What is couple therapy and what is the definition of couple therapy in India? Do people really seek assistance from a third-person in their personal relationship?
To bust the bubble, they do! Couple therapy, marriage counseling stemmed their roots first in Germany and then America took over in 1930, but very recently professional marriage counseling has gained prominent importance worldwide with the increased stress in relationships.
What is the scenario of couple therapy in India?
India is a land of paradox and Indian families are traditionally patriarchal and orthodox in their nature. Therefore, there is no single approach to viewing the family system and as families are the base root of an individual’s upbringing, we derive and develop a lot from our surroundings while we grow up.
Different people have different ideas about the concept and meaning of relationships based on their experiences and understanding about the one.
Our relationships are gauged on the conformity based on the sacrifices of pursuits and autonomy. People face complex problems in their relationships when they fail to match each other’s expectations or in some cases, their expectations exceed the capacity for the other one to perform.
These unmet expectations and challenges put couples at risk leading to an unhealthy relationship. Whether it is an arranged or love marriage, in the end, it is MARRIAGE that needs continuous effort from both ends to keep the bond intact.
With the decreasing patience and attention level, job stress, personal goals, financial instability, social competition, comparison, and ever-increasing stress have led to a wide range of relationship problems as well as physical and psychological disturbances in the quality of family life.
Concept of Couple Therapy in India
Couple therapy is a form of therapy that is designed to address the problems that influence the psychological as well as the mental health of the people involved in a relationship. It is often interchangeably used with marital therapy in India.
Couple therapy in India is slowly gaining momentum, to begin with, metropolitan cities, and also with the impact of increased awareness of its existence. But still, we have a long way to go. Seeking help in a personal relationship is still stigmatized. The community might slam you for not being able to take care of your relationship, and seeking outside help..ha ha ha!
Perhaps it works best when both the individuals want to make it work between them. It seeks to reduce conflicts and stress between couples. Couple therapy in India has been gaining importance to bring out behavioral and/or attitudinal changes, it helps when one seeks counseling from a therapist in some cases.
It is different from other psychotherapies in its perspective and can be beneficial when individuals are unable to cope with their problems and feel stuck in their relationship.
Challenges of practicing couple therapy in India
As I quoted earlier, SEEKING HELP is still a taboo topic in our country. In India, the role of counselor or going for therapy is considered as the least priority. And to make it worse if one person is willing to seek help and the other one doesn’t believe in the whole idea at all, he/she will never follow the advice given by the therapist and in such given situation chances are very scanty that things will improve between the two.
But the fact is that people fail to understand that sometimes a third perspective that is non-judgemental, unknown, and unbiased could help to change their perspective and give a new direction to see and understand things that could eventually help them to gain a broader view.
There could be a number of reasons why couple therapy and counseling services are deemed of lesser significance and perceived less importance as other health-related support. I have mentioned a few:
- Low level of awareness
- The misbelief that therapies are only meant for serious mental disorders
- Judging the therapist on the basis of their age & experience
- The option of couple therapy is rarely opted
To conclude, I would say that couple therapy is worth giving a try for any individuals if they are having a hard time dealing with each other on daily communication, trust issues, lost intimacy, or sexual issues.
If something is bothering you and you really want to work on it then seeking the third perspective might help you and there is no shame in seeking help for repairing, denting and painting your own relationship, isn’t it?
Priyanka Nair is the author of 26 Days 26 Ways for a Happier you and Ardhaviram. An NLP practitioner and Founder of Sanity Daily, helping you prioritize your mental health. Let’s build a happy community.