Couples Counseling: What To Expect In Your First Session

If couples counseling will be a new experience for you, you likely have a lot of questions and concerns about what to expect.

If couples counseling will be a new experience for you, you likely have a lot of questions and concerns about what to expect. While every therapist does things a little differently, there are a few things you can expect from any first session, like discussing the history of issues in your relationship and setting your goals for counseling.

Meeting The Therapist

Whether you initially meet the therapist together or individually is up to the therapist, and may depend on whether there is a history of abuse, violence, or not feeling safe. At Take Charge, Inc. in Overland Park, KS, we prefer to see couples separately for the first session so that they can be comfortable sharing concerns without causing a cycle of conflict or hurt in their partner. For most of your successive sessions, you will attend couples counseling together so that you can work on your issues as a team.

Discussing Your Relationship History

You should expect to discuss the history of problems in your relationship in your first session. Your therapist will ask about the main issues you want to address as well as the primary sources of stress in your relationship. Whether they are financial worries, parenting disagreements, intimacy issues, communication problems, or other stressors, it is crucial to be open and honest. It is important that both of you learn your negative patterns and how to interrupt those patterns.

Setting Goals For Couples Counseling

Setting goals is key to any first therapy session. It is okay if you aren’t sure yet what those goals should be. Your therapist will help you figure that out together. Already being aware of your goals going in does give you a head start, however. It will certainly be beneficial if you and your partner are able to come up with some goals together.

You and your partner may not immediately see eye to eye on your goals for therapy. We often find that one partner is hoping to save the relationship in counseling, while the other is not convinced it is salvageable, or that therapy can help. These seemingly opposing perspectives should not discourage you. With the help of a therapist, you may find that your goals are not as disparate as they seem. This does need to be addressed. Both have to be committed to the process.

A common misconception and myth about marriage counseling is that it is only for couples on the verge of divorce. The truth is that only about one in five couples who seek therapy are unsure that they want their relationships to continue. Most couples in counseling are working to strengthen their relationship and be the best partners they can be. 

Finding The Right Therapist Is Key

For couples counseling to be productive, you must both feel good about your therapist and how they communicate with you. If either partner feels that the therapist is not empathetic or understanding toward them, you will not make good progress. Even a great therapist is not great for every person or couple.

Couples Counseling At Take Charge, Inc. In Johnson County, KS

Sometimes partners struggle to imagine how their relationship could change because they haven’t discovered what works, not because their marriage is irreparable. At Take Charge, Terri Dichiser utilizes Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy (EFT), which is well backed with scientific research. EFT helps you and your spouse recognize that destructive patterns and behaviors are the enemy in the marriage, not each other.

For more information about marriage counseling, call Take Charge, Inc. at (913) 239-8255. To schedule an appointment, click here.

Leave a Comment