How To Make Couples Therapy Successful
After reviewing that laundry list of factors in the previous post that interfere with the success of couples therapy, check out this more hopeful list.
In order to make the most out of couples therapy, keep these simple guidelines in mind.
Make couples therapy a priority. Until your relationship is where you want it to be, couples therapy should be the most important item on your calendar. I get that you are busy, but are you going to let busyness be the excuse that keeps you from having the relationship that you want?
Show me your calendar, and I will tell you what your priorities are. If you don’t make your relationship a priority, it’s likely that you will either lose the relationship or continue to feel disconnected and unfulfilled. Make time for therapy. Be consistent. Attend regular sessions.
Complete Your Homework
Plan to work on your relationship outside of the session. Integrate the concepts and techniques that you learn into your everyday life. Your therapist can provide guidance, support, tools, and techniques, but only you and your partner can decide to take what is provided and put it to work in your relationship.
Make sure that your therapist is aware of your agenda. Are you committed to working on your relationship? Do you just want to figure things out? Are you there to breakup? It’s okay to come to couples therapy to figure things out or to decide whether or not you really want to be together – just make sure that your therapist is aware of your goals and intentions.
Be willing to accept your partner’s faults, appreciate their differences, and let go of trying to change them. No one wants a good relationship to come at the cost of losing who they are in the process. Of course a good relationship is the goal, but you should also feel as though you can be yourself.
Give It Time
Give couples therapy a chance to work and have realistic expectations. Your problems didn’t occur over a 4-hour period, so why only devote 4 sessions to repairing your relationship before you give up and say, “We tried”? Research has found that couples will receive the most benefit and experience the most positive growth between the 7th and the 10th sessions. So make a commitment to see it through.
Be open to admitting fault and sharing responsibility with your partner. Take an honest look at yourself and your relationship. Be vulnerable and open to sharing your thoughts and feelings. Be willing to explore your problems and look at your relationship from a different perspective.
I know that I’ve just dumped a lot of responsibility onto the couple for the success of therapy. However, the therapist has a big role to play as well. And I want to help ensure that you find an appropriate couples therapist.
There are two important factors here: the fit between the therapist and the couple, and the therapist’s education, training, and experience as it relates to couples therapy.
Each therapist will have their own unique style, personality, and approach. In order to find a good fit therapist, you can read their website, online profile, articles, and blogs. I also suggest having a phone consultation with the therapist to get a sense of who they are.
Next, it is very important to find a therapist who has education, training, and experience in providing couples therapy. As mentioned in the previous post, couples therapy is it’s own animal. Just because someone is a licensed therapist does not mean that they are competent in providing couples therapy. You will want to see a therapist who is regularly practicing couples therapy. That doesn’t mean that they only see couples, but that couples are a regular part of their practice.
These are only a few of the many factors that help to make couples therapy a success. Please reach out if you have any questions about finding your next couples therapist.
I'm Here For Your Relationship
I'm on a mission to reduce the stigma of couples therapy. We are not always taught how to be part of a couple, how to have healthy relationships, and how to make love last. So there's no shame in getting support for your most important relationship. The services I offer could be compared to relationship school.
School is in session and I'm here to help you and your partner increase friendship and intimacy, improve communication, manage conflict, and enrich your relationship.