If you are reading this, you are likely considering counseling marriage for yourself and your partner. Taking the initiative to learn about marriage counseling options shows you are dedicated to the well-being of your relationship. This article defines counseling marriage, discusses common misconceptions, and discusses how to book your first session with a licensed therapist.
What is Counseling Marriage?
Imagine having a difficult conversation with your partner, but in a place where both of you feel safe to express your deepest feelings without an unproductive argument starting. A couples therapist works to facilitate conversations that lead to growth and positive changes while working to avoid getting stuck in unnecessary arguments.
Why Do Couples Start Counseling Marriage?
To Address the Past: Sometimes, we carry old issues into the present. Counseling marriage helps address and heal these wounds in a manner that honors the perspectives of both partners.
To Adjust to Life Changes: Life events like moving homes, having a baby, or a job change can shake things up. Counseling marriage helps couples navigate these waters smoothly.
To Improve Communication: Couples counseling can assist couples in communicating effectively and productively so that conflicts are resolved faster.
To Ensure Peaceful Separation: Not every couple who goes to therapy wants to stay together. Some go because they're thinking of separating and want to do so in the most peaceful way possible. This is especially vital when kids are involved.
Common Misconceptions About Counseling Marriage
As with many things, there are several misconceptions about counseling marriage that can affect a couple's decision to seek help. Let's clarify some of these misunderstandings:
Counseling is Only for Failing Marriages: One prevalent belief is that couples only go to therapy when their relationship is on the brink of collapse. While many couples do seek counseling during crisis points, others attend sessions as a form of relationship maintenance or to enhance an already strong bond.
The Therapist Will Take Sides: Many fear that the therapist will side with one partner over the other. In reality, therapists are trained to remain neutral.
It's Just Talking: Counseling marriage provides a structured and neutral environment where discussions are guided by professionals trained to navigate complex emotional dynamics.
What Happens in a Counseling Marriage Session?
Engaging in counseling marriage is a structured process designed to promote harmony within a relationship. Here's an overview of the couples counseling process:
In the initial stages, your therapist will focus on information gathering, aiming to gain a deep understanding of your relationship. Through open-ended questions and active listening, they'll explore both the challenges and the strengths within your relationship.
Once a clear picture is formed, the next step involves collaboratively setting goals for the counseling process. For example, rebuilding trust, enhancing intimacy, or deciding whether or not to separate. Whatever the goals, they'll be mutually agreed upon, ensuring both partners are on the same page and working towards a shared vision.
With clear goals in place, subsequent sessions will be geared toward achieving them. Your therapist will introduce tools, strategies, and exercises that align with your goals. Counseling marriage comes to an end when you and your partner agree you have met the goals that have been set.
How to Prepare for Your First Session?
Preparing for your first counseling marriage session might feel a bit daunting, but remember, it's a positive step forward for your relationship. Here are some ways to make the most of it:
Have an Open Mind: Entering the session with an open heart and mind is essential. This is an opportunity for growth and understanding. By being receptive to the process and to each other's viewpoints, you create a foundation for positive change.
Think About Your Goal(s): Before the session, reflect upon what you both want to achieve and have a rough idea of what you would like to improve.
Be Honest: It might be tempting to present oneself in a better light, especially when discussing sensitive topics. But for counseling marriage to be truly effective, both partners need to be genuine.
Book a Counseling Marriage Session Today!
Every relationship has its challenges, but you don't have to face them alone. At Philosophie Therapy, we're here to guide and support you every step of the way. Whether you're ready to book your first session or have more questions before getting started, we are here to help. Click the button below to schedule a free consultation with a couples therapist or to book your first couples counseling session today!