Are you looking for more information on couples therapy? When relationships go sour, nobody is happy. The stress of an unfulfilling or even abusive relationship can be enough to drive anyone to the brink, but there is some help to be found in the form of couples therapy.
Couples therapy is a field of counseling that can help you and your partner recover from the traumas, misunderstandings or stressors that may have led your relationship to go wrong.
What happens during couples therapy?
Going to couples therapy for the first time can seem intimidating, so read on for a description of what to expect when going to couples therapy for the first time.
Couples therapy depends on conflict
A precondition for couples counseling is some kind of discord in the relationship. It can be something small and relatively benign, like dissatisfaction with the way your partner does chores. It can also be large and concerning, like your partner’s infidelity or financial irresponsibility.
When you first start seeing a couples counselor, your counselor will be largely concerned with just seeing how you and your partner interact with each other. According to Psychology Today, by observing the way you behave in a safe, controlled environment, your counselor can determine the causal factors that may be in play to lead to the way you interact with each other. This means that it is likely you and your partner may fight with each other and come to disagreements in front of your therapist.
Although this may be unpleasant, it is important to bear in mind that being honest in the way you express anger or sadness to your partner will provide your therapist with clues as to where your relationship needs work. Since your counselor’s office is a safe space, your counselor can intervene with appropriate measures if you and your partner behave towards each other in ways that may be physically, verbally or mentally abusive.
Therapy is a learning process
During the first several sessions with your therapist and partner, they will simply be learning about who you and your partner are and creating tentative hypotheses about what motivates your behavior at the same time that they are creating hypotheses about what leads to conflict when you interact with each other. Being honest in your actions is important at this stage since it will help your therapist determine where something might need work between you, your partner or in the ways you interact with each other.
Observation, insight and learning
Your therapist will start providing input on what they gleaned through their observations of you and your partner, while also explaining what made them think that way and the means by which you and your partner can reconcile. Even though what your therapist might say has the potential to shock or offend, it is important to realize it is an opportunity to learn from yourself.
Once that frame of reference is in place, Psychology Today notes that it will be a springboard for you to not only change the way you view your relationship to a view that is more understanding and holistic, but also the basis by which you start applying the communication strategies and remediation techniques that your therapist will suggest works best for you and your partner.
Do you need couples therapy?
If you think you are ready to work things out with your partner in a healthy and positive way, we invite you to contact our office today to set up a consultation.