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Are you looking for new techniques to strengthen your relationship? If you’re interested in Behavioral Integrative Couples Therapy (IBCT) but can’t seem to fit it into your busy schedule, many couples use teletherapy as an easier way to spend time with each other. their relationship. Scheduling a teletherapy session with an experienced therapist is convenient and can help you resolve your relationship issues, but why wait? Here are five tips to get started today.
1. Express your appreciation
Understanding what makes your partner feel most appreciated is a step in the right direction. Over time, we may stop expressing our appreciation in our relationships because what was once new has become routine. Maybe resentments have built up over the years, or we assume our significant other already knows how we feel about them. But when we notice and appreciate the little things, people often go out of their way to be even more considerate. It does not require grand gestures, although it is possible. Often, acknowledging what others do for us is enough to make any relationship warmer. In fact, I often encourage couples to end the day by listing at least three things they are grateful for about their partner or even the day itself. Knowing that you will have to express your appreciation for things at the end of the night will make you more attentive to the things to appreciate during the day.
2. Practice reflective listening
Practice may never be perfect, but it certainly helps. It’s common for people to mistakenly believe that if they refuse their approval or affection, their partner will change the way they want them to. While this may cause your partner to change, it probably won’t be the way you like. Practicing reflective listening is one of the best techniques for improving communication in your relationship. So what does this mean?
This is something a trained couples therapist can guide you through during your session, but it essentially means you listen to what your partner is saying and then repeat it back to them in your own words. You can try a simple reflection where you basically repeat what was said, perhaps paraphrasing a bit or you can try a complex reflection where you might infer a feeling or experience based on what was said. This accomplishes two things. It validates what they said because they know they were really heard and it also clears up any confusion. Instead of waiting for our turn to speak, we actively listen to what is being said and try to understand what they are telling us.
3. Schedule important conversations
On a related subject, there are some difficult conversations to have, no matter how adept we are at communicating. So when it comes to sensitive issues, it can be helpful to set aside time to discuss them. I call these “relational business meetings”. For example, maybe your partner wants to have a baby, but you’re not sure if it’s the right time to start a family, or even if you want kids. It’s a situation that could quickly escalate into an argument, especially if the topic comes up at a time when you’re already feeling stressed about work, money, or a number of other things.
Instead, consider booking a weekly meeting for an hour to explore the idea or any other burning relationship issues. Pick a time when you both have the mental and emotional capacity to be fully present, and keep in mind that you don’t necessarily need to come up with an answer at that time. The intention is simply to start the conversation when the two of you are in a calm and receptive state of mind, perhaps even during brunch. You can always schedule a follow-up for later, which will give you time to think more deeply.
By setting aside a weekly time to meet, you consolidate arguments into one episode rather than spilling over into the relationship throughout the week. It also allows time and space for each partner to reflect on their experience and opinions, and to come to the conversation in a way that is more thoughtful and respectful of their needs and those of their partner.
If you’re still struggling to find your way through a problem, bring it to your teletherapy session. Your couples therapist will be able to offer you a new perspective and helpful information about your current dynamic.
4. Unplug from your phones
Most of us spend way too much time on our phones these days. We may not even be fully aware of how many hours we spend staring at a screen, because there are so many useful things on our devices that we rely on every day – from work emails to apps for shopping delivery, everything is there. But it can mean we’re less present for the people we love the most. Be sure to designate the time when phones and tablets are put away and it’s just the two of you. It can be tempting to distract ourselves when we’re stressed or things don’t seem to be going well, but if we want to improve our relationships, we have to show ourselves first.
5. Remember to have fun
Maybe your relationship isn’t as spontaneous as it used to be, and that’s okay, but it’s still important to remember to make time for fun. Playfulness is an important part of being in a relationship. What are some of your favorite things to do as a couple? Do you share hobbies or interests? It’s all too easy to get caught up in the daily grind of bills and house cleaning, so be sure to prioritize the enjoyment of being together. After all, what’s the point of working so hard if you don’t slow down once in a while?
Remember, the fun doesn’t have to be the big spontaneous trips you’ve taken before, but it could be playing along to an old song you loved before taking your kids to football practice or ordering a dinner from a place you used. love to go. When it comes to happiness and pleasure, it’s not the big events that create the most joy, but it’s often the small, most meaningful events that do.
Benefits of teletherapy
Would you like to learn more about teletherapy and why so many people prefer it for couples therapy? To begin with, teletherapy uses special software that is fully secure and HIPAA compliant. Teletherapy is also popular because it eliminates the need to move through traffic or even for a couple to be in the same place, especially after an argument where one member of the couple may not feel as emotionally safe.
This can help ensure that your sessions are more consistent and that you never have to worry about getting to your appointment on time. Plus, it gives you more choices when it comes to finding a therapist that’s right for you since you’re not limited to local options. Not to mention, you might just feel more comfortable in sweatpants on your living room couch than in an office environment.
To find a therapist, please visit Psychology Today’s Directory of Therapies.