Going to Couples Therapy? What Is Your Goal?

By

Going to Couples Therapy?  What Is Your Goal?
Read this article if you're planning or considering couples counseling; set some goals for success

This guest article from Psych Central was written by Kate Thieda, MS, LPCA, NCC

Among the many reasons couples decide to seek therapy—including to learn better communication skills, to improve intimacy, and to heal old wounds—deciding whether or not the relationship is going to survive is the motive for about half.

 

A recent study from the University of Louisville that studied 249 couples in counseling found that when couples had the goal to improve the relationship, the ultimate outcome was better than those who came to therapy to determine whether or not the relationship could be saved.

Specifically, couples who sought therapy in order to improve their relationship were almost 80% more likely to be together six months later. More than half of those who wanted help deciding about whether or not to split up had indeed broken up six months later.

It is important to know what you want when going into couples therapy.

Here are some tips if you and your partner are considering couples therapy:

Talk about why you are going ahead of time. Given what I just said above about outcomes based on goals, this makes sense. If you are going into it with the goal to improve your relationship, but your partner is wondering whether the relationship is worth saving, there are going to be challenges from the start. I am not saying you must have the same goal when you walk into the office, but knowing upfront that you have different goals will eliminate at least one surprise.

Discuss what you want in a therapist, and decide who is responsible for scheduling the appointment. If your partner is adamant about having a therapist of a certain gender, and you don’t really care, then go with your partner’s preference. If your schedule is less flexible than your partner’s, take responsibility for scheduling the appointment so that you can be sure to have the time allotted.

Next: Why you should do your homework...

More Juicy Content From YourTango:

This article was originally published at . Reprinted with permission.
Article contributed by
Advanced Member

John M. Grohol

Psychologist

Dr. John Grohol is a mental health expert and founder of Psych Central. He has been writing about online behavior, mental health and psychology issues, and the intersection of technology and psychology since 1992.

Location: Newburyport, MA
Credentials: PsyD
Website: PsychCentral
Other Articles/News by John M. Grohol:

There's A Reason All Your Relationships Fail — Sorry, It's You

By

Have you had multiple partners, but the basic dynamic between you and them remains the same; which in short is this—you don't get what you want? Somehow you keep making the same mistake, either choosing the wrong person or looking for the wrong thing from the person you choose. Filling a void What I often see in my private practice are adults ... Read more

How To Love And Support Your Partner After Serving Overseas

By

What people do not see and may not understand is that the homecoming of a veteran is both a treasured event and a complex process. For a couple, in addition to all that it demands in terms of the reality of time, space, roles, money, kids and deployment cycles, homecoming means finding a way to integrate all that has happened to each partner into the ... Read more

Is Marriage A Good Deal Or An Ordeal?

By

There are lots of expectations about what marriage will provide that motivate people to choose it over the single life. Including … Love Companionship Regular sex Meaningful emotional connection Mutual support Financial and emotional security Material comfort A permanent ... Read more

See More

 
Latest Expert Videos
ASK YOURTANGO MORE QUESTIONS
Must-see Videos
SEE MORE VIDEOS
Most Popular