3 Things Therapists Wish Clients Knew BEFORE Couples Counseling

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What Therapists Wish Clients Knew BEFORE Couples Counseling
Love

It can save your relationship, but you need to know THIS first...

When a couple finally decides it's time to start couples counseling, it's often because they feel desperate. 

More often than not, one person has decided to make an ultimatum — either to go to couples or marriage counseling, or the relationship is over. 

Naturally, things like negative communication that have led to stress in the marriage — or worse, an extramarital affair — can create apprehension about getting a marriage counselor involved. 

If you've never been involved in couples counseling — or any type of counseling, for that matter — the fear of going is compounded.

Getting help may feel like a failure in your marriage — especially when arguments become bitter battles, and the communication has escalated to one or both of you feeling shut down. 

Many couples avoid couples therapy because they would rather work on their relationship themselves. But too often, the go-it-alone method simply fails. People don't have the skills to solve bigger patterns that undermine the happiness and health of their relationships

Before that first session, there is work to do. Just like you might imagine what your first marriage counseling session will be like in the room, you can mentally prepare by considering what effort brings the best outcomes.

We asked our YT Experts what they believe to be the most important things to know, in order to get the most out of their couples counseling before they start?

Here are the top three pieces of advice these Experts shared, and what marriage advisors WISH their clients knew before they ever entered their offices.
 

1. Respect each other. 


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“In general, if you are a woman, you’re likely more concerned with having your feelings and emotions respected by your husband.

If you are a man, you’re likely more interested in having your thoughts respected by your wife.

Thoughts and the feelings/emotions of both men and women are important, and not to be denied or discounted.

However, it seems due to biological factors and social conditioning, one gender is typically more connected and concerned with thoughts.

Meanwhile, the other gender is more connected and concerned with feelings and emotions.

Women in general, are more concerned and value their relationships. They come more from their right brain, the intuitive and emotional side.

They also come more from their heart center. Because of this, women in life and in their relationships will more naturally relate to and from their feelings and emotions.

Most men are more in their logic and thinking state. They come more from their left brain.

So they relate more to their occupation and status, and act more to thought and in logic oriented ways of being in life and in their relationships.”

David Schroeder, LMSW, CPC is a clinical and spiritual social worker, certified life transition coach, and author of "Just Be Love: Messages on the Spiritual and Human Journey." His practice, Transition Pathways helps people find healthier pathways to love, greater awareness and higher potential. 

 

2. Accept each other.


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“To be in relationship is to be disappointed. It's so painful when you realize that your husband or wife will never be your ideal.

So, you'll go to any length to change them, rather than feel disappointed.

But being able to tolerate disappointment is the first step to acceptance.

There are no Hollywood endings in intimate relationships.”

Cheryl Gerson, LCSW, BCD, is a couples counselor and psychotherapist in New York City, in practice for over 25 years. Look for her blog on Your Tango or check out her website at CherylGerson.com
 

 

3. Radical selflessness is important.


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“Relationships are about focusing on your partner’s needs over your own. It’s about giving, not getting.

Next time you are engaged in a fierce conversation with your partner take a quick 3-second perspective thought.

Ask yourself, 'Is this about me, my partner, or the relationship?'

It will be a step into courage and not fear.”

Bob Arriaga is a Performance/Personal Development coach and Certified Personal Fitness Trainer. You can follow him on his website BobArriaga.com

 

Need advice or support in your relationship, marriage or any other aspect of life? YourTango's Experts are here to help

 

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