How to get the most out of couples counselling
Engaging in couples therapy has a host of benefits to offer. Counselling can not only help you to overcome any issues within your relationship, but it can also help you to build and establish a higher degree of trust. Through therapy, you will also find that you learn to understand your partner and yourself better, gaining a stronger understanding of how both of you react and interact in stressful situations.
Your therapist will help you to discover ways of isolating negative thought patterns and give you the tools required to overcome them. You will also be able to determine the triggers in your marriage or relationship that cause arguments, disagreements, fights, and negative atmospheres. By identifying these triggers, you can then learn how to avoid them.
Here, we discuss how to get the most out of your couples therapy sessions.
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Find out how you can ensure you make the most out of couples therapy.
Read our tips on how to prepare for your first couples therapy session.
Find out what types of problems are commonly discussed in couples therapy.
Find out how we can help.
We answer frequently asked questions on getting the most out of couples therapy.
How do you get the most out of couples therapy?
If you’re thinking about relationship or marriage counselling, it’s important to understand what you might be facing and how you can get the best out of the treatment your counsellor will provide.
The first thing to do is make sure you have an open mind when you begin your journey. It can be easy to feel worried, stressed, or pessimistic about couples therapy and its likelihood of success. However, the more honest you are and open-minded you can be with the way you engage with the treatment, the better the chance it has of providing genuine results.
Something else we recommend doing to get the best out of your treatment is to engage with the tasks your couples counsellor sets you. This “homework” will be things to do in between your sessions, such as keeping a diary of your moods and feelings or any disagreements you may have. It may also be to set aside a certain amount of time for doing an activity with your partner. This will help you implement the key skills you’re learning, as well as learn more about your relationship dynamic and where any potential problems may be coming from.
It can be extremely helpful if both partners communicate clearly and honestly – however, a therapist can still help you if your partner is not being cooperative. It can also be a great help if you are both on the same page when it comes to isolating the issues you’re facing, in addition to deciding the outcomes you want to see. Set yourself realistic and achievable aims, and with the help of your therapist, map out your path to them.
Are you worried about what to say in couples therapy? Read our guide on what to discuss in couples therapy for guidance.
How can you prepare?
Here are some things you can do to help prepare for your counselling sessions:
- We recommend talking to your partner to make sure you’re both in agreement of the goals you’re seeking to achieve through the course of your therapy. If your partner is not willing to co-operate – write down the goals you would like to achieve.
- If you are both willing to discuss your issues in therapy – determine together any key issues that you face which you want to discuss with your therapist. Listen to your partner and be sure they listen to you.
- Providing both of you are willing to cooperate – talk to your partner about the importance of being as honest as possible, even in potentially painful situations.
- Determine any possible obstacles you know you’re going to face together, and determine how best you think you’ll be able to overcome them with your therapist’s help.
If you’re nervous about what to expect in couples counselling, read our guide to What to expect in your first couples therapy session.
What can be discussed in therapy?
A couples therapy session is for you to discuss anything you want to in order to best facilitate the treatment of the issues you’re facing. Common issues include a breakdown in communication, the erosion of trust, addiction, mutual or individual trauma, ongoing family issues, financial problems, and so much more.
Anything that is causing friction or arguments in your relationship is something that can be useful to discuss, whether it’s infidelity, addiction, thoughts of divorce, or anything else you’d likely rather keep to yourself. Remember that your therapist is not there to judge you, so don’t be scared to bring up issues in fear of judgment.
Find out what kinds of problems couples therapy can help tackle here.
How is The British CBT and Counselling Service able to help?
At The British CBT and Counselling Service, we have a host of dedicated, experienced, and highly trained psychologists, psychotherapists and highly regulated therapists available to provide the right counselling for you. Our psychologists have spent between seven and nine years training to enable people to overcome their emotional difficulties, and many hold senior positions in the NHS. Find out more about our team here.
We also offer online couples counselling, as well as online counselling of all other types. This allows you to engage in therapy in the most comfortable and convenient way for you. Whether it’s through video calling on Skype or Zoom, talking on the telephone, or via another platform, we’re here to facilitate your treatment in the best possible way.
If you’re ready to seek couples therapy to strengthen your relationship, simply contact The British CBT and Counselling Service today.
Frequently asked questions
What questions do couples therapists ask?
The questions asked by your therapist will depend on your situation and the nature of your treatment. They may ask you to talk about how you’re feeling, what the issues in your relationship are in your own words, the kind of effort you make to interact with your partner, and what your goals are for the counselling sessions.
To find out more about what may be discussed, read our guide What to say in couples therapy.
What is the success rate for marriage counselling?
This depends on the type of therapy you have. For example, emotion-focused therapy has a success rate of 75%.
What are good couples relationship activities?
Anything you both enjoy and something that encourages you to interact and engage with one another. This can be anything from arts and crafts, gardening, shopping, travelling, painting, exploring museums and galleries, and going for long walks and hikes.
What results should you expect to see?
If couples therapy is successful, you should begin to get a better understanding of the issues you and your partner are facing. You should also begin learning to identify potential points of conflict, allowing you to avoid them. De-escalation techniques are also important to learn to avoid instances of arguments and disagreements. Over time you will both learn to communicate better with each other.
What is online therapy, and should I try it?
Online therapy or counselling is the same as that which is administered in an office, except it’s done via some other medium. Whether it’s Zoom or Skype, or another platform, it’s handled remotely. The benefits are that these sessions can be easier fitted into your busy schedule, and many people feel more comfortable engaging in therapy when it’s done in their own home environment.
If you still have any questions or would like to learn more about our couples therapy options, contact The British CBT and Counselling Service today.
What to expect from the first couples counselling session
Is couples therapy worth it?