Couples counseling is an incredibly beneficial process, but people aren’t always able to see those benefits. That is because they come in with the wrong frame of mind, or they’re not truly willing to work through their issues. We want your relationship and your counseling sessions to be as successful as possible. That’s why we’ve put together this short guide. Read on to learn how to get the most out of couples counseling.
Be Completely Honest – The Appointments Are Confidential
The only way to make changes in the relationship is to get everything out in the open. Your couples counselor will not judge you for your pastor for your feelings. The goal is to create a better atmosphere for you as a couple, and the only way to do that is to understand the issues at hand. Your appointments are completely confidential, so do not be afraid to speak your mind.
Use the Lessons You Learn between Counseling Sessions
Couples therapy doesn’t end when the appointment is over. The biggest changes occur in between sessions when you apply the lessons you learned during therapy to your day-to-day life. Work through new problems as they arise, and de-escalate arguments. Practice respectful communication and supportive listening. If you agreed to let go of something in counseling, avoid bringing it up in new arguments. You cannot heal if you continue to reopen old wounds.
If an issue comes up between sessions that you just cannot get past, write it down, and discuss it with your therapist. You can agree to put that discussion on pause for now until you can get his or her feedback. Over time, you will be able to resolve conflicts faster and easier, and your fights will become far less frequent.
Do Not Discuss Your Counseling or Arguments with Other People
You may be tempted to vent your frustrations to friends and family members when you’re in an argument. You may even go as far as to post about it on social media. That is not going to help you in the long run though. The people in your life have biased opinions. They only know your side of the story, and they’re probably on your side before you ever explain the situation. If you happen to be in the wrong, you won’t know it with outside input. And all of that input will drive a wedge further between you and your partner.
Your couples counselor is an unbiased third party. He or she will have years of experience, training, and education in how relationships work. More importantly, a couple’s counselor knows how to help you through an argument. Instead of blind support, you will receive professional advice on how to resolve your conflicts. Then you can grow as a couple.
Fully Commit to the Experience
With counseling, you get what you put in. If you participate half-heartedly, you aren’t going to see progress as quickly as you may like. It’s important to completely devote yourself to this process. Listen to your spouse and insight from your couples counselor. Ask questions and speak out with total honesty. Your relationship deserves a fighting chance.
Consider Getting Individual Counseling in Addition to Couples Counseling
Many couples benefit from individual counseling in addition to their couples counseling. You might have issues you need to work through personally, such as grief, anxiety, depression, stress, or low self-esteem. Individual counseling will give you a platform to fix those issues and better prepare you for couples counseling. If you are interested in individual counseling or couples counseling in Michigan, contact Oakland Psychological Clinic. We have specialists in nearly every area of mental health and relationship development, and we would be happy to assist you.