Therapists say coronavirus is causing a strain on couples

SEATTLE - Therapists say they are seeing an increase in couples looking for counseling due to the extra stressors of the coronavirus.

“I’ve seen a big rise in need for couples counseling, and that being client’s primary stressor,” said Nicole Myers.

Myers is a licensed marriage and family therapist.

She says many factors are creating issues for couples like increased fear of the virus and its impacts, the inability for normal stress relief, and increased time together due to stay at home orders.

“Couples have had to cope incredibly quickly with a rapid amount of changes, in themselves, in how they view the world and in their lifestyle, and that’s an incredible amount to navigate,” said Myers.

Myers says it’s important to realize this is a difficult time for everyone. She says we need to work to be aware of our needs as individuals and our needs as a couple.

"It's really important that we still try to be creative about what are some things we can do to enjoy our relationships, to enjoy our partner, and our marriages, and our significant others during this time," said Myers.

Aubree Irving, a local marriage and family therapist, suggests following these steps to make sure we have a healthy balance with our relationships.

First, Irving suggest creating boundaries between work life and family life. She says during stay at home orders, it's easy to let the two worlds overlap, which can create issues for us personally, as well as issues with our significant other.

She says work to have a game plan to be aware if you and your significant other begin to argue. She suggests even having  a safe word in place to call attention to the escalating tension.

Finally, she says despite the recent amount of extra time couples are spending together due to stay at home orders, still work to create moments that are unique and special with one another, like date nights.