6 Things you should know about couples counseling

07 October 2015

6 things you need to know about couples counseling

If you are considering couples counseling and wondering what to expect, you should read this.

  1. Don’t wait! If you are struggling in your relationship don’t wait to get help.  Unfortunately, most couples wait an average of 6 years before things get so bad that they are willing to try counseling.  Making that initial phone call can be scary, but is a sign of courage and not weakness.  It means you are willing and wanting to try and make things better. That takes guts.
  1. Your therapist is not going to take your side and tell your partner that they are wrong and that you are right. Many times people go to couples counseling with the intention that the therapist is going to “fix” their partner.  A therapist will look at your relationship as a whole and help you both take steps to make changes that will help the relationship.  This means that you’ll have to be willing to look at yourself and make changes too.
  1. Change takes can take time and couples counseling is not a quick fix. In fact there may be times when things get worse before they get better.  Counseling may bring up emotions and issues that have been buried and never discussed between the two of you.  If you are concerned about your progress in counseling, be sure to discuss them with your therapist.  A good therapist will welcome feedback.
  1. Your therapist may interrupt you. Interrupting a client is a big therapy no-no.  This is not true in couples counseling.  The therapist has to make sure that each person feels heard and understood.  This is hard to do if one partner is dominating the session, while the other stays silent.  It is important that the therapist connect with each person and avoid giving the impression that they are taking sides or giving preferential treatment.  So if one of you is doing all the talking, and not allowing time for your partner to talk, your therapist may step in and redirect you. 
  1. Your therapist may let you argue in session. Letting you argue for the entire session is not helpful or necessarily a sign of a good counseling session.  However, your therapist can gather important information by observing the two of you argue or discuss an issue you can’t seem to agree on so may let you do so.
  1. There may be homework between sessions. Therapy is only 1 hour a week and life outside of therapy is many more hours each week.  Your therapist may assign you “homework” or “tasks” to do to help your relationship improve.   The more you put into doing these tasks, the more you will get out of therapy.

Bina Bird, MA,. LMFT is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist serving Haslet, TX and the surrounding DFW areas.  Learn more about me at http://hasletcounseling.com or call 817.676.8858 for a free phone consultation.  My specialties include couples, preteens/adolescents, and women's issues-infertility, miscarriage, pregnancy loss, postpartum and other life transitions. 

comments powered by Disqus