Considering Couples’ Counseling? Here’s What You Can Expect

Regularly attending couples' counseling sessions can be a great way to strengthen your relationship with your partner. And contrary to popular belief, counseling isn't just for couples that have run into relationship problems. Romantic partners from all walks of life can benefit from professional counseling, but many people shy away from the idea of attending a therapy session because they're not sure what to expect.

Get a better idea as to what you can expect during the initial counseling session and beyond, so you and your partner will be more willing to give it a try and feel more confident about the results.

The First Session

Many couples' counselors these days will provide a free initial session or consultation; this is a great way for you and your partner to get to know the counselor and for the counselor to get to know you. Typically, the initial session will begin with the counselor asking you and your partner a series of simple questions; namely, he or she will want to understand what you and your loved one want to get out of the counseling program.

For example, perhaps you both want to work on developing better communication skills. With the information they know about you, they can help you and your partner know how to apply the counseling to real issues. From there, the counselor will explain his or her plan for helping you work towards those outcomes, and you can begin scheduling regular, recurring meetings, which are typically every week or two.

Follow-up Sessions

If you're happy with the first session and decide to move forward, one of the biggest differences you'll probably notice in subsequent sessions is that the majority of your conversations will be between you and your partner—not between you and the counselor. That's typically one of the main goals of a relationship counselor: to facilitate healthy, honest conversations about your relationship. 

Along the way, your counselor may prompt you and your partner with questions and offer advice or guidance for dealing with recurring problems. Ultimately, by utilizing the tools and resources provided to you by your counselor, you and your partner should be better able to handle conflict, frustrations, and other potential problems in your relationship—even when you're not in the counselor's office.

Now that you have a better idea of what to expect from your couples' counseling sessions, you can come to a better informed decision as to whether or not you'd like to give it a try. Keep in mind, however, that all counselors have their own ways of doing things, so scheduling an appointment for an initial consultation with resources such as Ottawa Couple & Family Institute.