Whenever you’re going into something new, it’s always important to be as aware as possible. Facts and information makes a difference and can help you avoid feeling overly anxious, nervous, or otherwise uncertain. This is true regardless of which type of therapy you choose to take.
When you go into couple therapy, your goal will most likely involve improving your relationship and possibly making repairs with one another.
Another benefit to couples’ therapy is that you may learn how to better support your partner emotionally.
People can have many reasons for wanting to be in a relationship or married. You may want to preserve your relationship for reasons such as children, finances, to keep the life you’ve built together because you still love this person, or for any combination of these or other reasons. Know that the reason for wanting to keep the relationship intact upon entering counseling may be different from the reason for getting married in the first place. Sometimes this is the case in a longer relationship or marriage and this is normal.
The Therapist’s Role In Improving or Saving Your Relationship or Marriage
You do not hire a counselor to fix your relationship. That’s not exactly their job. Their job is to guide you to open up and work on fixing issues that arise in the relationship. You both have to put in the effort to follow the counselor’s suggestions to help aid in improving your marriage.
You are probably asking, “What about my partner? Don’t they also need to put in the effort?” The answer is yes, they should. However, realizing you don’t have control over what your partner does is important. Know that the only person whose actions you can control is your own. Someone in the relationship will most likely take the first step to repair whatever is going on. That means one person in the relationship may call the therapist on behalf of both of you.
A common misconception is that the therapist is responsible for saving the relationship or solve the problems quickly. Your therapist’s job is to navigate communication and help serve as a guide. This means the therapist can observe your situation, provide feedback, and offer suggestions and possible solutions. However, at the end of the day, you and your partner have to be willing to fix your relationship and remain receptive to feedback. This is often easier said than done.
Sometimes in couple therapy, one or both participants can get feedback which they don’t necessarily like or agree with. It is times like these were listening to the counselor and swallowing feelings of annoyance or resentment is really important. These are opportunities to change and grow.
The Majority of Couples’ Is Work Done Outside Of Sessions
Initially you cannot expect to leave a couple therapy session feeling like your relationship has miraculously improved. Marriage counseling provides you with guidance, tools and often homework. During the time between session, you and your have to put that guidance into practice. The work you and your partner do outside of the sessions will help determine how well your relationship does going forward.
It may feel easier to do the work when you and your partner are sitting in the room with your therapist. Sometimes continuing the work when you’re at home, feeling frustrated with one another, and just finished having a bad day is something else entirely.
In so many cases, this is easier said than done. This uncomfortable work is really important. It is important to remember, you and your partner are the ones responsible for fixing and maintaining your relationship, not your therapist.
Many couples wait far too long to try counseling and the initial problems or complaints have become to big. The anger or communication issues between the partners can become too wide and it is more difficult than it has to be.
Improving Your Relationship Only Works If You Both Want It
You or your partner may be feeling resistant to couple therapy. That is very normal. Generally one person in the relationship is more inclined to seek outside help. What is necessary though for therapy to be a success is that both partners want it to work. Your reasons for being in the relationship may be different however the ultimate goal is to decide that you want to work it out together. It is important to understand that therapists generally have a “No Secret Policy” meaning whatever one partner shares with the therapist, the therapist may bring up in session later on with the other partner.
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Monrovia, CA 91016
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*At this time, I do not take payments from medical insurance companies however I do offer Super Bills which can be turned back into health insurance providers for reimbursement.
Monrovia, CA 91016
© 2023 by Stacey Inal, CA LMFT #120626 Los Angeles, California.