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  • Couples Therapy as A Wellness Strategy?

    Self-care and wellness are on the rise. Which means activities that have once been met with reluctance or uncertainty are now seeming more desirable and appealing. This includes therapy—couples therapy, in particular.

    In some ways, it’s interesting to see this new wave of wellness creeping into the relationship space. But in others, it’s curious why it took so long.

    Nowadays people are getting better at making time for their personal well-being and development. Meditation, attending boutique fitness studios, and even limiting time spent on social media or in front of screens have grown in popularity as millennials set foot firmly into adulthood. However, for the most part, therapy—and especially couples therapy—has remained untouched by the phenomenon. Until now.

    Dr. Michael I. Bennet, M.D., a relationship expert and author, urges individuals and couples to think of therapy as “regular exercise, like jogging or spin class, think of it as physical therapy, or something finite you take on to correct a specific injury.” It’s a practice that can be as beneficial to your relationship as exercise is to your body.

    Another useful—and wellness-centric—way to think about couples therapy is as a periodic check-up. We go to the doctor (or should go) once a year for a check-up to gauge and manage our health. Why not do the same for our relationships?

    Dr. Jennifer Gentile, PsyD, believes that “engaging in brief periods of couples therapy provides the couple with an opportunity to check in with each other in a nonjudgmental and safe space.”

    We’re human. This means that we grow and change over time, through no fault of our own, but just as a byproduct of life. It’s easy for the minutiae of everyday—parenting, work, or other goals and ambitions—to get in the way of your partnership. However, Dr. Gentile proposes that taking the time to nurture the relationship “strengthens the couple’s performance in all aspects of their partnered and individual lives.”

    John Gallagher, LMHC, has over 15 years of counseling experience catering to both individuals and couples in the central Florida area. He has private practices in both Winter Park and Orlando, Florida.