If you are thinking of having couples counselling and are not sure what to expect here are a few pointers.
I work as a couples therapist using Imago Relationship Therapy in my psychotherapy practice in Wilmslow so know a thing or two when it comes to couples therapy.
Couples counselling can be challenging
Be prepared to do some work if you are going to couples counselling. The therapist is not a judge and will expect you and your partner to do the work.
If you want the therapist to tell you who is right and who is wrong then the chances are high that you will end up disappointed.
Couples counselling is not enough in itself
When I work with couples I emphasise the Imago idea of a conscious relationship. This is about you and your partner doing things differently outside of the therapy room as well as inside it.
The close loving relationship you seek will not be found simply by doing an hour of couples counselling a week with your therapist.
Be proactive with simple relationship changes
Simple changes you can make outside of the therapy session could be:
- Telling each other things that you like about your partner every day
- Spending more time together
- Doing things you both enjoy together once a week (date night works well for many of the couples I work with)
- Touching more
- Saying hello and goodbye to each other deliberately when you move in and out of each others lives. This might involve a hug or kiss.
When having couples counselling, be prepared to listen
Opening your mind, sitting back and listening to your partner’s perspective on things sometimes can be difficult. It’s also an opportunity to develop a closer connection with them and make sense of their behaviour.
In Imago Relationship Therapy this is all part of the dialogue process.
Couples counselling also requires you to speak
If you are having a more traditional type of counselling and you are the quiet one in the relationship then you might get away with sitting back and allowing your partner to do all of the talking. This is not helpful to your relationship.
Explaining what’s going on for you is the only way your partner is going to be able to understand your world. Even though it might feel difficult, let the therapist help you explore your thoughts and feelings.
In Imago Relationship Therapy this is all part of the dialogue process so just roll with it even though it might feel a bit challenging.
Two scared children
I’ve spent hundreds of hours working with couples. Even though people present in all sorts of different ways I notice that beneath the adult exterior the child part of ourselves is desperate to be heard and taken care of by our partner.
By seeing your partner with kind, loving eyes during the counselling process, you are far more likely to be successful with the couples counselling you have. If you can offer that to each other then you’re a long way down the path to having a deeper more loving relationship.
Need couples counselling in Wilmslow?
Read the book
Making Marriage Simple: 10 Relationship-Saving Truths by Harville Hendrix is a great book to work with your partner towards improving your relationship.