'Welcome to Plathville' 's Ethan and Olivia on Couples Therapy: 'We've Seen a Lot of Growth'

"I definitely have found that couples therapy helped me a lot more than personal therapy," Ethan Plath tells PEOPLE

Olivia and Ethan Plath
Photo: Olivia Plath/Instagram

Ethan and Olivia Plath are putting in the work to help their relationship thrive.

The Welcome to Plathville stars, who will celebrate three years of marriage in October, have started going to couples therapy — a venture that has helped them improve their communication with each other.

"If you have two people that don't get each other and have gotten to the point where they're no longer willing to hear the other person, it takes a third person to be the go-between between the two, so that the other person is heard on both ends," Ethan, 22, tells PEOPLE. "I felt like that was a big thing the therapist helped us with. At the end of the day, it all boils down to communication."

On last week's season 3 premiere of the Plath family's TLC reality series, it was evident to viewers that the couple was working through differences in their marriage, with Olivia admitting that she and Ethan each had "a different plan" for their lives.

The series also picked up the day after Ethan's first individual therapy session, which Olivia had asked that he go to "in order to make [their marriage] work."

During filming, "we went through a really bad rut," admits Olivia, 23. "We hit a really low point ... when I was driving back from my trip. We just were not able to communicate well at all. And sometimes you have to kind of hit the bottom before you realize, 'This is not working, and we need to do better.'"

They were also at "a crossroads of what we both wanted with our lives," she says, with Ethan adding that they "struggled over" differences in their goals.

While Ethan "wanted to just work, make money and build myself a shop," he says, Olivia "wanted to go travel and see the world and enjoy different things."

Olivia and Ethan Plath
Ethan and Olivia Plath. Olivia Plath/Instagram

Choosing to see a couples counselor ultimately helped them get on the same page and practice effective communication.

Olivia, who went back to therapy herself at the end of 2020, "really wanted Ethan to go to personal therapy as well, because I felt like if we both dealt with our own childhood personal trauma, it would make it so much easier to communicate together," she says.

As for Ethan, he says, "I definitely have found that couples therapy helped me a lot more than personal therapy."

Currently, they're attending sessions "every couple of weeks" due to Olivia's work as a photographer, which requires her to travel often.

And while her and Ethan's journeys to self-healing are different, Olivia says she's learned to "honor Ethan's process and realize that it's different than mine."

"He wasn't really on board with personal therapy, but he wanted to do couples therapy," she says. "So that's something we started instead, and we've seen a lot of growth and help there. So that's just something that we plan to continue doing."

As for what's still to come on season 3, viewers can expect the pair to continue keeping it real in front of the cameras.

"It's really raw, really gritty, really in the moment of us working through things," Olivia acknowledges. "But I can say, as hard as this year was, and as much as we do work through on the season, as much as we're still working through, it's been really beneficial for our own personal growth."

Ethan adds that audiences "might be surprised at how comfortable we become in front of the camera, that we fight in front of everyone."

Olivia Plath and Ethan Plath2
Ethan and Olivia Plath. Olivia Plath/ instagram

Today, "we're definitely doing better," Ethan says. "We've been doing well."

"We have found ourselves a good counselor, we've been going to that counselor. We've been spending a lot of intentional time, whether it's in person or on the phone," he continues. "And that's really been a good thing."

Welcome to Plathville airs Tuesdays (10 p.m. ET) on TLC.

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