Long Distance Relationship Counseling and Couples Therapy
Common Issues in a Long Distance Relationship
Although every relationship is unique, there tend to be commonalities among the issues faced in long distance relationships. Couples therapy for long distance relationships teaches the proper tools to address and mitigate these issues. Healthy long distance relationships have even been shown to have higher levels of dedication and lower levels of feeling trapped. Below are several issues to consider in order to give a long distance relationship the best chance at success:
Lack of Physical Intimacy – Limited physical time together means limited physical intimacy. The physical intimacy that does exist when a long distance couple is visiting with one another may also have extra pressure placed on it. Conversations around how each person in the relationship will handle lack of physical intimacy in a healthy way are crucial. These conversations may entail setting norms, boundaries, and expectations around intimacy.
Communication Differences – Long distance relationships highlight any natural communication differences between partners. For example, one person might be interested in texting throughout the day, while the other might prefer to talk on the phone in the evening. Unpacking the impact of these differences is especially important when virtual communication is the primary way of staying in touch.
Financial and Time Constraints – The cost of regular visits in long distance relationships can be prohibitive for couples. Gas prices and plane, bus, or train tickets limit the frequency with which partners are able to travel. The realities of work and other social obligations are additional factors that may need to be discussed. As lack of physical time together has the potential to bring up tension, couples therapy for long distance relationships is a helpful space to come up with a plan.
Loneliness – Living far away from a partner can bring up feelings of loneliness regardless of how often the couple talks. There are moments that cannot be shared in the context of long distance relationships. If friends and family members are not familiar with long distance relationships, they may have difficulty holding space for the experience. A skilled couples therapist can provide understanding and aid long distance couples in coping with loneliness.
Security and Trust – Worries about commitment may come up in long distance relationships. It is human nature to wonder if an important relationship is going to last for the long haul. Physical space can come with bigger concerns around trust, security, and availability. Open dialogue in couples therapy sessions helps build a healthy foundation and lets each partner open up about their attachment needs.
What is Long Distance Relationship Counseling?
Long distance relationship counseling is a type of relationship counseling catered to couples who do not live in the same area. Sessions center around improving communication, identifying conflict cycles, and learning new connection skills. Working through these areas has been research-shown to benefit the growing segment of the population who find themselves in long distance relationships. A professional who has experience with couples therapy for long distance relationships will be able to assist with strategies that work regardless of physical space.
Couples therapy for long distance relationships can be started at any time. It is not necessary for large problems to be present in order to gain insight from the process. Sustainable long distance relationships often utilize ongoing support strategies to keep the bond, passion, and enthusiasm strong. The right therapist can also guide partners toward getting back on track when parts of the relationship are in trouble. Common long distance relationship issues can be addressed and creative solutions can be implemented.
Finding the Right Therapist
The fit between the therapist and the couple they are working with is the most important factor in the success of therapy. This is called the therapeutic alliance, and it has to do with how well the personalities of all involved mesh. Qualities such as empathy, assertiveness, listening skills, and humor are a few that may influence the strength of the relationship. Reading therapist biographies and asking questions during an initial session can help a couple in deciding if the connection is right for them.
Experience with couples therapy for long distance relationships will benefit those seeking counseling in this area. The distinct challenges posed in long distance relationships make finding a professional who understands a priority. For those who reside in California, The Couples Center offers teletherapy options based in several locations. Each therapist is trained to provide effective tools and individualized support for couples’ needs.
Those who reside in other areas have a wide range of therapist search engines to choose from. Two popular options include Psychology Today and Good Therapy. These websites allow prospective clients to filter results and show only therapists offering couples counseling. If a couple is wondering about couples therapy for long distance relationships, it is always acceptable to ask. Being inquisitive about modality, experience, and personality is the best way for couples to empower themselves in seeking a high-quality level of care.
Do You Need to Physically Be Together to Attend Counseling?
Long distance couples do not need to physically be together to attend counseling. Therapists who offer couples therapy for long distance relationships will have a digital platform on which all parties can join from separate locations. This eliminates the need for couples to travel, which can put strain on the therapeutic process. Joining remotely also allows for more flexibility in terms of session timing and frequency.
Teletherapy is equally as effective as in-person therapy. Couples in long distance relationships do not sacrifice quality when choosing a remote option. The Covid-19 pandemic has popularized this style of engaging in therapy, and technology for therapists and clients is improving rapidly. Long distance couples should expect to have their video on and be in a private, distraction-free setting in order to get the most out of sessions.
Two factors for couples to keep in mind when considering teletherapy are health insurance policies and licensing board policies. If one or more parties involved is across state lines, there may be restrictions placed on if and how therapy can be provided. Asking the therapist and reading regulations are advisable ways to avoid running into any unexpected issues.
Can Long Distance Relationship Counseling Benefit You?
Couples therapy for long distance relationships can benefit anyone looking to learn new tools or improve existing skills. Long distance relationships require consistent care, and couples therapy is an excellent way to foster accountability in this care. The right therapist will make space for addressing common issues, strengthening connections, and creating greater fulfillment.
The rise in teletherapy options makes it easier than ever to start seeking couples therapy for long distance relationships. Search engines are available, and therapists will often offer brief phone consultations to facilitate finding the right fit. Partners can engage with the process from the comfort of their own homes. Regardless of what phase of a relationship a long distance couple is in, therapy at The Couples Center – or another local center to you – has the ability to suggest innovative solutions and provide new .