What if I told you there was a magic recipe for making a relationship work? I’m sure you wouldn’t believe me, and for good reason!

It’s easy to see how difficult relationships can be. If there was a totally effective method for happy, healthy relationships out there, surely someone would have packaged it up and sold it by now, right?

Until we can find that 100% success guaranteed recipe for a perfect relationship, we’ll have to make do with what we do have – building our relationship skills, communicating effectively, engaging in activities that enhance our connection, and using couples therapy to tackle any of the big issues.

“Couples therapy” and “couples counseling” usually mean the same thing. There is no difference between them on a technical level.

The only context in which it matters what the session is called is a legal one; in some places, you must have a special certification or license to practice “therapy” that is more difficult to obtain than the certification or licensing to practice “counseling.”

Whether you call it couples therapy or couples counseling, this type of engagement with a qualified professional provides couples with an opportunity to work through their most difficult or emotionally challenging problems.

These problems can range from simple communication issues or significant disagreements to substance abuse issues and psychological disorders (Bonior, 2017).

While couples therapy can be a great way to reconnect with your partner or mend the differences between you, there are many ways to make sure you keep the spark alive and the relationship healthy without seeing a professional. There are many resources out there that draw from theories or research in couples therapy.

It’s never too late (or too early) to start putting a little more effort into your relationship. If you would like to improve your connection, choose one or two of the activities and exercises described below to practice with your partner.

Courtney E. Ackerman