In order for couples counseling to actually work there are some things required from both parties involved. To get the most out of couples counseling you need to be honest during your sessions, give your time freely to improving your relationship, and own up to your part of the blame.
- Finding the right counselor for both people is a must. Terry Gaspard, a social worker, speaks of the importance of finding a therapist both partners are comfortable with. “If both parties don’t feel comfortable with the therapist, this can negatively impact progress,” Gaspard explains.
- Gaspard also explains how important giving your time is to show your dedication. Showing up for sessions is not enough. You have to commit to working on your relationship during regular daily life as well, practicing healthy communication and other skills taught during appointments.
- Know what you want to learn and gain from couple’s therapy. Racheal Tasker, a relationship expert, suggests making both short-term and long-term goals. “Think about what it is you hope to get from your marriage counseling before you enter your first session,” Tasker says. Doing this will help you focus on what will really benefit the relationship and stop you from focusing on the little arguments that arise in everyday life.
- Be open and honest. It is hard to lay it all on the line. You might be afraid of hurting your partner’s feelings, their reaction, or afraid to show your vulnerable side. Your therapist will help you communicate in a more effective and positive manner. You can only change yourself, so being open will help you learn healthier ways to react and behave to better your relationship.
- Realize that you contributed to the problems in the marriage. It’s important to be honest with everyone, especially yourself, on how you are to blame for the issues in your relationship.
Motivation and commitment to counseling is paramount to making your relationship work. Setting goals of what you would like to accomplish will help couples fully benefit from couple’s counseling. You can find a couples counselor here.