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The Ultimate Guide To Help Make Couples Counselling Work For You

Are you thinking about getting couples therapy, but aren’t sure how that will work for you? Whether the conflicts between you and your partner are turning sour or the communication between the two of you has developed many gaps, or the levels of intimacy aren’t the same as they once used to be… No matter what the reason that is making you consider couples counselling, you should go for it.

couple disagreement_New_Love_Times

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Suggested read: A Step-by-step Guide To Changing An Unhappy Marriage To A Happy One

Today’s post is meant to guide you and help make the most of your couples’ therapy. We will begin by preparing you for the sessions, and then tell you how to maximize the benefits that your relationship can gain through the session.

older couple dating_New_Love_Times

Image source: Google, copyright-free image, under Creative Commons License 

Before you start therapy, you need to create a list of your own personal objectives: what you wish to achieve through the counselling. If you are clueless about this, then you can take some inspiration from the following section and then come up with your list of expectations.

Objectives of couples counselling

While you prepare for counselling, the two of you will have to make a few adjustments, some easy and some that push you out of your comfort zone, but these adjustments will help you respond to each other’s needs and wants better, and will help maximize the value of these sessions.

A couples’ therapy does not only make you aware of your partner’s desires, but more so about your own requirements, requirements that may have been repressed for some reason. Therapy will also help you with how to break ineffective patterns by developing new responses to routine situations.

Here are a few things that you should expect from therapy and jot down in your wish list:

  1. The kind of partner you want your S.O. to be
  2. The kind of partner you seek to be
  3. The nature of the relationship that you want to build with your partner
  4. Qualities the two of you need to acquire to be the kind of people you want the two of you to be

When a couple goes into therapy, it means they are ready to do anything that takes to improve their relationship/marriage. And so, sustained development is what they wish, not something that will only last a few years.

For this purpose, one needs to make some tough choices. First of all, you need a vision, an idea of what you want your relationship to be like. Then you need to focus on the right attitude you need to work as team, because these is team work, right? Thirdly, you need to be constantly motivated to go through this. Lastly, but more importantly, you need to realize that this takes time. Therapy does not work like a magic potion which when sprinkled on your marriage, causes it to blossom. If you are going in with that expectation, then I am sorry, you are sure to be disappointed.

older couple dating_New_Love_Times

Image source: Google, copyright-free image, under Creative Commons License 

Here are the things you will have to trade off to make therapy work for you:

1. Time

Yes, I am going to reiterate this, because it is important. Therapy requires time, and so does your relationship. You will have to spend more time with each other. You will have to do thing together, re-learn how to harmonize, hang out together and plan together.

You will have to constantly motivate each other, and that takes time.

2. Comfort

Therapy will push you out of your emotional comfort zone. At times it will feel like your broken heart is being used as a shovel to bring out your deepest thoughts, displeasures and fantasies. You will have to talk about your emotions and listen attentively to your partner’s.

You need to explore the next level that your relationship can go to, and that is an adventure which needs you to try new things and not cling on to what makes you feel at home, safe.

Also, your comfort in terms of energy will be challenged. This is because supporting improvement that takes time, take up a lot of effort and energy. You will have to be more respectful of your partner and his or her needs. You will have to show more appreciation for all that they do. You will need to be more giving.  All these require more energy.

Your comfort level will also be challenged because you will need to react less, and respond more to situations and problems.

Suggested read: Marriage Advice – The Comprehensive Guide

Here is how you can make the most of your couples’ therapy

older couple dating_New_Love_Times

Image source: Shutterstock

To make the most of it, you will have to let go of patterns that ruin your progress. Some of these patterns are:

  1. Focusing on only what is wrong with the relationship. This is a negative attitude. You should focus on the problems only when you are asked to talk about them and work on them.
  2. The second pattern is the blank slate approach, where you completely shut yourself up and say that you have nothing to talk about. This will not help.
  3. Do not discuss just the last fight that the two of you had. Your relationship problems should not be centered around that fight, or to put it in a better way, consider that fight as a culmination of a number of other fights and behavioral patterns over the past, which you need to discuss to get long term results.

Once you break these unproductive patterns, you need to adopt new, more effective ones.

  1. Focus on your objective and the goals that you have set for yourself and your relationship.
  2. While you think about the goal, simultaneously, think about the steps you need to take to reach the goal. For example, you have thought about the kind of partner you aspire to be. We are guessing it is someone who is more caring, more compassionate, listens more converses their needs without complaining. Once you have this vision in mind, you need to think about the things you will have to do to be this partner. So next time you converse with your partner, you will listen attentively, speak without blaming, and be more compassionate in your responses.

Concepts you need to work on to make therapy work for you

Here are a few things you will need to focus on if you want to make counselling work for your relationship.

1. Attitude

To make the couples’ therapy session work, you need to change your attitude and align it to your actions to achieve the goals. When you identify what needs to be done (the vision) and how you need to do it (the steps), you will see those are not very difficult to come up with. What is tough is to point out at what you have been doing wrongly so far (the attitude).

Once you decide where you have been going wrong, you will then have to think about how to shift to the right path. That requires you to change your attitude.

You will have to be more accepting, more forgiving. For these changes, you will have to be more mature, and that is tough.

2. Put emphasis on changing your own self instead of your S.O.

For this, you will need to jot down more goals for yourself than your partner. Let them work on theirs. More than often, people go wrong in this step. It is quite natural of them to focus their energies and motivations on changing their partner rather than looking inward.

You will need to accept that the situation that your relationship is in, is your doing also. I will however not bluff you into believing that this is something easy to do, but I can definitely ascertain you that it is completely worth it.

Expecting of someone else is easy, but closely watching your own responses is more vital. If you constantly harp on the idea that your partner needs to change, you will put very little soul and effort on changing yourself and changing your response patterns.

Suggested read: How Important Is Forgiveness In Marriage?

3. You will need to argue but while keeping the peace alive

I know this sounds contradictory, but it isn’t if you think deeply. During the therapy and after it, you need to talk to your partner about your feelings more openly. This will involve bitter feelings, sad emotions, that previously you may have concealed from your partner. While doing this again, try not to blame, but instead put it across as something that concerns you, something that you think can be resolved with yoru partner’s help.

Make them feel needed not shunned. Also, while putting across your feelings use the word “I”, instead of “you”. For example, say, “I am bitter” or “I feel lonely”, instead of saying, “You make me feel bitter” or “You make me feel lonely”.  This minor alteration will change the tone of your conversation, which will consequently change the course of your relationship.

older couple dating_New_Love_Times

Image source: Shutterstock

That is all we have on today’s post on how to make couples counselling work for you. Let us know if you have any questions regarding therapy o general relationship advice.

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Love and beloved.

Featured image source: Google, copyright-free image, under Creative Commons License 

Article Name
The Ultimate Guide To Help Make Couples Counselling Work For You
No matter what the reason that is making you consider couples counselling, you should go for it. Here's how you can make it work for you.
Riya Roy

Riya Roy

“If my doctor told me I had only six minutes to live, I wouldn't brood. I'd type a little faster.” This Isaac Asimov line, embraces my love for writing in the finest and most desperate way that it is and should be! I was tormented by the earnestness of the written word not very early in my journey. But once smitten, it has helped me devour life twice over; savoring the moment and indulging in its memories. As a flâneuse, I wander to understand the intricacies of human relationships. Realizing that, they are just different manifestations of the same feeling of love, has been my greatest learning. I seek to share its opulence through the words I type.