What is Marital Counseling Like?
Going to marital counseling for the first time can be a little nerve wracking. One of the most common fears that people have when going to couple’s counseling for the first time is that the counselor will take their partner’s side. They fear that the counselor is just going to confirm that they are the problem and that their partner is right.
Another common fear is that the counselor will tell them that their relationship is beyond help. They worry that after hearing the extent of their marriage problems, the therapist will advice them to separate.
Lastly, many couples see counseling as a last resort before divorce. They are afraid to seek help because to them, it is the first step to divorce. It’s no wonder many couples put off seeking help for as long as they can – usually an average of six years!
What people don’t realize, however, is that it is not the counselor’s job to take sides or tell couples to end their marriages. Below is a general overview of what to expect from a couple’s counselor.
What to Expect in Couple’s Counseling
- Basic questions about your marriage
In your first session, the counselor will ask you some basic questions about your marriage. These questions may be about your history and the current condition of your marriage.
These questions are simple but when you have been in an unhappy marriage for a couple of years, it can be difficult to narrow down your issues and communicate them clearly to a third party. This is why it helps to think about what you’re going to say beforehand.
This is probably not what you want to hear but marital counseling is uncomfortable. Things are bound to come up that you never knew about yourself and your spouse; you are bound to have some loud sessions where your therapist acts as a referee and some calm sessions where your therapist acts as a mediator. Just keep mind that it’s all part of the process.
Couple’s counseling can play out in many different ways. Some couples are able to narrow down and tackle their issues quite fast so they only need a couple of sessions. However, most couples need at least a couple of months to work through everything, change dysfunctional behavior and learn how to deal with their marriage problems without the counselor. So, don’t be disappointed if all your issues are not fixed within a few sessions; it’s perfectly normal.
Every counselor has a unique approach so there’s no way to know for sure how your marital counseling sessions will go. However, having this general overview of what couple’s counseling sessions are like can help you prepare for a lot of different scenarios.