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5 Ways to Succeed at Couples Counseling

How to Get the Most from Couples Counseling

Couples who benefit from relationship counseling have several things in common that help achieve success. Here are five tips to help you and your partner maximize the benefits of couples counseling.

Start by looking inward. To succeed in couples counseling, you need to have the right mindset. Take some time to assess your motives for therapy. Do you really want to get closer, or are you just hoping the therapist will see things from your side? Are you truly committed to the process, or are you just looking to check off the box that says, "at least we tried." If you really want to overcome your issues and grow closer to your partner, you will need to cultivate the right perspective to give therapy a fair chance at improving your relationship.

Be ready to go all-in. To give therapy the best possible chance, you need to be completely committed to the process. This means letting go of the things that might stand in the way of your success. Any contempt, criticism, defensiveness and stonewalling will impede progress if you bring them into the therapy room. It's important to remember that, while every relationship has conflict, successful partners are able to learn healthy ways to manage differences. This is only possible if you are willing to set aside your resentments and step outside your emotional walls.

Keep an open mind. By the time they reach therapy, many couples may have had endless arguments and conversations with their partners. They may have researched their issues online or sought advice from friends. All of these fruitless efforts can make them feel as though their problems are impossible to overcome.

In reality, most relationship issues are solvable if each person is open to couples therapy and its many effective techniques, including intimacy homework and communication exercises. It's important to remember that therapists use evidence-based methods to help couples develop action plans that help open the lines of communication and strengthen relationships.

Make therapy a priority. Modern couples have to juggle all sorts of work, school, social and family responsibilities. This can make it hard to squeeze in therapy appointments. It's important to recognize that your relationship is a worthy priority that should come before most of your other obligations. To give your relationship the best chance for success, try to commit to at least two sessions per month for about six months. You shouldn't expect your first few sessions to work like magic; therapy can help you grow closer as a couple, but it will take time.

Practice what you learn. While therapy sessions can lead to major realizations and powerful breakthroughs; most of your progress will occur outside therapy. The purpose of your sessions is to learn how to manage conflict and navigate obstacles as they arise throughout daily life. It's important to apply what you've learned in therapy as much as possible. As you practice new ways of thinking and responding, these habits will become innate. As you develop your neural memory through conscious action, the new, healthy ways of relating to your partner will become second nature.

The caring relationship therapists at Foundations Counseling use proven techniques to help couples overcome a broad spectrum of relationship obstacles. Contact us today!