What to Expect from Marriage Counseling – A Guide to Getting You Prepared for Counseling
Most couples resort to marriage counseling when their relationship is in strife.
However, most of them do not know what to expect.
Knowing what to expect from marriage counseling makes the process easier.
Even though marriage counseling is often seen as a last resort, it does not need to be. Couples may use it as a preventative option to avoid problems and foster a healthy relationship.
Marriage counseling gives you a safe space to talk about difficult and uncomfortable topics.
Having the perspective of a neutral and professional third party makes it easy to address the concerns of both parties.
Some of the issues that marriage counselors may address include; emotional concerns, trust issues, and sexual problems.
When you know what to expect from marriage counseling, you will begin using it as a tool to save your marriage. Marriage counseling helps you improve your communication skills.
You will learn to work with your partner for the improvement of your relationship.
What to Expect from Marriage Counseling
Not All Therapists are Good for You
You need to find a therapist that makes you feel comfortable. A therapist that is appropriate for your friends may not be appropriate for you.
Shopping around for a good marriage counselor is one of the most important parts of the process. Every therapist is different.
You may get recommendations for good ones from your friends and relatives. A good marriage counselor will tell you what to expect from marriage counseling. They will encourage you to ask questions.
Both of You Don’t Always Have to Attend
One of the biggest misconceptions about marriage counseling is that both you and your partner need to attend.
You may schedule both personal and couple appointments. You can make progress even with individual sessions.
The First Sessions Can be challenging
The first few sessions of your marriage counseling can be challenging. Even though every therapist has a different process, the general idea is the same.
In your first session, your therapist will discuss their policies, legalities, consent rules, and what to expect from marriage counseling.
Once you have understood them, they will try to find out why you are seeking their help.
In your first session, discuss your goals and the areas of your relationship that need help.
As you continue to see your marriage counselor, you may start to schedule separate appointments.
They give you and your partner the chance to discuss your problems, current stressors, and communication style.
Your counselor will allow you to bring in content for discussion. They will help you and your partner resolve your issues by evaluating your body language, self-awareness, and other communication cues.
How to Make the Most From Your Marriage Counseling Sessions
1. Know What to Expect
When you know what to expect from marriage counseling, your sessions will be fun. Both you and your therapist should know what your end goal is.
If you are not on the same page, you may have trouble accomplishing your goals.
2. Be Ready for Change
Your marriage counseling sessions will not always be comfortable. There are times when you may need to be vulnerable and uncomfortably honest.
You must prepare to get out of your comfort zone and get the help you need.
3. Be Emotionally Vulnerable
The work of a marriage counselor is useless if you are not ready to be emotionally vulnerable.
Let your guard down and allow your counselor to understand your needs. Be honest even when you are nervous.
Do not lie about your feelings or thoughts. Your counselor can’t help you if you and your partner can’t be honest.
4. Be Patient
Even with the best marriage counselor, the change will take some time. Be patient with your partner, yourself, and the process.
If you give up along the way, you may not meet your goal.
5. You Determine the End Results
Even though your marriage counselor will guide you, you determine the results. You are in complete control of how the process goes and the end goal.
Your counselor only acts as an expert. They are not your boss and they don’t determine the final results.
You will reap whatever you put into your sessions. If you invest a lot of your time, emotions, and efforts into the process of counseling, you are likely to achieve the desired goal.
If you attend your sessions but don’t engage, you will only be wasting your time and money.
6. You May Have to Talk About Your Childhood
Your marriage counselor may ask you to talk about some parts of your childhood.
Most therapists will try to analyze your specific issues based on facts from your childhood. They may ask about your traumas and previous relationships.
Learning what to expect from marriage counseling is the first step towards getting help. It gives you and your partner the chance to prepare yourself.