Considering Couples Therapy? Here’s What to Expect

Are you considering couples therapy? In a perfect world, it would look like this: A couple is experiencing problems, so they go to a therapy session. The therapist listens and gives appropriate advice on all of their relationship issues.

Wrong! To try to successfully navigate the process, you and your partner must be willing to participate. Then, here’s what you can expect:

Discuss Why You Chose to Attend Couples Therapy

In your first therapy session, you may be asked why you came to therapy and where you both stand on key issues. Your answers will help your therapist gauge where you stand. The reasons vary from couple to couple, but here are some common examples:

  • To express and solve any trust issues
  • Arguing too much, or not being able to solve problems when they arise appropriately
  • To learn how to manage a not-so-traditional marriage
  • To get to the root of any sexual problems
  • To discuss concerns around social media and your significant other

Set Goals for Yourself and Your Relationship

Some examples of goals can include receiving/giving more affection, showing empathy, dealing with and solving resentment issues, etc.

Stating what you want out of your therapy sessions is critical. Being 100% honest and thoughtful is the first step toward progress and change in your relationship.

Explain Your Background as a Couple

Your therapist can’t help you without background. Generally, in the first session, you will discuss the ins and outs of your relationship: How did you meet? How long have you been together? What relationship patterns come naturally to you? Which relationship patterns do you find typical? Can you communicate? Do you have and show mutual respect?

Learn Correct Communication and Learn to Define Expectations

Many couples’ problems revolve around communication, so therapists often focus on deep listening and vulnerable sharing – listening without judgment and sharing without justification. Some may even want to take a deep dive into reactivity and how you communicate through conflict.

Over time, your therapist may help you define expectations of what you want from each other. This can include boundaries related to money and intimacy, relationships with friends and co-workers, etc.

Common Questions

Common questions in couples therapy include:

  • Are you thinking about a divorce/breakup?
  • What issues are most important to address early on?
  • How does your relationship make you feel?
  • Do you have trust issues with your significant other? Why?
  • Do you feel accepted?
  • What do you want your future together to look like?
  • Are you willing to change yourself to improve the relationship?

Have you been to couples therapy? Share your experience with us in the comments below!

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