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DBT for High Conflict Couples


DBT for High Conflict Couples

Have you ever received a hostile email, text message, DM, or letter?

You know the ones we are talking about—ALL CAPS, exclamation marks (!!!), filled with lots of blame and verbal attacks.

It’s natural to want to react to the message and want to respond immediately—all while your body is filled with frustration and anger—however the only thing that leads to is conflict and more stress down the road.

Let’s find a better way. We are here to help!

Help for Couples Struggling with Negative Emotions

You may hear and read a lot about ways to improve your relationship. But if you’ve tried all the tricks without much success, you’re not alone. Many highly reactive couples – pairs who are quick to argue, anger, and blame – need more than just run-of-the-mill relationship advice to solve their problems in love. When destructive emotions are at the heart of problems in your relationship, no amount of effective communication or intimacy – building will fix what ails it. If you’re a part of a “high-conflict” couple, you need to get control of your emotions first, to stop making things worse, and only then can you work on building a better relationship.

Southlake Counseling offers couples therapy that adapts the powerful techniques of Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) into skills you can use to tame out-of-control emotions that flare up in your relationship. Using mindfulness and distress tolerance techniques, you’ll learn how to de-escalate angry situations before they have a chance to explode into destructive fights. Other approaches will help you disclose your fears, longings, and other vulnerabilities to your partner and validate his or her experiences in return. You’ll discover ways to manage problems with negotiation, not conflict and to find true acceptance and closeness with the person you love the most.

Is couples therapy worth the cost?

Your relationship is a worthwhile investment; it has incredible potential to grow and enhance your life. With that said, many couples, understandably struggle with whether or not therapy is worth the cost. Here are some points to consider :

  • The immediate cost of divorce (e.g., attorney fees) averages $12,000-$15,000, not to mention the ongoing expenses of maintaining separate households.
  • Couples in troubled marriages are significantly more likely to have compromised immune systems, elevated stress hormone levels, and other markers of early mortality (Robles & Kiecolt-Glaser, 2003). Yes! A bad relationship can actually shorten your life.
  • Creating as healthy a marriage as possible can have intergenerational effects, as children witness and experience the effects of a healthy relationship.
  •  The average wedding costs about $23,000. An investment in preventing divorce and setting as good a trajectory for a marriage as possible is also a worthy investment.
  • The vast majority of couples (around 75%) experience significant improvement in their relationship when the therapist is using an evidenced-based model (Gottman, 2015).

In short, the vast majority of people receive a significant return on their couples therapy investment.

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