Arriving at the decision to undergo couples counseling may have been a long time coming, but knowing what to expect for the first session could be a complete mystery. Whether the decision to seek couples counseling was a mutual one, or one partner approached the other with the idea, there may be feelings of anxiety from one or both persons. If one has not been to therapy of any kind in the past, they may be especially uneasy about what to expect. Having an understanding of the process of couples counseling can place both individuals at ease.
Upon entering your first couples counseling session, as explained by the caring and compassionate therapists at Lindsey Hoskins & Associates, the therapist should welcome questions before and during sessions. The therapist should ensure that both of you feel at ease as much as possible as you begin your journey of healing and empowerment.
The Reasons for Seeking Couples Counseling
When a couple comes to the conclusion that together they cannot move forward past one or more obstacles, they may realize that they need the help of a professional and objective third party. In this way, a couples counselor can offer their skills and insight during a challenging chapter in the relationship. What the couple experiences and learns during the counseling can benefit them as individuals and as a couple into the distant future.
The Initial Couples Counseling Session
The approach of each therapist will vary somewhat in ways that reflect their personal styles, their goal is the same: help the couple achieve the goals for their relationship that they have set forth. The goals are not always clear in those early sessions. It is dependent on the clarity of communication between the partners before entering into couples counseling. As a result, some therapists prefer to begin the counseling with a one-on-one conversation with each partner followed by the two together, while other therapists begin immediately with both.
The first session is usually an opportunity to establish the framework for how the couple wishes to proceed. It may include a detailed or a general history of the relationship such as how they met, how long they have been together, and whether or not they are married or live together. If there are children involved, their ages and living situation may also be discussed.
As explained by an experienced Tysons Corner, VA therapist, the reason or reasons for seeking couples counseling will usually be raised in the first session. Meanwhile, the therapist may try to gain an understanding of the couple’s relationship dynamics and communication styles with one another. Having an initial understanding of the two as individuals as well as a couple is also important for the couples counselor.
What may set you and your partner’s mind at ease is a simple phone call with the couples counselor in advance of the first session. Feel free to ask what you should expect for the first session and what you might do to prepare for it. For instance, will it be beneficial to write down a list of what you and your partner wish to achieve from couples counseling?
If you have questions about couples counseling fees, available days and times for sessions, or any other concerns, it is encouraged to bring them up.