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What To Expect At Couples Therapy

If you’re thinking about couples therapy you probably have a lot of words running through your head — words like, “improved communication,” “strengthening our bond,” and maybe even “rebuilding trust.” The good news is that modern couples therapy has extremely impressive success rates in all of these areas and more. It doesn’t matter how long you’ve been together when you enter couples therapy; what matters is that you have the desire to strengthen, or even rebuild your bond with your partner. So let us get acquainted with what to expect at couples therapy. As we familiarize ourselves with the process of couples therapy, we will also answer some of the common couples counseling questions along the way.

Why Choose Couples Therapy?

After the paperwork details of your appointment have been tended to, you and your partner will spend your first session exploring what inspired you to seek couples therapy.

The list of reasons for embarking on the journey of couples therapy is varied. But perhaps one of the most common couples counseling questions when you start couples counseling is, “Can we overcome this?” Modern counseling and therapy techniques can help you build strong bonds, which makes the prognosis for your relationship recovery extremely promising!

Be Honest, Be Yourself

The sooner you can tear your barriers down, open up and be yourself, and interact with your partner, the sooner the crux of the issues can be revealed. That’s not to say that it’s just one issue. There are many aspects that your counselor will study in order to tailor the most effective course of treatment. The most fundamental part of what to expect at couples therapy is that it is an ongoing process.

The steps will evolve with each session. Your counselor facilitates the communication and understanding necessary to begin the process of healing in your relationship. If you and your partner view your sessions as a safe place to be yourselves, you will have made great progress from the very beginning.

Unpacking Goals vs. Expectations

While you want to know what to expect at couples therapy, it is important to understand the difference between your goals for couples therapy versus your expectations of your therapy. We live in a results-driven society, and in today’s world, our “wants” are filled almost immediately. This is not the case for couples therapy. The goal you set for your therapy is directly related to the amount of effort you dedicate to achieving the outcome.

Your expectations, on the other hand, are your vision for the outcome. However, expectations do not rely on effort. So be sure to set goals, both short-term and long-term. Keep your expectations in mind, but apply your effort to your treatment plan. Remember, the effort is how the goal is achieved.

How Long Will Couples Therapy Take?

One of the most common couples counseling questions is, “How long will it take to see results?” As you may expect, there really is no precise answer. It truly all depends on your commitment and the amount of effort given by both partners to the goal. Try not to be rigid with regard to your timeline. Simply commit yourself to going to sessions and employing the strategies prescribed, for as long as you are experiencing the positive results.

What To Expect, Overall

We all know change is a certainty in life. So while you may be wondering what to expect from couples therapy, you will most assuredly change as a person. After all, the whole process of couples counseling helps both parties understand who they are, as individuals. This brings awareness as to how your actions affect others, and it works to develop how you experience empathy and express compassion.

Realize that you will be gaining a deeper understanding of what makes you “you.” You will also come to understand what makes your partner who they are, as well. The purpose is to gain self-awareness, and awareness of your partner, not to change them or have them see things your way. But rather, understand one another in a way which will help nurture a more compassionate relationship.

In truth, the entirety of your time in couples therapy will help you learn about your behaviors and your insecurities. You will also learn about your partner, and how to be the catalyst for healthy communication, which will help strengthen your bond.

What If Couples Counseling Doesn’t Work?

When you explore what to expect from couples therapy, the “elephant in the room” must be addressed. It is one of the couples counseling questions that everyone is thinking, but may not want to ask. That question is, “What if it doesn’t work?”

Spending time and putting in the effort to get to know yourself and your partner more intimately are necessary steps to reviving a relationship, but they don’t always equate to success. The key, once again, is to do the work to understand who you were, who your partner was, and who you have both become throughout your relationship.

While couples counseling has proven to have great success, it can result in one, or both of you learning that you may not be who you used to be or want what you used to want. And that’s OK. That’s part of the process. People do change, but taking a healthy approach to change by seeking couples therapy is the best way to figure out the path forward.

Seeking Help

Couples counseling wall sign

If you are nervous about what to expect from couples therapy, rest assured that being guided by a professional through your relationship highs and lows is an excellent decision. A licensed mental health counselor knows the proven strategies which can be tailored especially for you and your partner. If you are ready to take the first step and are looking for couples counseling in Miami Beach, contact Miami Hypnosis and Therapy today.

Our principal therapist, Anna Marchenko, is equipped with dual Masters degrees in Psychology from Columbia University and has studied with world-renowned psychology professors. Whether you are looking for couples counseling, family counseling, or individual counseling for ADHD or other disorders, contact us today.

Anna Marchenko

Anna Marchenko, LMHC, M.A., Ed.M. is the principal therapist at Miami Hypnosis and Therapy. She holds a bachelor's degree from NYU and dual masters degrees from Columbia University. Marchenko’s hypnosis certification is from the only hypnosis program in Florida that has been certified by the state’s Board of Education. She helps her clients by utilizing an integrative approach to psychotherapy, tailored to each individual’s mental health journey, drawing from hypnotherapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, NLP therapy, EMDR, and more.

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