the 16 percent of couples who seek counseling due to infidelity. Either way, your therapist can see that you lack trust in your relationship by observing the way you speak to each other or about specific situations. When this is noted, your sessions may focus on strategies that help rebuild trust, such as opening up communication or helping you address issues from your past.
Challenges Posed by Addiction
Those who are stuck in the cycle of drug, alcohol, or sex addiction sometimes think that it is possible to hide the signs of their struggles. However, there are clear signs that many people give off that a relationship counselor may pick up on during sessions. For instance, physical cues, such as bloodshot eyes, may point toward drug or alcohol addiction. Sometimes, the signs are more subtle, like a couple who comes to counseling for financial concerns where one partner cannot understand their spouse’s extreme spending habits. Addiction also has a ripple effect that generates discord in a relationship that is almost palpable in the initial counseling sessions when resentment, animosity, and guilt all rise to the surface.
A Lack of Physical Intimacy
You’ve been able to fool your friends and family into thinking that you have the perfect relationship. Yet, you both know that things have been lackluster physically for years. A lack of physical intimacy in the bedroom is often coupled by a general sense of distance in your daily interactions. A relationship therapist may notice that you sit far apart during your sessions or that you never make eye contact. In many instances, a lack of physical connection is simply an outward sign of your emotional distress, and working through your relationship issues helps you rekindle those feelings of romance.
During your relationship therapy sessions, you can expect your therapist to maintain a high level of professionalism even when they know more about what’s going on than you want to reveal. Being able to spot your problems right away is beneficial since your therapist can then tailor your sessions to address the underlying issues that detract from your happiness as a couple.