The decision to undergo Couples Therapy can be a hard one, but this is an excellent first step in being able to understand your relationship and how to work through any complications.
However, Couples Therapy is more than just showing up and letting a therapist tell you what you should be doing. There are a few things to keep in mind to get the most out of couples therapy.
Don’t dwell on the past
Therapy gives couples the right tools to take back and bear in mind to reinforce the relationship. A huge issue couples face in treatment is that they can tend to dwell on whatever the last argument was that they had.
Anger and frustration may therefore then halt the ability to look at a bigger picture.
Be ready to talk
Another tendency couples have in therapy is turning up with absolutely nothing to talk about at all! Sometimes the therapist can encourage discussion, but it still may be difficult for couples to find anything to say. Neither one of these will help couples get anything out of a therapy session, and you’ll find yourself going nowhere.
Know your purpose what you hope to achieve
One of the first things a couple should do is establish why they’re going to therapy, and what they want to achieve with it. If it helps to write this down, then do so and bring the list to the therapy session.
Note down everything that is troubling you about the relationship
There is nothing too big or too small.
From trust issues to communication and everything in between, anything you feel is important is indeed important enough to bring to the table. As above, write them down so that you can ensure you address everything you are concerned about.
Be happy to be there
Show up to the session with a good attitude. You won’t get anywhere if it is very obvious that you don’t want to be there. If you show up with an open mind willing to solve problems, then you will.
Think more about how you can change yourself, not your partner
We all know you should never go into anything thinking we can change a person. You can only control your behaviours and way of thinking. Give yourself realistic goals. Your partner will do the same for his/herself.
It is in this way that together things will change. Sometimes we can’t admit that we have flaws, but if we can accept that we can improve ourselves, then the relationship will also see improvement.
Be willing to dig deep
You should be willing to talk about problems at length to get to the root of the cause. You will all work together to find out why issues are reoccurring, and what behaviours need to be changed to try to prevent these problems from happening.
Again, these changes can only be within yourself. Placing the blame on your partner will not help coming up with a solution at all.
Manage your expectations
Finally, you must realise that things don’t change overnight. Couples therapy gives you and your partner new relationship skills to practice to strengthen your relationship. These skills will take the time to develop. Ultimately, you and your partner will greatly benefit from couples therapy if you put the work!