What are the primary relationship issues that bring couples into treatment?
Infidelity, feelilng "not good enough", feeling ignored, walking on "eggshells", a lack of sexual intimacy, feeling unsafe, lack of trust, poor communications: these are all symptoms of relationship issues.
A healthy relationship betwen two people is based on trust and when that trust is broken, so is the relationship. But it is possible to repair the trust and rebuild the relationship, if both parties are willing.
What is also lost, by the time couples come in for help, is the ability to talk to each other about what they are really feeling- it isn't safe. Arguments escalate, one or both get defensive and angry and the result is more unahppiness.
The answer is not doing exercises or repeating what your partner said so that he or she knows you heard them, that doesn't really help or create change.
What makes the difference is for one and then the other partner to begin to share their underlying feelings, fears and negative thoughts, in a safe environment which the therapist creates. When real feelings emerge in sessions, everything is different and change can begin.
This is the beginning to rebuild the couple's relationship.