Talk to Each Other: How Couples Counseling Removes Friction and Barriers


You love your partner and can’t imagine your life without them. But sometimes, you both feel like you are speaking foreign languages when trying to communicate with each other. Sound familiar?

If so, rest assured that you and your partner are not the only ones who struggle to talk to each other. Lack of communication is often cited as a top reason for relationship struggles.

In worst-case scenarios, poor communication can lead to divorce. You wouldn’t have clicked on this article if you wanted to end your relationship. Couples counseling can help you and your partner get back on track.

How does counseling improve communication in relationships? Explore the answer to this question in this post.

But First, Why Is Communication Important?

Communication is important for all aspects of life, but, especially for close relationships. Couples must find effective ways of talking to each other to avoid misunderstanding, set expectations, and resolve conflicts.

But aside from these more practical reasons, communication is also crucial for romance to thrive. Successful dialogue promotes feelings of trust and understanding, which are integral to building intimacy.

Learn What Healthy Communication Looks Like

Many adults grew up with parents who did not know how to model respectful communication. Or they were raised in single-parent households, making resolving conflict with a partner an even more foreign concept.

Often, people end up coming into adulthood with no idea of what healthy communication looks like, let alone how to implement it in their own relationships.

Couples counseling can help you identify the characteristics of a productive conversation. Among other skills, you will learn how to be a better listener, take accountability, and practice compromise.

In counseling, you and your partner can also identify where your communications may be falling short. You’ll come to recognize the impact of negative patterns like blame-shifting, name-calling, and yelling.

The goal is not to make you and your partner feel bad. Instead, your counselor’s aim will be to empower you. That way, you can have more constructive conversations and conflicts independently.

Identify Your Communication Styles

There are a few ways to approach communication styles. One is identifying whether you approach dialogues with a passive, passive-aggressive, aggressive, or assertive style.

With the assertive style being the only healthy type in this group, couples can learn how to be more direct with each other and better tolerate conflict. But this is not the only way to think about communication styles.

The other approach is to identify how your personality impacts the way you communicate. For example, do you approach conversations with a goal in mind? Or are you more interested in making the other person happy?

Identifying how your personality affects your approach to dialogue is not just good for you. It can also help your partner understand how you see things and vice versa. That way, you can practice more empathy during conflicts.

Hone Your Positive Communication Skills

In couples therapy, you and your partner will learn skills you can implement in the real world. These skills will help the two of you connect better during conflicts and solve problems without making matters worse.

These are some of the most important communication skills you and your partner will learn in counseling.

Active Listening

Active listening is one of the most crucial skills for being a better communicator. Ask yourself: when your partner talks, are you truly listening? Or are you just waiting for a chance to speak your piece?

You and your partner will learn strategies for becoming better listeners. For example, maintaining eye contact, using nonverbal cues, and practicing mindfulness can focus attention on the other person, helping them feel heard.

Question Asking

How does it make you feel when you talk to someone, and they don’t ask a single question about what you’ve said? Often, it makes people feel unheard or like the other person doesn’t care to listen.

Feeling heard is a basic human need. You and your partner can support that need by asking who, what, where, when, or how questions. For example, follow-up after difficult conversations with, ‘How are you feeling about what we discussed?’

Summaries for Clarification

Remember: you and your partner may have completely different communication styles. Communication style differences can result in misunderstandings over even the simplest of issues.

Summarizing what your partner has said after they say it is an excellent way to ask for clarification. You can begin by saying, ‘Let me repeat what I’m hearing from you to make sure I understand.”

Eliminate Toxic Communication Patterns

As important as it is to work on your positive communication skills in couples counseling, it is also just as crucial to address any toxic habits you and your partner may have fallen into.

To start, your counselor will teach you the communication styles to avoid at all costs, which include but are not limited to:

  • Criticism: Attacking someone’s character
  • Contempt: Using offensive or disrespectful language toward someone
  • Defensiveness: Deploying excuses to avoid taking responsibility
  • Stonewalling: Evading a conflict by walking away or going silent

Together, you and your partner will also identify where these toxic communication patterns crop up most often. For most couples, it will be in the midst of an argument.

You may also be able to learn your triggers. It is easy to fall back on old, unhealthy communication styles when feeling threatened, whether physically or emotionally.

With a therapist’s help, you and your partner can understand what triggers your toxic communication patterns. Then, you are one step closer to overcoming these barriers.

Learn How to Talk to Each Other Better

Productive communication is a hallmark of a healthy relationship. But if you and your partner struggle to talk to each other, don’t despair. Change is possible with the help of therapy.

Are you searching for couples counseling in Albuquerque, New Mexico? Talking Circles Therapy and Wellness offers couples sessions to help with strengthening relationship bonds, repairing broken trust, and so much more.

Request an appointment with the expert counselors at Talking Circles to start communicating more effectively in your relationship today!

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