Questions to ask your couples therapist
Getting your spouse to agree to marriage counseling is often the hardest part of counseling. One of the ways to get the most out of counseling is to be prepared. Putting together a list of questions helps to keep the conversation on track. Especially if emotions begin to run high, you can forget what you wanted to talk about. The things that matter the most to one spouse often seem insignificant to the other. Ask your spouse what he or she thinks are the main issues between the two of you and what can be done to remedy the situation.
SEE VIDEO BY TOPIC: A Therapist Answers Questions You're Too Afraid To AskContent:
- Finding a Couples Therapists – Information, Ideas and Questions you can Ask
- 5 Questions to Ask at Your First Couples Therapy Session
- 8 Questions About Couples Therapy You May Be Too Afraid To Ask
- What Are The Top Relationship Counseling Questions?
- 20 Helpful Marriage Counseling Questions to Ask Your Spouse
- Answer These 5 Questions Before Heading to Couples Counseling
- How To Find a Marriage Counselor
Finding a Couples Therapists – Information, Ideas and Questions you can Ask
Couples are often uncertain what to expect from the process of couples therapy. They are not sure of what to expect of the therapist or even if the therapist has any expectations of them. I have found most couples approach therapy with the notion that each person will describe their distress and somehow the therapist will assist them to create a happier, more functional, relationship.
They expect to learn some new or better skills. However, most people hope their partner will do most of the learning in problem areas. After 30 years of clinical experience and specializing in working with thousands of couples, I have arrived at some guidelines that can make our work more effective.
First, I do have some expectations of you. I am not neutral. I have evolved principles and concepts that I believe give us the greatest chance for success. I believe my primary role is to help you improve your responses to each other without violating your core values or deeply held principles.
So that you may know some of my key guiding principles, I have created this document to provide clarity and focus to our work. Your job is to create your own individual objectives for being in therapy.
Like a good coach, my job is to help you reach them. I have many, many tools to help you become a more effective partner — they work best when you are clear about how you aspire to be.
Goals and Objectives of Couples Therapy. The major aim of therapy is increasing your knowledge about yourself, your partner and the patterns of interaction between you. Therapy becomes effective as you apply new knowledge to break ineffective patterns and develop better ones. To create the relationship you really desire, there will be some difficult tradeoffs and tough choices for each person.
The first tradeoff will be time. It simply takes time to create a relationship that flourishes: time to be together, time to be with family, time to play, coordinate, nurture, relax, hang out and plan. This time will encroach on some other valuable areas — your personal or professional time. The second compromise is comfort. That means emotional comfort, like going out on a limb to try novel ways of thinking or doing things, listening and being curious instead of butting in, speaking up instead of becoming resentfully compliant or withdrawing.
At the beginning, there will be emotional risk taking action, but you will never explore different worlds if you always keep sight of the shoreline. In addition, few people are emotionally comfortable being confronted with how they don't live their values or being confronted with the consequences of their actions. The other comfort that will be challenged is energy comfort. It simply takes effort to sustain improvement over time: staying conscious of making a difference over time, remembering to be more respectful, more giving, more appreciative etc.
It takes effort to remember and act. The other effort is even more difficult for some people: that is improving their reaction to problems. In all these areas, there is generally a conflict between short-term gratification and the long-term goal of creating a satisfying relationship. The blunt reality is that, in an interdependent relationship, effort is required on the part of each person to make a sustained improvement.
It is like pairs figure skating — one person cannot do most of the work and still create an exceptional team. A common yet unproductive pattern in couple's therapy is making the focus be whatever problem happens to be on someone's mind at the moment.
This is a reactive and mostly ineffective approach to working things through. The third common unproductive pattern is discussing whatever fight you are now in or whatever fight you had since the last meeting.
A more powerful approach to your couple's therapy sessions is for each person to do the following before each session:. This reflection takes some effort. If you periodically review this list, you will discover that your reflections and associations will change over time. So please revisit this list often, it will help you keep focus during our work.
When it comes to improving your relationship, your attitude toward change is more important than what action to take. Identifying what to do and how to do it is often easy to identify. The bigger challenge is why you don't do it. How to think differently about a problem is often more effective than just trying to figure out what action to take. You are quite limited in your ability to respond to your partner. Accepting that is a huge step into maturity. The definite possibility exists that you have some flawed assumptions about your partner's motives.
The problem is, most of the time we don't want to believe those assumptions are flawed. Couples therapy works best if you have more goals for yourself than for your partner.
I am at my best when I help you reach objectives you set for yourself. Problems occur when reality departs sharply from our expectations, hopes, desires and concerns. It's human nature to try and change one's partner instead of adjusting our expectations.
This aspect of human nature is what keeps therapists in business. The hardest part of couples therapy is accepting you will need to improve your response to a problem how you think about it, feel about it, or what to do about it. Very few people want to focus on improving their response. It's more common to build a strong case for why the other should do the improving.
You can't change your partner. Your partner can't change you. You can influence each other, but that doesn't mean you can change each other.
Becoming a more effective partner is the most efficient way to change a relationship. It's easy to be considerate and loving to your partner when the vistas are magnificent, the sun is shining and breezes are gentle. But when it gets bone chilling cold, you're hungry and tired, and your partner is whining and sniveling about how you got them into this mess, that's when you get tested.
Your leadership and your character get tested. You can join the finger pointing or become how you aspire to become. Fear lets you know you're not prepared. If you view fear in that mode, it becomes a signal to prepare the best you can. The more you believe your partner should be different, the less initiative you will take to change the patterns between you. All significant growth comes from disagreements, dissatisfaction with the current status, or a striving to make things better.
Paradoxically, accepting that conflict produces growth and learning to manage inevitable disagreements is the key to more harmonious relationships. Asking good questions—of yourself and your partner—helps you uncover causes beneath causes. Under duress, do you have the courage and tenacity to seek your partner's reality and the courage to express your reality when the stakes are high?
Why is it important to let your partner know what you think, feel and are concerned about? Because they really can't appreciate what they don't understand. What is the price your partner will have to pay to improve their response to you? How much do you care about the price they will have to pay? Everything has a price and we always pay it. The three most important qualities for effective communication are respect, openness and persistence.
Good communication is much more difficult than most people want to believe. Effective negotiation is even harder. A couple's vision emerges from a process of reflection and inquiry. It requires both people to speak from the heart about what really matters to each.
Communication is the number one presenting problem in couples counseling. Effective communication means you need to pay attention to:. Grace under pressure does not spring full-grown even with the best of intentions — practice, practice and more practice. Practice the right things and you will get there. If you don't know what you feel in important areas of your relationship, it is like playing high stakes poker when you see only half your cards. You will make a lot of dumb plays.
Trust is the foundational building block of a flourishing relationship. You create trust by doing what you say you will do. It's impossible to be in a highly inter-dependent relationship without ever being judgmental or being judged. If you strive to always feel emotionally safe in your relationship and get it, you will pay the price by becoming dull. These are the normal emotional reactions to feeling a threat or high stress. Improving your relationship means better management of these reactions.
Three motivations will govern any sustained effort you make. You will seek to: 1. Avoid pain or discomfort 2. Create more benefits 3. Be a better person. It's also true for your partner. If you are asking your partner to change something, sometimes it's a good idea to ask if the change is consistent with how they aspire to be in that situation.
5 Questions to Ask at Your First Couples Therapy Session
Great directories are important and I've included several here Listen to this 2. Couples therapy is distinctly different from individual therapy. And it should be a good fit for the types of problems you're facing. Learn what good couples therapy looks like.
That is why I wanted to post these three questions to help if you are looking for relationship help. It can be difficult to start over again with another therapist so finding the right fit from the start can be a wonderful gift you give to yourself and your relationship. It can be very useful for couples to ask a potential therapist how they might be different from what they may have experienced before in previous marriage counseling sessions. Working with couples is a very different experience than individual therapy and working with someone that is trained specifically in working with couples can help you determine who is the best fit for your relationship needs.
8 Questions About Couples Therapy You May Be Too Afraid To Ask
My name is Tatiana, but my friends and family call me Tutta. I like writing articles that help bring people closer together. These two words change everything. They symbolize your utmost desire to be forever tied to this person, no matter what circumstances may come. Life is full of surprises, so it should come as no surprise that marriage is also full of ups and downs, over and over again. In fact, sometimes it can be hard to overcome such disagreements, and you might feel stuck from time to time, not knowing how or when to communicate to get past it. Intervention can mean in all the difference in saving a marriage or letting the ship sink! Take turns asking and answering the following questions to help you start a conversation about trust.
What Are The Top Relationship Counseling Questions?
So you and your significant other are planning to go to couples therapy. Next up is actually being in therapy, together, hashing things out under the guidance of a patient stranger. Which raises several questions: Where do you even start? How do you go in with the right state of mind?
Reviewer Whitney White, MS. Ask A Relationship Therapist. Schedule Your Appointment Online Now.
20 Helpful Marriage Counseling Questions to Ask Your Spouse
Finding a competent, well trained and qualified couples therapist even with the internet can be a daunting task. One needs only randomly select ten psychotherapists websites found in a google or bing search. Thus, how does a couple know if the therapist trained in couples therapy, has advanced training or engages in ongoing continuing education and improvement in the field of couples therapy. Several factors may contribute to these low success rates including couples.
Bobby is the founder and clinical director of Growing Self Counseling and Coaching. She a licensed marriage and family therapist, a licensed psychologist, and board certified life coach. Communication feels hard. Resentments are building. But now you have a new problem: How do you find a marriage counselor? Specifically, how do you find a good marriage counselor or couples therapist who can help you make real and lasting change in your relationship?
Answer These 5 Questions Before Heading to Couples Counseling
Cultivating a healthy relationship is not always easy. Sometimes you may encounter tough periods where you will need help to get through things. A healthy committed relationship involves open and honest communication between two parties. If your relationship has been struggling in various ways, then you may need to consider seeking out couples therapy. Couples therapy is an important tool for couples who want to save their relationship. It can give couples the chance to talk about what is going on in a safe environment.
A licensed marriage and family therapist will often ask specific marriage counseling questions as a way to identify problematic areas of your relationship. Whether you are a newlywed or working on your 50th anniversary, there is always room for improvement. Some days will be much easier than others.
How To Find a Marriage Counselor
People who call therapists seeking couples counseling often have two primary concerns: They worry about the state of their relationship , of course, but they also worry about the experience of therapy itself. What good will it do? With that in mind, we asked Clark and other therapists to respond to some of the most common questions people have about going to couples counseling. Looking for a few ways to cut the cost?
The connection you share with your counselor is an important part of effective therapy. Making the first contact with prospective therapists can be a little stressful - it helps to be prepared. Therapists on The National Registry of Marriage Friendly Therapists sm should be able and willing to answer these questions.