Most Common Questions Asked About Couples Therapy Answered
Those who reach out to therapists to seek couples counseling most times have two chief concerns. First, they are worried about how their relationship is and are also worried about the therapy experience itself. Questions such as what the benefit of the therapy will be and what revealing your private relationship to strangers will feel like.
According to Alicia H. Clark, it is not uncommon that people will be afraid of going for couples therapy and avoid seeking for the help they need as a result of fears. Clark said that getting the accurate answers to a couple of common questions concerning therapy can provide you with the courage needed for reaching out.
Taking note of that, Clark, as well as some other therapists, gave responses to a couple of questions most people bring about going for couples counseling.
1. The duration of the therapy
In all honesty, therapy may last for as long as one hour or more in a week and it doesn’t particularly come cheap. Considering the time and the cost implication, a lot of couples are concerned about how they will fix meetings with the therapist. According to a Los Angeles based therapist, Stephanie Macadaan, it is something assessed by therapists and what they usually decide in the first therapy session.
She mentioned that therapy most times extends longer in a case where the relationship has been injured, such as where there has been a betrayal or an affair. In cases like that, resentment and anger have already been built up and the therapy can extend longer, likely even up to one year. If the relationship is not off course and you are about strengthening communication, then Macadaan mentioned that therapy should take between 3 to 6 months. However, that is only possible if you are consistent with the therapy sessions.
2. The Objectivity Of The Therapist
Your relationship is the actual client of your counselor in the therapy and not you or your spouse. As such, being one-sided would turn out to be counterproductive. It is settled that their function is analyzing and judging the situation.
However, a family therapist, Spencers Northey, mentioned that they are trying to achieve an improvement of your relationship rather than driving you apart. She added that the training of marriage therapists includes how they can examine both perspectives. Their focus is on what the partnership needs and not the individuals’ needs. There are situations where an entire session will be dedicated to a person, but generally, both of them still have to be heard and understood.
3. Going Individually
The effect of marriage therapy is more pronounced if the two parties are available. However, a therapist that specializes in male counseling, Kurt Smith said that going for the therapy alone can actually be of benefit to the marriage as it can help in the identification of the areas where the differences lie.
However, he mentioned that it is also helpful noting there are times when he has couple therapy with just one partner since most times men do not want to come. He mentioned that a lot of them end up coming on board when they realize you have gone ahead without them.
According to a New York-based therapy, in a case where you are encountering a particular medical problem, it is likely that your therapist will suggest a specialist. She added that if you or even your partner are currently experiencing a particular intimacy dysfunction or issue then you should consider seeking someone that has comprehensive training in that area.
4. Limits to talking about therapy discussions
There is nothing bad about talking about your therapy discussions outside the sessions. However, Elisabeth LaMotte who is DC Counseling & Psychotherapy Center’s founder said that only one exception exists and that is where you both don’t have good communication skills.
She added that whenever she had to see couples that already mentioned that there is a need for the improvement of communication skills, she always suggests to them to talk about conversations that are difficult till they are able to improve. She mentioned that she has discovered that couples that experience lesser volatility most times find continuing deep conversations arise out of therapy helpful
5. Outcome of therapy
Therapy doesn’t work like magic and there is no way the change it brings to your marriage will happen overnight. Therapy helps you in dealing with your marital problems while you are also probably going to get insights and understanding. However, the therapist isn’t the only one who will help to fix your marriage. You also have to be willing to fix your relationship.
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