To be having relationship issues can cover a multitude of situations (difficulties with long-term relationships, difficulties with managing romantic relationships in general, and difficulties managing different types of relationships in general.
Long-term relationships (including marriage/domestic partners)
Today it is fairly common knowledge that a successful long-term relationship can be challenging. Partners growing (or not growing), financial stressors, extended family involvement, collaborating, work/life balance, sexual issues, infidelities, communication (being able to really listen and problem solve), couples having conflicting beliefs, etc.
People often consider consulting professionals if they are having problems within a long-term relationship. However many are unaware exactly what each different type of therapist can offer couples who are in need of support. General couple counseling is often focused on giving the two parties a place where they can speak their mind and be heard, and learn some tools, which can be important. What is different about CBT relationship counseling is that it is specifically focused on coming to agreement about what the problems are and then working collaboratively to find direct strategies to improve the relationship. So in a sense going beyond communicating but works toward collaborating on concrete ways the couple can adopt a shared system that they both believe in that will help them to feel, think, and behave in healthier/happier ways that will support that couple and (indirectly) their individual goals. CBT has helped many people have more fulfilling interactions with their partners, which can greatly improve their quality of life.
Managing romantic relationships in general
Even with the influx of online media, people often find it very difficult to meet potential partners. Others might find when they get into a relationship “triggers” occur that make it hard for them to maintain that relationship. Individuals quite often come to therapy not being certain about the reasons why they are struggling.
Others might have had difficult experiences in the past that make it hard for them to trust. Some might be unaware of how their values and beliefs are hindering them. CBT can help bring to light whether there are underlying causes to these difficulties, while also assist in bringing about changes necessary to enhance people’s chances of success in the future.
Managing relationships in general
People may find themselves struggling with relationships in general or see a theme that they consistently struggle with similar types of relationships. Examples might include relationships with family, friends, acquaintances, bosses, work colleagues, strangers, classmates and teachers. As with other relationship difficulties, there can be various causes including trust, previous experiences, values and beliefs, or an overall desire to insure safety and protection. Cognitive behavioral therapy can help bring about understanding of our patterns that perhaps was once useful but now requires a new system upgrade that will fit one’s present life goals.