Therapy Blog for Orem, Spanish Fork & South Jordan

Marriage Counseling: Team Building

Marriage Counseling: Team Building

Over the course of your marriage, you and your partner will work together and form a team. As a team, it is important for you to learn how to work together effectively. This sounds simple, but you have probably noticed by now that it is easier said than done! Thankfully, your marriage therapist is well-equipped to help you (Related article: Couples Therapy). The things you learn and work on together, in and out of your marriage counseling appointments, strengthen your marriage “team”. marriage counseling

Luckily, there are many different ways you can reinforce your team. Having a foundation of trust and teamwork in your relationship is essential for you and your spouse to be able to overcome challenges and have a sense of unity. Today, you will learn about a team building exercise that has been traditionally used in workplace settings. This process can be adapted to help you and your spouse work together to overcome challenges as a team. 

Forming and Strengthening Your Team

To start, if you want your team to be unified, it’s important for you to understand how the team is developed and what that means for you and your spouse. Tuckman’s Model of Team Development is a theory that explains how workplace teams form, grow, adapt, and overcome adversity without losing their trust in each other and their productivity (Source: Using The Stages of Team Development). This model can also be applied to your marriage. 

Now, you know that marriages obviously are not exactly the same as a workplace team, so today you will read an adapted version of the model that applies to your relationship.

Stage 1: Forming

First, working through conflict in your marriage will require participation from both you and your partner (Related article: Common Marriage Problems and How to Fix Them). This first phase is a time for you to communicate your expectations and hopes for the challenge you are hoping to overcome. Additionally, this is a good time to ask for help from your partner if you need it to work through the task at hand. Additionally, you can express excitement about the future.marriage counseling

This phase might feel slow. But it will be important to start on the same page. Having open communication and good expectations for each other will make the rest of the problem-solving process easier. 

Stage 2: Storming

This is the part that might feel like the most “work” for you and your partner. Next, you will work on resolving conflict or misunderstandings that may be preventing you from moving forward as a couple to problem solve productively together. In addition, this is a great time to use the communication and listening skills you have learned so far in couples counseling! (Related article: Marriage Counseling Myths: “Happy Couples Never Argue”).  

You and your partner might not see eye to eye just yet, but this is just a time to each express any frustrations or disagreements before you move forward. This can be a good time for a pros and cons list. Or, maybe you to ask each other questions to try and understand any potential roadblocks. No matter how you approach it, the goal of this step is to work towards moving forward towards agreement. 

Stage 3: Norming

This phase is a conflict resolution stage where you and your partner will work through contentions or disagreements you identified in the last step. The goal is to for you to form a consensus with your spouse about your decisions and compromises.

It’s very important in the norming phase to view this process as you and your spouse vs. the problem/challenge (Related article: Outside vs. Inside Marriage Problems). You might find that it is easy to fall into viewing the situation as your opinion vs. your spouse’s opinion. However, this will prevent your productivity and make it very hard to effectively move forward with decisions. 

Stage 4: Performing

Finally, once you have identified and overcome your disagreements with your partner, you can move into the final step! Yay! This part should feel like a relief for you both; you have worked together to overcome a challenge and communicate clearly. And, as an added bonus, you have worked on building your trust in each other and strengthened your team. marriage counseling

You and your spouse will repeat this process over and over again during your marriage. Thankfully, the more you and your partner can repeat this process, the easier the process will become. Good communication with your spouse takes intention and practice (Related article: How to Communicate Effectively). 

Marriage Therapy Can Help You Form, Storm, Norm, and Perform

Fortunately, you are already making the first step by reading this blog post. Next, working with a marriage therapist can help you and your spouse go even further as you work to build and strengthen your team. 

Ready to get started? Start couples therapy today in Orem, South Jordan, or Spanish Fork. 

Written by Lauren Adkins

Lauren Adkins

Writer for the Center for Couples and Families


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