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Couples Therapy

What is couples therapy?  

  • Couples therapy is a form of therapy that can help you and your partner improve and strengthen your relationship.  
  • Couples therapy can address a wide range of relationship issues, including recurring conflicts, feelings of disconnection, infidelity, issues related to sex, issues related to finances, roles in the relationship, communication challenges, difficulties due to external stressors, and more. It is typically a short-term form of therapy. 
  • Couples therapy can help you at any stage of your relationship, regardless of marital status, age, race, faith, or sexual orientation. 

Who can utilize couples therapy at UHCL Counseling and Mental Health Center? 

  • At the Counseling and Mental Health Center, romantic partners of any sexual orientation or marital status are welcome.   
  • Only one partner is required to be a UHCL student.   
  • At this time, couples therapy is reserved for romantic partners. Those interested in support regarding disputes between friends, roommates, or family members will need to be referred out to providers in the community.   

When is couples therapy NOT appropriate? 

Couples therapy is not appropriate when there is any concern about physical or emotional safety in the relationship. If you do not feel safe in your relationship, please consider an individual appointment.  

What to expect during couples therapy? (verywellmind.com

  1. Getting to know you: The therapist will want to get to know you, your partner, and your relationship in order to co-create safety and collaboration. 
  2. Identifying feelings: The therapist will support you and your partner in identifying and naming your feelings and emotions to each other. 
  3. Exploring the past: The therapist may want to explore past events or past wounds as a means to understand, heal, and enact change in the future. 
  4. Focusing on solutions: The therapist will work with you and your partner to identify, slow, and correct negative interaction cycles. 
  5. Teaching skills: The therapist can offer communication, conflict resolution, emotional regulation, and problem-solving skills to you and your partner. 

Tips to get the most out of your couples therapy

  1. Come ready to be open and vulnerable 
  2. Practice what you learn outside of session.  
  3. Couples therapy is most effective when both partners are committed to the process. 
  4. Don't expect miracles after your first session, progress and change takes time and effort.  
  5. Be a team! Change in a relationship happens when both partners work towards that change. 

What if I'm not sure we need couples therapy? 

Couples Workshop Flyer

Come to our couples workshop! Three times per year (Fall, Spring, and Summer) the Counseling and Mental Health Center hosts a couples workshop. The workshop is typically from 8:30 a.m. - 4 p.m. and covers many of the same topics you'd cover in therapy. This workshop is great for a couple looking to check-in on their relationship, address any ongoing challenges, and reconnect as a couple. The workshop is $30 for a couple with one UHCL student (or $60 for a non-UHCL couple). Please contact our front desk at (281) 283-2580 for more details on our next available workshop. 


Resources

  • The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work (By John M. Gottman, PhD) 
  • The Mindful Couple (By Robyn D. Walser, PhD and Darrah Westrup, PhD) 
  • His Needs, Her Needs (By Willard F. Harley, Jr.) 
  • Rekindling Desire (By Barry McCarthy and Emily McCarthy 
  • Fair Play (By Eve Rodsky) 
  • Come As You Are (By Emily Nagoski, PhD) 

Contact

  • Counseling and Mental Health Center

    Phone: 281-283-2580
    Fax: 281-226-7241
    www.uhcl.edu/cmhc

    SSCB 3103
    2700 Bay Area Blvd, Box 331
    Houston, TX 77058-1002

    Regular office hours:
    Mon: 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.
    Tue-Fri: 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.

    Please call ahead during holidays and semester breaks.