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:

3 Ways to Guard Against Abusive Love

By

This guest article from Psych Central was written by David Sack, M.D. One of the most heartbreaking things about abusive relationships is how much they can look like love in the beginning to their victims. They are often swept off their feet, passionately courted, and made to feel more special than they have ever felt before. Then comes the crash: The ... Read more

Don't Get Married Until You Hash Out These 9 Issues

By

There probably aren’t many people who haven’t heard the words "marriages take a lot of work."  This is a good thing to be aware of before your marriage. That way you won't feel surprised or blindsided when the inevitable breakdowns occur. But you should also be aware of just how much work we're talking ... Read more

3 Tips for Ending a Toxic Relationship

By

This guest article from Psych Central was written by Holly Brown, LMFT Here’s a quick checklist to know if you’re addicted to a toxic relationship: You have more bad moments than good but you can’t let go because you’re always chasing another fix of the good. The relationship depletes rather than energizes you.  It ... Read more

See More

 
Latest Expert Videos
ASK YOURTANGO MORE QUESTIONS
Most Popular