Want to Understand Couples Counseling or Couples Therapy?
Unlike what you see on TV, couple therapy is not always about yelling and screaming. In fact, it can be a safe place for couples to explore the issues that are causing them frustration in their relationship. Couple therapy can help you identify and understand your own behavior as well as your partner’s, and it can give you tools to better communicate with each other. If you’re fighting or not speaking, consider couple therapy to help get your relationship back on track.
In couple therapy, a therapist will work with you and your partner to identify areas of conflict in your relationship. They will help you understand each other’s perspectives as well as the roots of the issues that led to problems between the two of you. Couple therapists are trained to help couples resolve conflicts through communication so that they can be more productive than destructive—leading not just toward resolution, but also healing and growth. You don’t have talk about finances or sex or any other topic: it’s up to you what is discussed during sessions (though keeping things secret may defeat their purpose). If desired by both parties involved, couple counselors can also provide premarital counseling; this means discussing topics such as finances before marriage occurs,
1. What to expect during couple therapy
Depending on the therapist or counselor in couple counseling, the first 2-3 sessions are spent determining what the problems are between the partners. Usually the couple therapist sees the couple together during the first session to get an idea of how the couple views the problem and how they interact. The next 1-2 sessions are spent talking to each partner individually. This allows the therapist to get detailed information on each perspective and understand the background of each partner.
Once this assessment is completed, then the therapist starts into the intense therapy with the couple. Some interventions may be done during the first few sessions, but after the assessment is when the work starts in earnest and the therapist starts helping the couple to get along better.
Depending on the type of therapist you see, the therapist may spend those sessions differently. For instance, a Gottman Therapist might spend time training the couple in communication skills, while and Emotionally Focused Therapist might be helping them understand and overcome their underlying interaction pattern.
2. The benefits of couple therapy
Couple therapy not only helps the couple communicate better, but can also help them build a stronger emotional bond. Some therapies do this by building on the friendship. Other methods help the couple by talking about and expressing the thoughts and feelings they have when they argue. Either way, couples often leave therapy feeling better about each other and the relationship.
3. How to get the most out of couple counseling
In order for you to get the most out of couples counseling you must be willing to work! There is no magic that happens just by attending sessions with your partner. In order for your relationship to get better, you need to participate in any exercises that the therapist gives you to do inside or outside of session. Also, it helps to want to fix the relationship and not your partner. Most of the time relationship problems are not the fault of one person. Instead, they are the result of poor interaction patterns between the two partners.
4. What to do if you’re not happy with your couples therapist
If you are not happy with your couple counselor the first thing you should do is tell them! Therapists are not perfect, and sometimes they misjudge someone’s personality. They may even offer suggestions that you have already tried that do not work. Letting them know that you are not happy with things allows them the change to figure out what is wrong and adjust their methods to suit you.
5. Tips for staying on track during couple therapy
Couple therapy can take time, and this can get discouraging. But a few simple tips. First off, remember that the problems in the relationship do take time to solve. They didn’t happen in a week or two so they are unlikely to repair that quickly. Second, realize that you will both make mistakes in the process. No matter how hard you try to do better, mistakes will always be made, have some grace for yourself and your partner. Third, if you are feeling discouraged, talk to your counselor about it. He or she can help you understand how your progress is going and if it is usual or not.
Now that you know it helps, get couple therapy!
If you’re thinking about couple therapy, or have already started it, hopefully this post has given you a little more insight into what to expect. The benefits can be great, but it’s important to make sure both partners are getting the most out of counseling. Follow these tips to get the most out of your couples therapist and stay on track during this challenging process. If things aren’t going well with your current therapist, don’t hesitate to reach out for help finding someone new who will be a better fit for you and your partner. Getting assistance from a professional is one of the best ways to ensure that your relationship gets back on track. If you’re in Ohio, contact us for more information on our couple therapy services.