What Happens At Your First Counseling Session As A Couple?

 

 

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If you are thinking about going through couples counseling, you might wonder what’s in it for you during your initial session. What would it be like? Will your counselor or your partner ambush you with questions? You may also be doubtful if counseling would even help your relationship. A lot of stigmas and hesitations that a rooted in the concept of couples counseling are frequently pacified after partners attend their very first counseling session.

 

The Process

You Meet With The Counselor As A Couple

When you meet the counselor for your initial session, you and your spouse or partner will be doing the talk together with the counselor. Most of your visits will be done this way, and others will be spent individually. The goal of the one-on-one session is for the counselor to get some history and background on each partner, allowing the counselor to be more knowledgeable of your particular needs.

Following the first session together, the counselor might schedule you an individual meeting. Then you will be working with your partner for the rest of the meetings concerning your relationship problems. The initial meeting will become the basis for what will be done in the next meetings. This will also set an atmosphere where you and your partner are inspired to talk about your emotions.

You Set Your Goals As A-Team

Setting goals are very crucial to decipher especially when it comes to counseling. As you get into your first meeting, you create goals for your relationship. These goals will assist you and your partner in having more healthy connections and interactions. If you are not sure about what goals you want, it’s fine. Remember that it’s still the first session. Your counselor is there to help you do just that. On the contrary, if you have already set your goals, it’s an even greater start. Depending on your history and background, you can identify the goals you wish to present to your counselor. Whatever it is, your counselor can guide both of you through peace and harmony.

Having Different Goals

Each individual that undergoes counseling has various goals, and this means that you and your partner might have different outlooks. You could have considered counseling because you have high hopes for your relationship, while the other partner is not very hopeful. This imbalance could cause a difference in the goals that you set for the entire counseling process.

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Despite this, it won’t imply that your marriage or relationship is meant to fail. Both you and your partner can work with the counselor to seek improvement and healing. The general purpose is to acquire self-esteem as an individual and then as a couple to move forward. And to succeed in couples counseling, you have to find harmony when dealing with relationship matters with your partner. However, whether or not you decide to go separate ways or face your issues, the counselor will work with a plan that will suit your needs, encouraging positivity and healing.

Counseling Should Lead To Better Understanding

Establishing a positive connection with your counselor is important if you want the counseling to succeed. Your counselor must show understanding, patience, and empathy toward you and your partner throughout all the sessions. For instance, if you are talking about your problems with your counselor, you must not feel that you’re not being ignored. Confidence in your counselor will help you feel reassured that you are understood during your counseling. If this is not the case, you will most probably not rely on your counselor, which could cause stress and doubts in the counseling process itself.

Being understood is not merely being listened to. Your counselor must be capable of creating an atmosphere where you and your partner can freely express your issues and feelings. Couples should be determined and urged to attain their goals and, over time, feel certain that attaining those goals is possible.

Allow Yourselves To Be Exposed

Being weak is vital to productivity in counseling. When you and your partner allow yourselves to be exposed and vulnerable, you are permitting yourselves to express insecurities, shame, and hurt that you are both struggling with within your marriage or relationship.

Inherently, you may be inclined to keep information from the start of the meeting because your counselor needs to be accountable. When you begin to feel relaxed enough to display some weakness, you will get better results during counseling.

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If you have plans of setting and accomplishing any objectives during your counseling sessions, you must also strive to establish a trusting connection with your counselor so that you will both feel comfortable in opening up about your weaknesses and other concerns. Certainly, there are plenty of issues and ideas that you would consider before deciding to attend your first counseling session, which is all entirely understandable.

Building an honest connection with your counselor could take some time, as well as repairing your marriage or relationship. The healthiest way to approach your initial couples counseling sessions is to go in there, to be honest with yourself and your partner, as well as with your counselor, and to embrace it with an open mind.

 

 

Reasons Why Couples Might Need Counseling

 

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Every couple is not spared from conflict. For others, it’s arguments about money or dysfunctional sex life. The current pandemic has yet contributed to another possible stressor – more time spent at home, increasing the tension, or uncovering concealed holes in a relationship.

The American Psychological Association reports that about 75% of partners have decided to go through therapy, claiming it has enhanced or fixed their relationship. It only takes an hour or two a week to concentrate on each other without any distractions.

Below are some common reasons why couples might need to go through counseling.

 

Infidelity. One of the most typical reasons for couples to seek counseling is when someone cheats. However, cheating doesn’t necessarily imply physical infidelity. Concealing something and keeping secrets is a form of emotional betrayal. You might reach out to your ex through social media and say to yourself, “This is nothing. I’m just trying to have fun.” But all of a sudden, it becomes more than that.

From the moment you feel like you are lured into cheating, it is better to seek counseling. If one of the partners is already engaging in an affair, there is clearly a means to turn around. Experts say that one-third of couples overcome an affair, but commonly the couple decides to go into counseling and exert time and effort to fix their marriage.

Growing Apart. Time and time again, we’ve seen couples that have been together for years fall out of love and grow apart from each other. Divorce or separation is a common subject when a marriage is usually in its seventh year. It just feels like they are just running a household for some partners but without any love or intimacy for each other. They become lonely and eventually ask, “What has become of us now?”

Couples often do not recall what actually got them together, which made them fall in love. If you have been with a person for quite some time, you have created memories, history, and life stories that you cannot make with another person. Couples counseling can help restore that.

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Financial Conflict. Finances have always been a touchy issue for partners, but add in the extra worries and stress that baby boomers face – possibly fewer earning power years and potential health matters – you have yourself an environment that is vulnerable to financial conflict. Arguments may be rooted in arguments about retirement, spending, and saving or different spending styles. Stress may arise when there is a lack of money or inequalities concerning which partner is responsible for paying this and that.

Counseling assists couples so that they may understand their marriage with money and how it forms their insights about themselves and others as well. At times, the way people perceive and manage money is connected to past events. Counselors tried having their clients build a family tree and express how they feel about financial issues – how parents and children discuss, spend, and save money.

Major Transitions. Big changes can alter the state of a relationship, whether it’s presently good or bad, and various coping strategies are expected to cause friction. It could be retirement, children moving out, or an illness. Perhaps you’ve been spending a lot of time caring for your kids, and when the time comes for them to leave. Suddenly, you get to spend more time with your spouse and realize that you don’t know him anymore.

Unexpectedly caring for a sick parent or loved one, which eats up a large part of your attention and time, could also present a gamut of challenges. If your partner does not handle the stress well or is not supportive, the situation could stoke emotions of hate and discouragement. Couples counseling can help you manage the new normal by rebuilding bonds you and your partner once had.

Poor Love Life. Studies reveal that the most common response of divorced people who were asked why they decided to split up was lack of intimacy. For most couples, there is no longer live in their sex lives. Years of mundane habits and routines can make sex less fun and exciting. Sometimes, one spouse could be too tired, or having sex is merely a thing to check off from the list. Medication effects, bodily changes like menopause, and health problems can also cause sex to be daunting for couples.

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On the other hand, many couples are emotionally but not sexually intimate but are still affectionate. As long as both partners are contented with their situation, there won’t be problems or issues. Couples counseling is beneficial if one or both partners are not satisfied with the degree of intimacy.

It can be tough and embarrassing for couples to talk about something this sensitive. Still, an effective counselor can walk them through the conversation and should be capable of making both partners feel more relaxed discussing sensitive topics.