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Couples Therapy

What to Expect in Couples Counseling

By January 2, 2020 No Comments

Couples Counseling Has Proven to Be Effective

What to Expect in Couples Counseling - Lifeworks Counseling CenterNo two couples are the same. Each has its share of problems and issues. Some of these issues may become so large and unavoidable that you and your partner decide it’s best to seek couples counseling. This decision is not an easy one, either. For most couples, it can be daunting. People don’t like the idea of being completely open and vulnerable with a complete stranger. However, more and more couples are beginning to see the benefits of couples counseling.

Research has shown that roughly 75% of couples have seen significant improvements to their relationships after going through couples counseling, using Emotionally-Focused Therapy (EFT).

Couples seek out counseling for many reasons. For some, they have the same argument over and over without ever reaching a solution. Others may experience the exact opposite and never fight, constantly ignoring their problems. Some couples may not have any obvious issues and just want to see if their relationship is healthy. Regardless, couples counseling can do wonders for you and your partner.

The team of specialists at Lifeworks Counseling Center possesses the tools and techniques necessary to help you and your partner navigate your relationship in a healthy way.

What is Couples Counseling?

Couples counseling is a type of psychotherapy with the intent of helping couples, regardless of race, religion, and sexual orientation recognize and solve their problems to improve their relationship. Many couples go through marriage counseling, while others go into therapy before they are married to build a greater understanding of their partner and resolve any issues before marriage.

Typically, counseling is provided by licensed therapists who have graduate or postgraduate degrees.

What to Expect 

As we’ve mentioned, deciding to go to couples counseling can be a difficult decision. Many couples don’t feel comfortable opening their private personal lives to a total stranger. However, once you have begun therapy, you will begin to recognize the true benefits it offers you and your partner. Before you make your decision, there are a few things you should expect before you begin.

Be Prepared to Reveal Basic Information

Your first session is often used by your therapist as a way to get to know you, your partner, and your relationship. It’s incredibly important for your counselor to understand your relationship at its core, so they can better help you.

Be prepared to answer questions about your personal lives, ranging from childhood to how both of you met. While these facts seem insignificant to you, they allow your therapist to empathize with you better, allowing them to understand why you are who you are.

Do not let this initial meeting get you discouraged about future sessions. As you progress through your therapy, your therapist will begin to assess your relationship.

Finding the Root of Your Problems

Because of your initial visits, your therapist will have the tools needed to begin searching for the root cause of your problems. Each couple is different, which means your problems will differ from those of your friends and family. Some of the most common issues most couples face include:

  • Arguing the same topic over and over
  • Avoiding confrontation and ignoring your problems
  • Physical intimacy issues
  • Infidelity
  • Financial infidelity
  • Disagreements about raising your children
  • Substance abuse
  • Anger

While these are some of the most common problems many couples face, they aren’t the only ones. You may enter therapy thinking your problems are one thing, but come out finding they are completely different.

Through openness and honesty, your therapist will be better able to accurately pinpoint the root of your problems.

Develop New Relationship Skills 

As you progress through counseling, you will learn where you may be lacking in your relationship. No couple is perfect. Everyone has room for improvement in some area of their lives. Your therapist will provide you and your partner with some areas and skills you should work on. Some of these may include:

  • Communication skills
  • Patience
  • Forgiveness
  • Selflessness
  • Honesty
  • Acceptance

The goal of your therapist is to make sure that neither you nor your partner feels mistreated. Their goal is to remain as unbiased as possible. If you ever feel as though you are being treated unfairly, calmly discuss this with your therapist and partner.

Be Prepared for Individual Sessions 

Therapists indeed prefer to meet with both individuals in a couple. This allows them to hear both sides of the story and keeps them from being biased. In some cases, one partner refuses to go to therapy, leaving the other to attend couples counseling alone. While improvements can still be made this way, it’s not preferable.

However, even when both parties go to therapy together, your therapist may still recommend individual sessions. Your therapist may feel as though there are things you need to work on by yourself. Whether it’s because there are skills you need to work on, or you have to work out issues from your past, individual therapy may be recommended.

Be Prepared to Discuss Your Sex Life 

For many couples, the root of their issues may stem from sexual problems. While this is not always the case, it can be an extremely delicate and difficult subject to openly discuss. Even if your problems aren’t inherently about sex and your sexual relationship together is great, you should still be prepared to openly discuss it.

Sex is a very intimate part of most relationships. Regardless of the cause of your issues, your sex life may be affected. It’s understandable to feel uncomfortable discussing this with a stranger. However, if you know the conversation may discuss sex, you can better prepare yourself.

Deciding you and your partner need to attend couples counseling can be a difficult decision for many. It’s hard for people to openly invite someone into their relationship. However, for those that have gone through this therapy, they have learned how beneficial it can be. If you believe your relationship could use some work, contact Lifeworks Counseling Center today.

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