3 Ways To Prepare For Couple's Counseling

If you and your partner have decided to pursue couple's counseling together, it helps to get prepared before you go in together for your first session. That way, you can ensure that you get the most out of the experience. 

#1 Understanding You Are Responsible For Fixing Your Relationship

The first thing you need to do is understand that you are responsible for fixing your relationship, not your counselor. Your counselor may guide your session, and help illuminate and provide a safe place for you and your partner to work on your issues, but at the end of the day fixing your relationship rests on the shoulders of you and your partner. 

Both of you have to be willing to be honest and open during therapy. You have to also be open to really listening to what the other person says. Finally, you have to be willing to make changes and adjustments to your relationship. Your counselor is just a tool that can help guide you to that end; to get there, you have to put in the work yourself.   

#2 Think About Your Role Within Your Relationship

The second thing you need to think about in order to prepare for your therapy sessions is your role within your relationship. Your counselor is going to want to explore the relationship dynamic between you and your partner during your first session. This exploration can go a lot smoother if you and your partner have both taken time before going into therapy to think about and reflect on the role that you both feel that you play in your relationship.

You need to think about how you relate to one another. You need to consider both the positive aspects that you bring to your relationship and any negative roles that you play as well. Identifying and discussing both of these aspects of your relationship will help you move forward. 

Try to think or journal about what you feel your role is before you go into your therapy session so that you have some developed thoughts. 

#3 Think About What Your Relationship Means To You

The third thing you need to think about is what your relationship means to you. It can be easy to focus on negative when you are going to counseling. Before you go in, think and perhaps journal about what your relationship really means to you. Think about what it has meant to you in the past and in the present. Then, assess your feelings and think about how willing you are to make changes to make your relationships work. Thinking about what brought you both together can help you move forward with your relationship through counseling.

By doing a little mental prep work either on your own or with your partner before you go in for couples counseling (from a professional such as Dr Susan Goldsmith) can allow you to get the biggest benefit out of your sessions.