Restorations Therapy Blog

What to Expect During a Couples Therapy Session

by on Monday, October 12th, 2020

couples therapy

Everyone has problems in their relationships at one time or another. Sometimes, the problems seem to never be getting better. When problems begin getting bigger, considering couples therapy is a good option. By going to couples therapy, you are showing your partner that you want the relationship to improve and are willing to put in the effort to help it do so. However, you may be wondering what exactly will happen during the sessions. What questions will you have to answer? Will the facilitator be very involved? By finding the answers to these questions and more, you will be prepared for your couples therapy sessions and be ready to put in the work to make your relationship better.

What Is Couples Therapy?

Couples therapy, also known as marriage counseling, is a form of psychotherapy that helps couples identify, discuss, and resolve conflicts for the purpose of improving their relationship. The goal of the therapy sessions is to help the individuals make rational decisions about saving the relationship or deciding to part. Most often, both partners are present during the sessions. However, there are times when only one person attends the sessions. The therapy lasts only a few weeks, making it relatively shorter than other types of therapy.

What Specific Issues Does Couples Therapy Treat?

Couples therapy counseling sessions exist to help couples strengthen their relationship and develop better ways of communicating issues and concerns. When there is trouble in a relationship, the therapist can help the couple come to an understanding as well as decide what to do next. Some of the common issues often dealt with include:

  • Infidelity
  • Sexual issues or concerns
  • Substance abuse
  • Communication problems
  • Anger
  • Disagreements regarding how to raise children

The whole purpose of counseling is to talk about these issues and other issues out loud with the help of a facilitator, the counselor. It should be noted that couples therapy does not always save the relationship. While many couples do reconcile, some find that the best solution is to go their separate ways. 

What to Expect

Going into a couples therapy session can be intimidating because humans are not naturally vulnerable. Most people find it uncomfortable to discuss their private affairs in front of a stranger, even if it is a counselor. That being said, knowing what to expect during a couples therapy session can make the process go much smoother. 

The First Session

During your first session, the therapist will ask you and your partner questions to gain some background information. The problems that need to be worked on will be identified so the therapist can understand what brought you to counseling. After identifying these things, you will start setting goals for the future of the relationship. This will help the therapist come up with a plan to help the both of you move forward in your relationship.

Subsequent Sessions

After the first session, the ones that follow will be about having open communication between you and your partner. The goal is to get your feelings out and discuss both the good and bad aspects of the relationship. This will help to identify the major problems in the relationship and start creating problem-solving strategies. The important thing to remember is to not point fingers and blame each other, but keep the conversation civil and determine how things can be fixed. 

How to Prepare for Couples Therapy

To help ease your anxiety about couples therapy even further, here are some tips to do so. 

First and foremost, you should do research on the therapists available and the approaches they take. Finding a good fit can determine how the sessions will go. Talk about the various counselors with your partner if you are able to. Discuss what type of counselor you both would prefer and go from there. Then, make calls to ask about approaches, insurance, the assessment process, and more. This will give you a better idea of the therapist and if you think they would be a good fit. 

Ideally, the two of you should go together. If your partner is reluctant, ask them to at least go once and try it out. This will hopefully motivate them to go by showing you are trying and willing to do whatever needed to improve the relationship. However, you can go alone if your partner outright refuses. This isn’t a death sentence for your relationship. In fact, it could still be saved by just one of you going. This is because the therapy will help bring forth particular issues in the relationship through the one partner and help them break any negative patterns that may be harming the relationship. 

The most important thing to remember is to have an open mind. Attend a couple of sessions before you decide it isn’t working. Healing doesn’t happen overnight, so it’s worth it to give  therapy a shot. However, if you aren’t connecting with the therapist or their approach isn’t working for you, you can switch therapists and start again. You need to feel safe, supported, and comfortable for therapy to be successful. 

Couples therapy has helped millions of people around the country. Knowing what to expect can reduce anxiety and stress about the process. Couples therapy is used for  addressing issues in relationships without partners blaming each other. The therapist acts as a facilitator to keep the conversations civil and come up with a plan for ways to improve the relationship. You can expect questions and lots of open and honest communication. Preparing for the sessions may be best to give you a sense of what will happen. At Restorations Therapy, we offer couples counseling to help you both become the best versions of yourself and determine the best direction for your relationship. For more information regarding our couples therapy program, call (720) 446-6585.

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