The pandemic has done a number on couples who lives together. This is especially true for parents who are trying to keep their relationships strong on top of raising kids. No one knows this better than Frozen actress Kristen Bell and her husband, actor Dax Shepard.
But instead of letting their resentment fester, the two took a different approach to resolving conflicts and hashing out problems: couples therapy.
Like many families, Bell and Shepard have spent a lot of time together during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as with their young daughters Lincoln and Delta. Understandably, with that comes more disagreements and arguments since, as Bell puts it, “everyone’s proclivities are kind of bubbling over because we’re all caged in with each other.” To combat some of the issues they were having, the two decided to try what she called “a little therapy brush-up.”
“Dax and I, when we started this pandemic, were at a point in our marriage where we definitely needed [it,]” she told People last year about why she advocates for couples counseling. “Every couple of years, we’re like, ‘We’re being very antagonistic towards each other,’ and we don’t want that. We go back to therapy and figure out what I’m not doing that’s best for you and what you’re not doing that’s best for me, and how we can serve this team goal better.”
Science also supports Kristen Bell’s claim that couples therapy helps the duo create a better dynamic. A study from the American Psychological Association reported that couples counseling was about 75 percent effective for those who attended, with the chief measurement of effectiveness being “reduction of complaints” between partners. Even better, couples who go therapy can see the positive benefits for at least two years after finishing treatment.
Moreover, Bell found that therapy not only helped her and Shepard air out grievances but also enabled her to appreciate her spouse more — especially given her constant need to start new projects and hobbies in quarantine. “He’s been very gracious in the fluttering around the house in order to console myself,” she explained. “Most of the graciousness has been coming from him!”