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4 min read

How Couples Counseling Can Benefit Long-Distance Relationships

A couple in in therapy

Long distance relationships experience challenges that closer distance relationships don't, and yet there are also several benefits to this type of relationship. Despite what movies and media may tell us, long distance relationships aren't doomed to fail, and therapy for long distance relationships can offer tools to resolve conflicts, address communication issues, and in general strengthen the bonds between you and your long distance partner.

Can long-distance couples benefit from couples therapy?

When depicted in movies or novels, long distance relationships are typically an obstacle to overcome. However, many couples thrive living in different parts of town, or even in different cities, states, or countries. If you are starting a long distance relationship and this is a new dynamic for you, marriage and family therapists can help you stay connected.

Long distance relationship counseling with couples therapy sessions can offer tools and support to address relationship concerns, boost emotional intimacy, improve communication skills, and in general, set the foundation for a healthy relationship. This type of relationship counseling is often offered in an online therapy setting, and with a more intimate knowledge of underlying issues and unique challenges experienced by people living apart.

Long Distance Relationship Counseling Benefits

Long distance couples often enjoy certain benefits over traditional short-distance relationships. Some of these include:

  • They develop strong communication skills. Because of the long distance aspect of their relationship, couples in a long distance relationship often become clear communicators very quickly
  • Long distance relationships offer plenty of free space for both partners. This allows you to focus on goals, career, and personal life
  • A long distance relationship can foster independence
  • Many couples that are long distance truly value their time together in way that can be difficult for people who see each other all the time to understand
  • Living apart in a long distance relationship can be a strong compatibility test
  • Long distance relationships are also a litmus test for love. Rather than becoming accustomed to each other, long distance partners must continually decide that they want to be together, and do the work to make that happen

While all of these are true benefits, they don't necessarily happen automatically. Long distance couples therapy with a family therapist can help facilitate these skills, as well as help address past trauma, mediate negative interactions, and smooth over relationship issues. A long distance relationship counseling professional has specialized training to not only share the typical tools of couples therapy, but also to understand the specific challenges of managing intimacy issues and relationship goals for people living apart for a long period of time.

Ways to Make Long-Distance Relationships Work

While there are benefits to a long distance relationship, it can be difficult for long distance couples at times. But there are some strategies shared by long distance couples therapy professionals that you can use to keep your long distance relationship strong.

Switch up your modes of communication. One of the benefits of living in today's world is that there are so many different ways to keep in touch with each other. You can text message, meet over video chat, talk on the phone, share pictures and reels on social media platforms, and much more. All of these avenues are a way to say that you care.

Participate in online couples therapy. A long distance relationship counselor can offer substantial tools for keeping communication open, conflict resolution skills, and building trust with each other.

Participate in activities together. Stream a movie, play a video game, or do an app game together. You can even participate in a "virtual walk," where you walk at the same time while on a video call or sharing texts and pictures along the way.

Pick up a shared hobby. This can be any kind of activity, from needlepoint to throwing pottery. Share stories, pictures, and news about your new interest to create connection.

Transitioning to Living in Close Proximity

Another transition that can be a challenge for a long distance relationship is when the happy couple finally gets to move in closer to one another. When you are in a long distance relationship, it can be a culture shock when you start living in close proximity. For many long distance couples, couples therapy can help soften the blow.

Relationship counseling can create realistic expectations and help you and your partner to communicate and set boundaries throughout the process. Emotionally focused therapy is a common evidence-based practice that is used for couples therapy sessions.

Ways to Participate in Long Distance Relationship Counseling

When seeking counseling, there are a number of choices available for long distance couples. Couples therapy is an effective choice if both partners choose to participate. If you are living apart, this is where online couples therapy sessions can help. Relationship counseling can be effective, but having both partners show up at the same session can be a somewhat tricky situation.

Online therapy allows a therapist to meet with both partners simultaneously over a video chat platform or over the phone. A long distance relationship counselor should have extensive experience with this dynamic, and open up communication between couples, even over long distance.

Another option would be to attend couples therapy separately. This may not be quite as ideal for sharing together, but if you are a good communicator with your therapist and your partner, this can work.

Relationship therapy is also something you can do on your own if your partner is not invested in doing therapy. Sometimes one partner getting the tools they need in couples counseling can be beneficial if they implement and share what they learn in their long distance relationship.

Long Distance Relationship Counseling in Austin, TX

A long distance relationship can be challenging but ultimately rewarding. Long distance couples can actually have distinct advantages if they invest in healthy communication, personal growth, and sexual intimacy. Working with a licensed marriage and family therapist, or a couples therapist can help.

At Williamsburg Therapy Group in Austin, our team of doctoral-level psychotherapists offers evidence-based therapeutic practices through both in-person therapy and virtual couples therapy sessions, so that you can both get the relationship counseling you need.

Give us a call today, and our patient coordinator will help you find the right Austin couples counseling provider for online couples therapy or in person relationship therapy to mediate relationship challenges, build emotional intimacy, work through negative feelings, and hammer out all the details of your long distance relationship so you can feel connected and build a healthy partnership together. 

Book a Therapy Session in Austin Today

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