Couples therapy often gets a bad rap in the media. It is typically portrayed as the thing couples do before they ultimately decide to divorce or separate, but this isn’t always the case. In fact, couples therapy is designed to be utilized early on in relationships, in the thick of hard times, during challenging arguments, after family tragedies, and more. Ideally, couples therapy should be utilized anytime during a relationship, not just as a last-ditch effort. We get it, couples therapy can feel scary and intimidating, but that’s why we are here to help you understand what to expect.
Be Prepared to Share Information About Your Relationship
Although each therapist does things their own way, all therapists like to try and get a “snapshot” of the relationship. After setting ground rules for sharing and not interrupting, they may ask simple things like how long you have been dating or do you have children together. These, and other relationship dynamics, can help the therapist assess what your home life is like. After you’ve covered the basics, the therapist is going to ask you to share what brings you to therapy. Is there a major argument that can’t be resolved? Have one or both of you experienced a recent trauma? Has there been a betrayal of trust? Regardless of the concern, it is important you and your partner are prepared to be honest and upfront with your therapist, hiding information will only hinder your progress.
Develop Goals and Timelines
After the therapist and couple work together to identify the core problems in the relationship, it’s time to share what each person’s goals are. Are you looking to fall back in love? Are you looking to find a better work/life balance? Do you want to develop a plan to better share household responsibilities?
Whatever the goals are, a therapist can help the couple develop and navigate solutions that work for them and their lives. A timeline is important because it gives couples tasks and timeframes to meet their goals through therapy homework both individually and as a couple. If no change is tangible by those deadlines, the group can reconvene to discuss why, changes that need to be made, and more.
Couples therapy can help you and your partner address a wide range of concerns and challenges, including:
- Sexual intimacy
- Financial concerns
- Child rearing
- Emotional abuse
- Physical abuse
- Substance abuse
- Mental illness
- And more
Learn New Skills to Use at Home
Expect to learn new skills or to revamp the ones that you already use. For some, communication comes easy, but their tone and approach are poor. By adjusting those things more effective communication can occur offering a more positive outcome. The thing is partners may not even notice this is an issue until it was pointed out by the therapist who was able to identify it while the couple is in therapy. Other skills that couples may work on include, stress management, schedule management, deep breathing, learning patience and forgiveness, and more. Your therapist will work alongside you and your partner to develop a treatment plan that is customized to your relationship. These skill sessions may be done both individually and as a couple.
Schedule Your Couples Therapy Session Today!
If you and your spouse have been experiencing the same challenges over and over or have experienced life-altering changes, such as new job schedules, the death of a family member, intimacy concerns, or something else, it’s time to consider couples therapy. The professionals at BE Psychology understand the importance of creating a welcoming, judgment-free environment where our clients feel safe to discuss their feelings, concerns, and relationship challenges.
To learn more, contact a member of our team today.