Steps to Consider When Beginning Couples Therapy

This post is in response to Divorce No More? by Jane Greer, Ph.D.

Most couples remember their first date jitters that turned into countless days and nights of hanging out. They also can recall the day when they got engaged, and nervously vowed, “For better or for worse, for richer or for poorer” in front of loved ones on their wedding day.

Many couples have sat in front of me smiling as they recollect memories when times were ‘better’. Mostly, underneath those smiles may lie pain, disappointment, betrayal, and even loneliness. Now it is ‘worse’. How did we get here? Where is my partner? or Can I even do this anymore? are questions that ruminate throughout the day. The possible thoughts of separation or divorce could even loom within the madness.

After suffering through the hurt, confusion, silence, and missed opportunities for reconnection, one partner finally considers calling in for couple’s therapy and it all becomes surreal. Are we really going to do this? Are our problems really that bad? Do I really want someone to know about our problems? What if my partner does not want to come with me? This inner dialogue is normal to have and is more common than you may think.

In the referenced article, Dr. Greer mentions the importance of seeking professional help from a counselor and taking time. What is also important once you decide that couple’s therapy is your next option, is taking time to sit with your partner to discuss your concerns and find a therapist that appears to be a good fit for the two of you. By all means, interview your therapist during the intake session. Ask questions! Do not hesitate!

Some questions to consider are:

  • How does the type of treatment you offer work?
  • Have you worked with a couple like us before?
  • How will we assess progress?
  • What should we expect?

Marriage is challenging! Considering couples therapy is challenging! For those who still feel there is room for growth, therapy provides a safe, non-judgmental space for partners to gain awareness around their relationship. Therapy also gives the couple the opportunity to explore their options before deciding to end the relationship completely. In turn, the couple has a chance to show up for one another and be seen.



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