- Posted by Shirlee Kay
- On January 21, 2016
- 0 Comments
I’ve often wondered why some couples find couples therapy a ‘Life ‘Saver’ and others find it less than helpful or a waste of time. I’ve made a list of the ways to come into couple’s therapy to help maximize the process.
The truth is, couple therapy is not easy. It was only until I went to a
Couple’s therapist with my own husband a few years back that I truly appreciated what a difficult process it is.
Unlike individual therapy, there is nowhere to hide in couple’s therapy. Despite this, couple counseling provides a safe space to say things to one another, honestly and directly. It also provides an opportunity to learn about yourself with your partner as witness.
Couples who find therapy helpful are often the ones….
Who come to therapy before their problems get so bad that they are unable to address them without very hard feelings building up inside them.
Couples who are clear that couple therapy is a way to work through their issues and who feel comfortable with knowing what might be discovered within that process.
Couples who saw their parents argue but who also saw them work through issues in a civil and respective way.
Couples where, from the beginning of the relationship, felt able to express themselves and were able to listen to their partner’s point of view.
Who see an issue as an issue and not the end of their relationship.
Couples who can see they have a part to play in the relationship and don’t automatically blame their partner.
Couples who work together and see their partner separately from themselves and who accept that their partner thinks differently, feels differently and reacts differently.
Couples who are able to see that going to couple therapy isn’t a weakness but actually a way to strengthen their relationship and give them the tools and resources to make them stronger.
Couples who don’t find it useful feel the opposite!
Note: The above list suggests that couples that come into therapy with this template wouldn’t actually need therapy (a valid point). This list is more of a guideline to work towards and to keep in mind.
Maximizing Couple Therapy
Very simply, the way to get the most out of couple’s therapy is exactly the same way as to make the most of your relationship. Be present, be honest, be kind, listen, reflect and be open. Ok, it sounds easier than it is but relationships take effort, time and risks.
Without opening your heart to your partner the possibility of being truly known will not happen.