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What To Expect In Couples Counseling

Is your relationship going through a rough patch?  Are you feeling disconnected from your partner?  Have you lost that loving feeling?  Whether you have long standing, deep-rooted issues or just want to create a happier, more loving and passionate partnership... Couples counseling can help get your relationship back on the right track.
So, what is it like to be in couples counseling?  As a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and Clinical Sexologist,  I work with couples every day to help them build healthy, happy, functional relationships.  Most clients tell me that they have no idea what to expect from couples counseling, so I am here to set the record straight.  Here are 5 things you can expect from couples counseling:
1. Your therapist is not just a referee. Your couples session should not involve constant arguing.  You're probably already doing enough of that at home!  Arguing is not productive. It is your therapist's job to help you and your partner understand why arguments are occurring, and to learn new ways to communicate effectively about the topics that matter most to you.
2. Couples counseling isn't just for couples in conflict-ridden relationships. Couples counseling can be helpful for anyone who wants to feel more connected to their partner, to spice up their sex life, or to learn ways to work together as a unit through difficult situations such as a medical diagnosis, grief, or extended family stressors.  Couples counseling can help to uncover and resolve past resentments and traumas, and to help each partner heal in a positive, meaningful way.
3.  Your therapist will want to meet with you individually, at least once. This helps to gain perspective and to get some relationship and family history from each of you.
4. The goal of couples counseling is not to  change your partner.  The goal is to understand the dysfunctional patterns that are present in your relationship, to understand why and how they developed, and most importantly, to replace them with healthy, functional interactions.
5.  Counseling will take work. There might be difficult conversations, challenging compromises, and lots of problem solving.  You'll learn about yourselves and each other, figure out new ways to communicate, and put these new skills to the test between sessions.
If you're interested in couples counseling, call today to request an appointment or a free 15-minute phone consultation.
Victoria Elf Raymond, PhD, LMFT

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