Many couples use couples counseling to help their relationship. Through couples counseling, you will increase your knowledge of yourself, your partner, and patterns of your behavior. Couples counseling is meant to give you problem solving skills that you can use to work through hard times. It also gives you other skills to help keep your relationship solid and healthy. Couples counseling requires both partners to work together towards common goals to improve the relationship.
When considering this type of counseling, you must know that the therapist will not magically repair your relationship. Most of the actual "work" will not occur in the therapist's office, but will occur outside of the office. The work will be done by you and your partner, and the success or failure will be in your hands.
There are some things that you can do when preparing to attend couples counseling in order to ensure you will get the most out of your experience.
1. Pick a counselor that suits your needs.
The first think you have to do is find a counselor that meets your needs. When considering different counselors, consider the following things:
- Do they have experience in couples counseling, or is their specialty in another area?
- Do they have a license in the state you are located in?
- How many sessions do they recommend?
- How long are the sessions?
- Can they meet at a time that accommodates both you and your partner?
- What is the cost?
- Will insurance cover it?
2. Do some personal reflection prior to your first session.
Reflect on your relationship and write some things down. Make a list of the concerns you have with your relationship. After doing that, consider your role in the issues that you are having in your relationship. Are you willing and able to make changes in order to help save the relationship? Before your first session, have an idea of what you consider the issues at hand to be.
3. Know what you want to achieve from the counseling.
Before walking into the counselor's office the first day, have an idea of what you are trying to get from your couples counseling. What goals do you have for attending these sessions?
Therapy is HARD.
Any kind of counseling or therapy is difficult for the participant(s). It is not meant to be easy. You are going to feel uncomfortable, and you are going to have to explore, discuss, and do things that take you out of your comfort zone. If you are truly dissatisfied with your counselor, seek assistance somewhere else, but do not confuse being uncomfortable with the counseling as an indication you can't work with your counselor at places like Comprehensive Behavioral Health Associates Inc.