A lot of people are curious to know about what happens in couples counseling. What really goes on in there? If you are one of these people, then this article is for you. Brace yourself and be ready to gain knowledge on this topic.
Marriage counseling or couple therapy focuses on resolving problems in a relationship. It usually involves both parties in the marriage and a trusted therapist coming together to discuss the couple’s issues, find solutions, and help them find more fulfillment in their relationship.
What Happens In Couples Counseling -13 Common Things
For marriage counseling to be effective, the couple should be fully invested in the process and decide to give their relationship another chance.
Marriage counseling may be the key to fixing a dying marriage or introducing more passion into a dull relationship. However, finding a seasoned therapist who is experienced and attuned to the couple’s needs is crucial.
If you are ready to explore marriage counseling, knowing what happens behind closed doors can help put your mind at ease. Below are some things that can happen during marriage therapy.
In this article, we will be looking at 13 common things that happens in couple’s counseling and they Include:
1. Knowing The Therapist
This happens in the initial consultation. They will disclose personal information to get you comfortable and aid you in deciding whether you trust the therapist.
This will include their qualifications, working experience, methods they use, what they will expect from you, pricing, etc. The counselor may also tell you about their personal lives, like marital status, hobbies, etc.
The purpose of this is to ensure that you like talking to them. The initial session removes barriers that can impede smooth communication.
This is also when you decide whether you want to work with this person. Some counselors will give you rules guiding the professional relationship. Such rules may include no skipping sessions, giving your best efforts, etc.
2. Knowing Each Other
Contrary to your beliefs, you may not know your partner as much as you think. Different therapists have different approaches of getting the couple to know each other. You could be asked to play a game of questions.
This game involves providing answers to some questions. It goes like this; you and your partner will be asked some questions and made to answer independently. If your answers are similar, it means that you know your spouse.
This can also be achieved by talking. The therapist may ask questions about how you met, what you like about each other etc. This also helps the therapist to know the people they are working with.
3. Read A Book Together
Marriage improvement is the ultimate goal of marriage counseling. How much improvement can you make without reading about the subject matter? Some books are favorites among therapists, and such books vary from therapist to therapist.
Your therapist may lend you a copy or ask you to buy one. This recommended book is meant to be read not stored on a shelf. You may also need to refer to the book in future sessions or after you have completed therapy.
4. Giving Couples Homework
Therapists usually give their clients practical homework; you don’t get to submit a report about it. At most, you will talk about how effectively it solved your marital problems.
For instance, if you are verbally abusive towards your spouse, you can be asked to take a deep breath and count from one to ten anytime you want to say something hurtful.
Every therapist has exercises they favor over others, and what you will be asked to do varies greatly. Your job is to do all you can to help your marriage.
5. Watching Both Of You Converse
Many therapists will ask you and your spouse to talk. It could be a simple conversation about your day or opinion. The point of the exercise is to look out for roadblocks you may be experiencing during conversations and to correct bad habits that ruin conversations.
If you do this with your therapist, there is no need to fake it. You are in a safe space. Say what is on your mind. Be open, transparent, and vulnerable to get your money’s worth.
6. Giving feedback On Your Conversation
After your therapist has watched your conversation with your spouse, they will criticize some of your techniques and offer valuable feedback.
They will also offer tips to help you step up your game. These tips should be taken seriously and practiced often. Your therapist knows more than you on matters like this and has your best interest at heart.
7. Room For Honesty Exercises
This is where some difficult questions will be asked. Sometimes we do not really know what we want out of therapy or our marriages. These questions will uncover your desires and your partner’s own.
You can be asked what qualities you like about your partner, the qualities you dislike, how you would rate your sex life, what you want sex to look and feel like, and many other questions you may find embarrassing.
When faced with this, remember that embarrassment has no place in the loving relationship you are trying to build. Speak your mind and own your truth.
8. Room For Intimacy Exercises
Sometimes, people wait till their marriage is long gone before attempting to rescue it. Intimacy exercises assess how comfortable you are in your partner’s space and how comfortable you feel receiving physical touch from them. You may be asked to hold your partner’s hands or place your foreheads on theirs for a specific time. This may look ridiculous initially, but you may find out that you cannot stand being so close for long. If you are in this situation, you must relax, breathe, and follow your body.
9. Talking About Your issues
What is wrong with your marriage? Have you ever truly considered the answer to that question? What does your spouse think? Opinions may vary if your counselor probes. Besides everything else, this is one of the main reasons you agreed to attend therapy.
Your counselor will seek to uncover these problems. Think deeply and carefully before responding. Even as therapy proceeds, if you remember other issues, write them down and talk to your counselor about them in future sessions.
10. Talks About Your Expectations
Most likely, you are only aimlessly spending money if you are hoping for something in return. Your counselor will ask what you hope to achieve with therapy. To make therapy work better for you, set goals, track these goals, and measure your progress.
Your counselor will also teach you how to manage your expectations. Counseling will not transform your marriage overnight, and there may still be lapses that will endure for longer than you expect.
The counselor’s role is to advise you so that you do not forget your partner’s humanity and push for more than possible.
11. Unaddressed Individual Issues
Refrain from fretting if your counselor starts probing into your childhood. Sometimes, unhealed trauma from our childhood or previous relationships can affect how we communicate with our partners.
You may find out that you need individual therapy to address some personal problems so that you can give your best to the relationship. Sometimes, your partner is not the problem- it’s you.
12. Your strength and weakness
As a couple, it is beneficial to work as a team. This involves making up for each other and complementing each other. A therapist will examine your collective strengths and weaknesses and guide you to feel those lapses while utilizing your strengths efficiently.
13. Talking About Your Treatment Plan
A counselor will introduce you to different treatment methodologies after determining the problem. They will recommend exercises and training frequency or suggest you attend group therapy or a helpful outreach.
Trust your counselor and follow your treatment plan properly if you want to get value for your time and money.
Therapy does not continue indefinitely, and you may be tired of seeing your therapist, or the relationship may die naturally.
The ultimate goal is to stay in therapy after accomplishing set goals. After the therapist has held some sessions aimed at treatment, they may declare you fit to start exploring these new tools you have been given on your own.
Couple therapy isn’t something to trigger anxiety. Surely, there will be difficult moments during your journey. However, all that discomfort only ensures that you reach your desired goals and ultimately improve the quality of your marriage.
If you are considering couple therapy, reach out to a therapist immediately. The therapist will ensure that all your fears are laid to rest, and you can begin to look forward to a new phase of your life.
If you are still interested in knowing more about this topic, you could watch the video below.