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How to Prepare for Couples Counseling



While most couples start counseling due to some sort of complication within the relationship, the truth is that all couples can benefit from counseling and your relationship does not need to be in a crisis in order to attend. Some benefits from couples counseling include: learning communication skills, overcoming negative cycles, increasing empathy and support, conflict resolution skills, and learning to navigate difficult transitions together within a safe space.


You may be contemplating discussing the idea of starting couples counseling with your partner, or maybe your partner has broached the idea with you. Find some peace in knowing that this does not mean the end of the relationship is near, but perhaps the start of a new season together—one where you both have an opportunity to learn some relationship skills that can help for years to come.


Some ways to prepare for couples counseling include:


1)     Researching the right therapist. A good match is key in any therapeutic setting, but with couples counseling it can be a tad bit more difficult because you also want your partner to feel like the therapist is a good fit. Here at 253 Therapy and Consult, we have a handful of compassionate therapists who work with couples and would be willing to set up time with you and your partner for a consultation, if desired. Once you and your partner find a good match, ask the therapist about availability to ensure that there is an open time slot that works on a reoccurring basis for both of you.

 

2)     Discuss goals. Figure out what goals you want to work on together while in couples counseling. What do you want the focus of each session to be? What skills would you like to learn? Reflect on patterns that you have noticed and topics that you would like to bring up in session.


3)     Jot down struggles. As struggles come up throughout the course of therapy, write these down to bring to your next session. Your therapist may help you and your partner identify some maladaptive patterns and some perpetuating factors.

 

4)     Do your homework. Oftentimes, your therapist will assign specific homework assignments to focus on in between sessions. Be sure to carve out time with your partner to complete these assignments. Be ready to discuss your experience with the exercises during your next appointment.


5)     Come with an open mind. Be willing to focus on what changes you would like to make in order to strengthen your relationship. Have an open mind when it comes to listening to your partner’s perceptions, and discuss any stuck points with your counselor.


If you are ready to take the next step to start couples' counseling, please reach out to us today and let us know how we can help you get started on your journey.

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