Frequently Asked Questions About Couples Therapy
What will happen in our first session?
You’ll spend some time talking about your reason for coming in and discuss goals you may have. Some of our counselors may have you fill out a short questionnaire. Feel free to ask your counselor any questions you may have about his or her background to ensure that you feel comfortable. After hearing about the concerns you both have, your counselor will give you ideas about how you can work together on your goals.
How long do you recommend we be in couples therapy?
On average, couples spend 8-12 sessions in couples therapy. We often recommend that you both commit to at least four sessions before making up your mind about whether the therapy is working. The simple act of commitment to work on the relationship for this specific amount of time can be therapeutic itself. Couples seeking premarital counseling that are not experiencing distress often meet for at least four sessions. Issues that involve infidelity, high levels of conflict, and/or drug or alcohol use often seek therapy for more than twelve sessions, sometimes with the addition of individual therapy for one or both partners.
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How Does Couples Therapy Work?
Our counselors are trained and experienced couples therapists that will provide structure and guidance during your sessions. Couples therapy is very different from individual therapy. The aim of most couples therapies is to help you be the kind of partner that has a successful relationship. Your counselor usually prefers to meet with you both together during most sessions. Sometimes there is an assessment phase of therapy when you meet privately one-on-one with the therapist. You can expect that your counselor will use techniques that will slow down reactions and help you communicate in a way that your partner can understand.
What if one or both of us are thinking about ending our relationship?
We highly recommend that you put off this decision until after you have worked with your counselor for 8-10 sessions–or some number of sessions that you determine. After this amount of time you will have a much better idea of how much work it will take to improve your relationship. You can then decide if you are ready to do that work. If you do end the relationship later, you will be doing so with more of your wisdom and confidence rather than just reacting out of your pain and hurt.