What To Know Before Entering Couples Therapy
Couple therapy is a bit different from individual therapy. While individual therapy generally focuses solely on you, your needs, and how you can improve, couples therapy questions are about you and your partner. This form of mental health treatment helps you and your partner learn about yourselves, each other, and how you can strengthen your relationship. Even the best of couples can benefit from couples counseling or couples therapy; this therapy manner is not only available to couples who are in crisis.
Even just selecting a counselor together requires a bit of teamwork. So here are some marriage tips for newlyweds to help you on your way to entering couple therapy.
What To Know About Couples Therapy
Whenever you're going into something new, such as couples counseling, it's always important to be as aware as possible. Facts and information make a difference and help you avoid feeling overly anxious, nervous, or otherwise uncertain. This is true regardless of which type of therapy you choose to take. For this reason, keeping the following advice in mind, such as couple therapy techniques, will help you to enter couple therapy with your best chance at repairing or improving your marriage.
It's Not Up To The Counselor To Save Your Marriage
You do not hire a marriage counselor to fix your marriage. That's not exactly their job. Their job is to guide you to fix your marriage. So, you have to put in the effort to follow their suggestions and improve your marriage.
Of course, you're going to ask, "What about my partner? Shouldn't they also be putting in the effort?" Of course, they should. But you don't have control over what your partner does. The only person whose actions you can control is your own. And someone has to take the first steps.
Unfortunately, believing that the counselor is responsible for saving the marriage is a common misconception among those who attend couple therapy. As previously stated, your counselor's job is to guide you. They can observe your situation, provide feedback, and offer suggestions and possible solutions. However, at the end of the day, you and your partner must be willing to fix your marriage and remain receptive to feedback. This is often easier said than done. So, how to get the most out of couples therapy? Having an open mind and doing the homework makes the counseling journey rewarding. Sometimes in couple therapy, one or both participants can get feedback they don't necessarily like or agree with. In times like these, listening to the counselor and swallowing feelings of annoyance or resentment matters.
Most Of The Work Is Done Outside Of Sessions
Don't expect to leave a couple of therapy sessions feeling like your relationship has miraculously improved. Marriage counseling provides you with guidance. You then have to leave the session and put that guidance into practice. It's all the work you and your partner do outside of the sessions that determine how well your marriage will do in the future.
It's easy to do the work when you and your partner sit in the room with your therapist. Doing the work when you're at home, feeling frustrated with one another, and just finished having a bad day is something else entirely. In so many cases, this is easier said than done. However, this is when doing the work is most important. Remember, you and your partner are the ones responsible for fixing and maintaining your relationship, not your therapist. This means you have to do the work even when it's not the easiest or most comfortable thing in the world. Push yourselves now and reap the benefits later.
It Only Works If You Both Want It To
You or your partner may be resistant to couple therapy. That's natural. But what is required for good therapy to work, at a minimum, is that both of you want the marriage to work. The reason why you want it to work, however, does not have to be the same.
People can have many reasons for wanting to be married at any given time. You may want to preserve your marriage for reasons regarding family or children, for the financial life you've built together because you still love this person, or for any combination of these or other reasons. You or your partner's reason for wanting to keep the marriage intact upon entering counseling may be different from the reason for getting married in the first place. And that's okay.
Another critical detail to remember about couple therapy is that both you and your partner have to not only want to save your relationship, but you also have to want it just as badly as the other. If you are fully committed while your partner is only partially committed (or vice versa), things probably don't work out. Some relationships can be saved and preserved, while others can't. The success or failure of your relationship will depend on whether or not both you and your significant other are equally and wholly committed to one another and bettering your union.
As long as some form of motivation is there for improving this relationship, then there is a chance that your reasons for wanting to be together, and your feelings for each other, can align in the future.
Don't Wait Too Long
Many couples wait far too long to try couples counseling, and the initial problems or complaints have become numerous. The partners' gap has become too wide, and it is more difficult than it has to be.
Many couples don't realize it, but waiting too long to deal with certain matters can sign a death warrant for the relationship. When matters are not properly addressed, they tend to fester and become worse than they were initially. Negative feelings went unaddressed and lay dormant, only to explode at a later date. By this time, likely, the damage has already been done. You and your partner may be shocked that you need to take this step, but in the long run, you both will be thankful that you acted proactively instead of waiting and allowing matters to worsen.
Couple therapy is much more effective when you seek help as soon as you recognize a problem the two of you can't solve. Now that you understand how relationship counseling works reach out to a marriage counseling professional who can help you and your partner.
It's Not A Guaranteed Fix
One of the most important things to remember about couple therapy is that it's not a guaranteed fix. The truth is that not every couple, which goes to therapy together can salvage their relationship. As a matter of fact, there are cases where couple therapy leads to significant others realizing that they're better off being apart from one another. In certain cases, the best way to save a relationship is to end it.
A therapist can work with you and your significant other and serve as a guide; however, you and your partner are ultimately in charge of whether your relationship succeeds or fails. As previously stated, therapy only works if the two of you are willing to put in the time and take the hard steps.
Open Communication Matters
When going into couple therapy, you have to willing to openly and honestly communicate with your therapist. Believe it or not, this is something that many couples struggle with. Sometimes shame and embarrassment are factors. Sometimes, one or both parties have issues that they would prefer for others not to know about. This is understandable, but couple therapy doesn't work if there are secrets and details you and your partner are not .
Honesty and communication are critical parts of relationships, but they are also paramount to therapy's success. How can your therapist help you as a couple if you and your significant other are not open and honest, even when it's not the most comfortable thing in the world? Integrity is everything, and being cognizant of that matters when you're working with a professional. Put aside shame, doubt, guilt, and other negative feelings. To truly get the most out of couple therapy and improve your relationship, you must be willing to deal with the tough stuff.
When it's all said and done, couple therapy is a mental health service that has helped millions of couples improve their relationships. Couple therapy can also help people recognize patterns, understand areas where they need to improve and learn about what truly contributes to a successful, loving, and healthy partnership. Life can sometimes be challenging, but the ability to lean on one's spouse during tough times is important and makes a significant difference.
Tough times are guarantees of life. Regardless of your income, relationship status, geographic location, occupation, etc., you are bound to encounter tough times at some period in your life. What defines us is not how many times we fall but how many times we can get back up and keep pushing forward. The ability to stand and not crumble in the face of adversity is what makes us stronger in the end.
ReGain understands that this can be a tough journey, and we want to be of service to anyone who needs it. This is why we offer various counseling and therapy services, which can be of value to anyone in need. You can contact us at any time simply by clicking here.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
How much does couples therapy cost?
There is no set cost for couples counseling. Average prices can range from $100 to $200 or more per session. However, while most insurance companies don’t cover marriage counseling, there are ways that you can find more affordable options.
You can try to find a therapist that provides sliding scale fees. This allows you to pay a reduced price based on your income level. If you’re religious, you can also try couples counseling through a local worship center, such as a church. However, you’re most likely not meeting with a licensed marriage and family therapist in this case. While getting ready for couples therapy, make sure you ask questions to understand what type of training the counselor has received so you know what your expectations can be.
There are also some therapy apps where you can do couples counseling or premarital counseling. Typically, these apps will give you to a therapist while saving you money over traditional in-person therapy options.
What is the success rate of couples therapy?
The success rate of couples therapy ranges based on the study that you find. Many things can contribute to the success rate, including the relationship's state when therapy is started and each partner's effort in the couple counseling process. Some studies indicate that the earlier therapy is started, the higher the rate of success.
What does a relationship therapist do?
A licensed marriage and family therapist can work with couples in many different ways, can relationship therapy help? Some couples therapists work with couples before they get married to do premarital counseling. They help couples learn skills and strategies such as how to communicate well with each other. The experts can provide marriage counseling tips and can also help couples talk through some of the common obstacles that come up in marriage.
Couples therapists also work with couples that feel disconnected from each other or couples that want to strengthen their relationships. Or they can also help couples who have experienced or are in crisis. This can include couples who have experienced broken trust, affairs, and addictions. They can also work with couples that have challenges due to mental health disorders.
Couples counseling is also used to help a couple decide how to move forward in a relationship. This does not always mean that a couple decides to stay together. It could be that couples counseling helps the couple see that they want to end the relationship and move on.
The couple's therapist's role is to help the couple reach their goals for coming to therapy. If they want to reconcile their marriage, the therapist can help them work in that direction. If the couple isn’t sure what they want out of the relationship anymore, the therapist can help them work through the steps to decide where they stand.
What is the best therapy for couples?
There are different couples therapy and strategies that couples therapists use depending on the situation's specifics. Your therapist can talk with you during your therapy sessions to help determine what the best therapy option is for you.
How long is a couples therapy session?
On average, therapy sessions last an hour, but that isn’t always the case. You may have a therapist that provides longer session durations. Or, you may have to therapy through text or online messages, which means you can reach out to your therapist for quick little questions as you need.
When it comes to the number of therapy sessions that you and your partner will need, it depends largely on your specific situation. For example, if you’re doing premarital counseling, you may meet with a counselor or therapist for only a short time. On the other hand, if you and your spouse are working on recovering from a crisis, it may require more sessions.
If you are wondering how many couples therapy sessions you will need, talk to your therapist about the options.
What to do when you can't afford couples therapy?
If you cannot afford couples therapy, you can look to find a therapist through a community health center. Often they have free or reduced-priced services. You may be able to work with a social worker in a similar setting. Or you may be able to do free counseling through a church.
Aside from free options, you may be able to find more affordable couples therapy options by working with an online therapist.
Do marriage counselors recommend divorce?
While many people think marriage counseling's only goal is to “fix” a marriage, that’s not always the case. Licensed Marriage and Family therapists and other marriage counselors help a relationship achieve the couple's desired results. Some couples decide through therapy that they would prefer to divorce.
For ethical reasons, therapists should not give their opinion or recommend a couple of divorces or stay together. They can help the couple work through exercises and strategies that help them decide what they want but should not tell a couple what to do.
Does couples counseling work for cheating?
Couples therapy can help couples that are working on healing or reconciling from emotional or physical affairs. However, there is no guarantee that therapy will help a couple to reconcile the relationship. The couple may determine through therapy that they do want to remain in the relationship. But whether a couple decides that they are staying together or separating, a therapist can help each move forward in a better way for their mental health and emotional well-being.
Can couples counseling Save relationships?
Couples therapy can save a relationship, but that’s not always the outcome. Marriage and Family therapy is about helping the couple achieve the results that they desire. Sometimes this is to save a relationship, and sometimes it’s not. It’s also important to keep in mind that each individual within the relationship can save the relationship. The therapist is not in control of the decision; it’s based on what the couple wants.
What is a toxic relationship?
While all relationships will face challenges from time to time, some relationships become toxic. A toxic relationship is one where it is emotionally, psychologically, or physically damaging to one or both of the individuals in the relationship.
Can a therapist tell you to leave your partner?
It is not the job of a therapist to tell you to leave your partner. Therapists should not ethically be giving you their opinion on what they think you should do. If your therapist is making recommendations like this, you should consider finding a new therapist to find a good fit for you and your partner.
When should you see a couples therapist?
While many couples think that you only need couples therapy if they are having trouble in their relationship, a couples therapist can also help a couple strengthen their relationship and learn strategies to avoid conflict or deal with it healthily.
A therapist can help you feel disconnected from your partner, experience repeated issues in the relationship, or feel like your marriage is falling apart.