What Does Couples Counseling Involve?

Posted by on Aug 31, 2014 in Couples Counseling, Couples Counseling For One | Comments Off on What Does Couples Counseling Involve?

A general outline for what to expect in therapy

If you are considering counseling, and are unfamiliar with the process, you may wonder, “What exactly do we do?”

Take a few moments to review these most frequently asked counseling questions:

Q: “How do we get started?”

A: The first session is all about assessment.

When the need arises, or your partner indicates an interest in counseling, it is a good idea to set up an initial meeting. This first session is devoted to obtaining information. I ask a lot of questions, and make an assessment based on the details you provide. I want to learn about the problems you see in your relationship, what brings you to counseling, and any relevant portions of your family history, as well as your relationship background.

We will spend a generous amount of time discussing what you want to get out of counseling. What are your goals? How do you want to change?

My perspective is shared with you at this point. I will openly provide my assessment of the situation, and relay various thoughts about what I see going on. From there, I’ll begin making appropriate recommendations based on your stated goals.

Generally, depending on the couple, all of this takes place during the first couple of sessions.

Q: “What does therapy look like?

A: Together, we will determine which direction to go.

For me, there is no one-size-fits-all therapy approach to our sessions. Your individual and relationship goals determine how we move ahead.

Still, there are some key similarities and commonalities that most counseling clients hope to accomplish. Couples usually want to focus on the following goals:

  • Improved communication and increased ability to manage conflict.
  • Healing old wounds and effectively resolving any lingering hurts and resentments.
  • Reconnection and restoration of emotional and/or physical intimacy within the relationship.
  • Healthy transitions and adjustment to evolving differences, family issues, and shifting needs.

Q: “How long will counseling take?”

A: Try to understand that it takes time to do the work.

People new to therapy are often concerned with the amount of time therapy will take.

Truthfully, I don’t know how long your time with me will be.

But, I do not believe therapy should last indefinitely. Coming to counseling for too long just becomes frustrating, and soon the sessions are unproductive, or clients stop making appointments altogether.

On average, most people can expect to spend at least six sessions with me. Some clients come weekly; others schedule time every other week. Generally, I hope to see a couple no less than every two weeks, so that we can maintain momentum, and avoid simply rehashing the period between appointments.

I am there to help you devote time to actively addressing your relationship issues.

A lot of the expected timeframe for therapy depends on your counseling needs:

  • Do you need a mental “boost” or encouragement?
  • Are there specific situations or conflicts you need a counselor to reframe?
  • Is there a lot of tension or strain in your relationship that requires more intensive therapy?

I sincerely want you to come in, do your work, and live happily with the positive changes in your life! This is the best outcome for your time with me.

Please feel free to call me to discuss your counseling needs, set up an initial consultation, or obtain information regarding payment and counseling fees.

It is always my goal to provide a safe, empathetic, and accepting environment for discussing and processing your relationship issues. Together, we can address communication problems, break negative patterns, and work through unresolved issues to create a happy, healthy relationship.

 

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