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I. What’s it like to get long-distance relationship counseling?

Feelings of jealousy, sexual frustration, and poor communication are common issues in long-distance relationships that often go unaddressed. While these challenges may resolve themselves, sometimes you and your partner need outside guidance to understand what parts of the relationship aren’t working and benefit from talking to a counselor to help address these issues. Counseling is often a practical, affordable solution.

Low levels of trust and unsuccessful communication efforts can be signs that a couple may need to pursue long-distance relationship counseling. When negative feelings start to cause insomnia or when loyalty issues bring about jealousy, long-distance relationship counseling can help. If you and your partner are considering separating, long-distance relationship counseling may help reenergize and rekindle the emotional and physical attraction to each other.

Long-distance relationship counseling can help identify underlying issues that are negatively affecting relationships. Speaking with a professional therapist can give you and your partner communication tools to better express desires or points of unhappiness. While you can work on your relationship without outside help, third-party guidance can help resolve challenges that create obstacles to your happiness.

Therapists can lead you through exercises to improve the connection between you and your partner. Sometimes cognitive behavioral therapy techniques are beneficial to identify negative and destructive patterns. Talk therapy may be used to explore issues of infidelity, insecurity, and jealousy.

II. How to find a long-distance relationship counselor

A counselor who understands the power dynamics of couples and the realities of long-distance relationships can help your relationship thrive. Having a counselor you feel comfortable sharing your emotions with is important for a successful session. You and your partner will share intimate details about your relationship, and you should feel at ease when talking about your personal life.

A faith-based counselor may best address questions about maintaining faith and trust in your long-distance relationship. Faith-based therapists utilize their spiritual connection to help couples going through specific challenges. If you are a member of the LGBTQ+ community, you may wish to find a counselor who’s part of this community or who’s openly accepting and welcoming to counseling same-sex couples. Age and gender may play a factor in determining which counselor you choose to work with, especially if you think it may affect your ability to be transparent about relationship issues.

Working with couples requires an additional skill set that’s not usually needed when treating individual patients. Counselors must actively listen and analyze the behavior of two people at the same time. Having the expertise to address sensitive issues presented from two different perspectives is required for your relationship counseling sessions to be effective. Ask your potential therapist if they’ve worked with couples experiencing problems similar to yours. Review their credentials, making sure they’re approved in you and your partner’s location or state.

Therapy can be a costly endeavor, and for progress to be made, multiple sessions are usually required. Make sure you choose a long-distance relationship therapist whose rate fits within your budget. At least one of you will need telehealth counseling via video, talk, or messaging, unless you only schedule sessions when together, so check the price for those options. Some therapists may take insurance to cover counseling sessions or offer a sliding-scale fee schedule.

III. What does long-distance relationship counseling help with?

Couples seek counseling to help resolve problems in their relationships. You and your partner may experience common issues facing couples, along with ones unique to long-distance relationships, such as:

  • Anxiety: Doubt, worry, fear, or jealousy can create generalized or unfocused feelings of uneasiness about your partner’s commitment level.
  • Depression: Feelings of loneliness and a lack of sexual intimacy can lead to a negative emotional outlook and fatigue.
  • Anger: You may feel frustrated or angry about the necessity of living apart.
  • Trust issues: Lack of clear communication, infidelity, or previous relationship issues can erode trust.

IV. How can you prepare for long-distance relationship counseling?

To reap the greatest benefit, it’s helpful to prepare for your first counseling session. Create a physical or mental list of the issues affecting your relationship that you want to resolve. Both partners should prepare a separate list to make sure that their needs or concerns are addressed. Take note of how long each issue has been present. Consider what it is about these issues that bother you so you can communicate these thoughts to your therapist.

V. What are common long-distance relationship counseling techniques?

A counselor may use various methods and exercises to help resolve issues in your long-distance relationship. Many of these solutions include simple lifestyle changes. Standard methods used to assist couples include:

Talk therapy

Many long-distance relationship issues are due to communication problems. Sometimes couples don’t talk to each other regularly, which can create a sense of disconnection. On the other hand, you and your partner may talk too often, leading to feelings of boredom or monotony. During talk therapy, a series of communication exercises are used to determine the optimal fit for your relationship. These exercises explore how you communicate as a couple.

Cognitive behavioral therapy

Some relationship issues are related to past traumas. Through cognitive behavioral therapy, the root issues of your relationship problems are explored. This method helps identify potential solutions and possible disorders that may need to be treated. Cognitive behavioral therapy is useful if you find yourself responding angrily to your partner or covering up your anger with excessive use of alcohol or drugs.

VI. What else can help?

Counseling can be very useful for couples in long-distance relationships, but lifestyle adjustments are beneficial, too. Talking to your partner about your needs and concerns can be very helpful. Consider setting a schedule for talking to each other throughout the week to set communication expectations. Calm feelings of jealousy or other anxious thoughts through exercise and meditation. Your long-distance relationship counselor can provide you and your partner with a list of activities and techniques you can apply outside your counseling sessions.

VII. Sources

Are you looking for more information about long-distance relationship counseling and couples therapy? Explore the sources we’ve used in this guide.

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