What Is A Marriage Counseling Session Like?

Some couples are hesitant to go into therapy because they don’t know what to expect. While trusting your therapist enough to reveal your innermost thoughts about your spouse and your relationship can be scary, it’s necessary for this process to work.

To give you an idea of what to expect at each marriage counseling session, we’ve distilled the major points below. While marriage counselors have different ways of dealing with the issues that couples bring to their attention, the following should more or less give you an idea of what a marriage counseling session is like.

  • The first meeting will typically have the therapist ask you questions about the reason for your visit. You’ll need to be prepared for this because it will help your therapist in coming up with a treatment plan that would best suit your situation and your goals.
  • Expect follow up questions that can potentially make you uncomfortable. In the first meeting, your therapist will not have any idea as to how he or she should proceed. Hence, it will be necessary for him or her to ask these piercing questions. To make the most of therapy, it pays to be honest.
  • The therapist may see both of you together right away or may ask for a little time to see each of you individually in your meetings. The individual sessions will give you the chance to verbalize the concerns you have with your counselor that you would not be comfortable sharing with your spouse present.
  • In the first meeting, the counselor may ask you to take personality tests and other assessments. This will help him or her decide what your problem is and the strategy he or she must take to help address it.
  • During the second meeting, the counselor will provide results of your tests and give you a treatment plan to follow. For example, you could be asked to write down the number of hours you spend only with each other.
  • In the succeeding sessions, the counselor will inquire about how you are doing with your treatment plan. You report to your counselor about your success or failure in performing a particular assignment. Your counselor will then process this with you and your spouse.

Most counselors will typically provide you with their emergency numbers so that you can call them in case emergencies crop up in your relationship. If you can’t really work things out between you and your spouse in between sessions, it pays to give your therapist a call.

The decision to end therapy will come from the therapist or you and your spouse or both. You may see marked improvement in how you and your partner communicate with each other and find that you are already equipped to handle difficulties yourselves. If this is the case, you may decide to put an end to the marriage counseling sessions.

Your therapist may also see the improvements in your relationship and may opt to space your meetings longer until such time that he or she will give you the clearance to “graduate” from therapy.

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