For most couples, seeking professional assistance for their relationship matters is a big deal, and they are clueless about what to expect from the session. Couples counselling sessions aim to enable you and your partner to make better adjustments without deviating from deeply held principles or core values.
As opposed to individual therapies, counselling for couples provides you with an opportunity to personally respond to your partner. Likewise, your partner, too, is making similar efforts to overcome the complications in your life.
However, it does take some preparation for your life to become the next success story. Here is how to prepare for your visit to a professional counsellor:
Don’t Wait Too Long
Most couples let the relationship matters aggravate over the years before choosing to attend a counselling session. But remember, the longer you wait, the greater will be the difficulty of making amends in a relationship.
However, it is never too late, and a professional can help you alleviate the situation’s intensity.
Ensure You Both are 100% Invested in the Therapy
It may seem pretty straightforward, but you/your partner’s hesitation in attending therapy may shadow the other one’s enthusiasm. In most cases, only one partner suggests taking counselling while the other is reluctant about the process.
If you are facing trouble convincing your partner, try understanding their concerns with an open mind. It is always advisable to allow a not-excited partner to address his/her concerns before counselling.
Being 100% involved in the process is crucial for your relationship to grow and heal.
Place efforts to understand your goals and what you expect from a relationship counselling session. Here are some questions to ask yourself in this regard:
- What is the kind of life you are looking to build individually and together?
- As a partner, what role are you willing to play in building a meaningful relationship?
- What are the impediments that stop you from becoming the partner that you aspire to be?
- What knowledge and skills do you need to be able to achieve the above goals?
- How do you want to grow as a couple?
- Do you need to work on your conflict style?
- Do you need to work on validating and listening to each other?
Now that you are clear about the expected results from therapy, the next step would be to find an expert counsellor.
Find a Good Counsellor
Every couples counsellor has different approaches and styles for addressing your issue. Hence, it is vital to do your homework and find an expert that both of you are comfortable with. Couples counselling is a journey that is to be made together and one which takes a long time to show results—as such, finding a trusted professional lays the foundation for a successful therapy outcome.
Interview three or more counsellors to determine if you can establish trust and envision a road path to success. Making a hasty decision will lead to valuable time lost and add frustration to an already tenuous situation.
It would be great to spend time researching and zero in on a counsellor with whom both of you are comfortable with. Once done, make open communication with the expert to receive the best out of their service offerings.
Be Ready to Share Personal History
Although it is counselling for couples, the discussions will not be restricted to topics concerning you and your partner. Your counsellor needs to understand your family’s history to analyze the attachment styles and emotional bonds. This understanding provides valuable insight into how you relate to others.
Get ready to dive deep, since emotional bonds affect your choice of a partner, your relationship’s flow, and sometimes, even how it ends.
Discuss the Cousnellor’s View on Marriage
The ultimate verdict on whether or not to continue the relationship lies in your hands. Yet, a counsellor plays a vital role along the way and can influence your relationship during the therapy process.
Some counsellors may carry a biased view for or against marriage, which is why you must discuss your counsellor’s stance on the same. Find an expert who shares your bias on a relationship/marriage.
Should you find their views contrary to yours, consider placing efforts to align everybody from the start.
Interestingly, counselling for couples works when you set goals for yourself rather than your partner.
- Focus on bringing changes in yourself rather than in your partner
- Focus on learning and let go of assumptions for your partner’s actions
- Focus on how to better your response to a problem
Accepting your need to improve on the issue is one of the toughest challenges to overcome. Re-focusing on yourself may be the best antidote towards a happy relationship.
Couples therapy is a process that helps to enhance your clarity about the kind of life you would like to build. It also helps overcome the blocks in a relationship and create the necessary skills for a thriving relationship. Head up the road to happiness together when you seek help from professionally managed couples counselling.