Relationship/couple's therapy aims to explore issues in inter-personal relationships (not just romantic relationships), to help improve them, or bring things to an amicable end.
Relationship therapy looks at the following:
Working towards a goal
Exploring specific problems (e.g jealousy, sexual difficulties etc)
Addressing the relationship, not the individual parties of that relationship
Reaching potential solutions for the difficulties, i.e. solution-focused, in a collaborative manner
The beginning of therapy will include an assessment which will explore the timeline of the relationship and a personal history from each party.
Once this has been completed, the next stage of therapy will aim to establish a treatment goal and help inform the treatment plan.
During the treatment phase, the aim will be to reach 'solutions' and to promote change, using a collaborative approach. This may involve homework, and sessions may be spaced further apart to allow change to happen in 'real-life' rather than in the therapy room.
In most cases, clients will finish therapy with more ideas about how issues develop and what themes run through their relationships, as well as some ideas on how to mange these and problem solve issues that may arise. Relationship therapy doesn't work for everyone and at times, although sad, a decision may be made to end the relationship. For some people, the aim of therapy may be to bring the relationship to an end in a safe and amicable way.