For any couple, reaching the stage where they have to consider marriage counseling can seem scary and intimidating. What was once between just the two of you will now be out in front of a third person. But this is the most crucial point as well. When a neutral third party is able to look at the issues you are facing as a couple, and that too a person who is trained to help you mend that bond, then considering couples therapy can be the saving grace that your relationship needs. A qualified and well-trained marriage counselor has seen many couples fight and resolve the issues before them. They are aware of the triggers and possible solutions to most of your problems. In that case, it makes perfect sense to reach out to a counselor if you want to strengthen your relationship.
It is natural to feel nervous about attending couples therapy sessions. But, if you familiarize yourself with what you can expect from therapy and how it can benefit you, chances are that you can take it all in a positive stride. Read on further to know what you can expect from marriage counseling and make informed decisions to save your marriage.
Cover the Basics of Your Relationship
During the initial stages of couples therapy, a counselor will want to cover the basics of the relationship to better understand how they can help you. The following points will be discussed in detail:
- Background information on the relationship and the current or the most pressing problems that you are facing as a couple.
- Both of you would be sharing your priorities for the relationship, as well as the therapy
- The goals of your therapy according to both individuals will be discussed. What outcome each person wants from going into therapy is important for the therapist to know beforehand.
- Establishment of trust between the couple and the therapist
- A couple learns that therapy is a safe space for them to open up and seek guidance to save their relationship.
By covering these basics, a solid foundation is made that gives guidance to your counselor as to where to take the therapy. After this, they are better able to provide you with the required steps to make things better.
Share Your Reasons For Seeking Help
Your therapist is the one person who will look at the issues you are facing as a couple and give the right advice. For that to happen, your part in the counseling sessions is that you need to share the reasons why you both are seeking therapy in the first place. Both of you might have different motivations and desired outcomes to be attending the therapy sessions, and all of these need to be considered to make the best out of the situation.
Whether you share these individually or together in one session, that may be decided by you and the therapist, but what needs to be remembered here is that you need to be honest while sharing all these points. Only then will they be able to help you in saving the relationship.
Identify Your Goals
Once you have shared your reasons for seeking couples counseling to the therapist, specific goals can be set along with possible timelines. To set goals for the therapy, your counselor may ask you some of the following questions:
- What are the issues that you are facing in your relationship?
- What do you hope to achieve by attending counseling?
- Are your goals the same as your partner’s?
- If not, what are your individual needs and goals?
- How willing are you to put in the work to save your relationship?
All couples have different goals, and the therapy goes by how these are communicated. Some may want to fall in love again, some want to learn specific skills to improve their relationship, and some may want to end the relationship, but in a healthy way. By attending therapy, all of these goals can be fulfilled, whichever might be the chosen one for you. Your therapist may even assign a timeline to the whole process. In this case, it has been noticed that for some couples, counseling works successfully in a short span of time, and for some of the couples, counseling can become a part of their life.
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Find the Root of Your Issues
Every couple has a different reason to attend therapy, as mentioned earlier. Some of these problems can include any of the following:
- Lack of trust
- Intimacy problems
- Having the same arguments over and over again
- Not looking at the issues and ignoring the red flags
Finding the root of your problems is an essential step in the counseling process. There may be chances that you see one thing as a problem, and your therapist can identify other issues that are keeping you stuck in a loop.
Work on Communication Skills
Communicating effectively is vital for the success of any relationship. The same goes for marriage, wherein two people have come together to share a life together. It is essential that both of you understand the importance of sharing your needs and desires with each other.
Effective communication not only means expressing our heart’s desires but also cultivating a healthy habit of hearing and comprehending what the other person is saying. This two-way communication will lead to a balanced approach, which can be achieved by marriage counseling as the therapist will teach you the required skills to make that possible.
Practice Outside of Your Sessions
An important part of couples therapy is the work you both need to do outside of the sessions. Working to improve your relationship doesn’t end at the conclusion of each session. You will be given tasks or homework that you need to take as seriously as the therapy for your couples counseling to work effectively. Some of the tasks that may be given are as follows:
- Going out on dates without your phones
- Getting intimate with your partner
- Reading self-help books together and holding constructive discussions
- Keeping a log of the emotions and arguments that may arise between the sessions.
These tasks are given so that you both are able to handle issues on your own. Not every time, your therapist will be there to make sense of everything that is happening between the two of you. And eventually, you will want to have control over your healthy relationship. These tasks will help you do just that, so it is imperative that you take these seriously. Initially, these tasks may look like small steps, but over a period of time, they will eventually be able to inspire you to take action on more significant steps as well.
Establish a Realistic Timeline
Taking into consideration all your issues, goals, and therapeutic interventions needed in your case, the therapist can advise on a realistic timeline that can make things better between the two of you. The timelines in any therapy vary according to the person and their specific condition. This becomes even more critical in couples counseling as there are two people involved in the process.
Some couples are able to see the differences and are able to decide early on that they will work hard for the counseling to be successful because they want their relationship to work. Such couples can benefit from counseling in a span of months, whereas the couples who are unable to find much common ground can take more time to see an improvement in their relationship. Others reach the point of no return and may want to end the relationship. Therapy may help you in ending things on a better note.
Seek Marriage Counseling from a Trusted Provider with Docvita
The idea of sitting in an office on the couch and discussing your personal problems may seem like a daunting task to many. This discourages many people from even trying counseling in the first place. But the solution to this problem has come in terms of online counseling. You can be sitting within the comforts of your home or any other place you may like and seek couples counseling.
With DocVita, you can choose from a team of highly qualified and well-trained marriage counselors who can help you see eye-to-eye first and assist in resolving the issues that are creating problems in your relationship.
All you have to do is book a couples counseling session with any of our therapists online. As soon as your booking is confirmed, you will be assigned a Care Executive who will be giving you the reminder and links for your online meeting on Google Meet, Zoom or WhatsApp. Just make sure that you both arrive on time for the session to make it easier for the counselor to help you, and the rest will be taken care of by our team.