What To Expect During Couples Counseling Sessions
What Happens During Couples Counseling Sessions? What Should I Expect?
When you enter marriage counseling, you are probably expecting the counselor to take sides. You will try to convince the counselor that you are the logical and ethical one and that your spouse has some deep seated character flaw or psychological problem. You will find out very soon however, that the marriage counselor is neutral and objective–an “equal opportunity constructive criticizer”. In my marriage counseling NJ practice, I will demonstrate to both of you that it takes “two to tango” when it comes to the relationship. In other words, each partner contributes to the negative dynamic of a failing marriage.
The Marriage Counselor Will Ask Probing Questions About the Relationship
The marriage counselor will ask you about the history of your relationship and how you got from being enamored with one another to feeling angry and alienated. Sometimes your marriage has deteriorated to the point whereby it is difficult, to be frank and forthright in the presence of your spouse. The counselor may therefore invite you in for a separate session to allow you to candidly explain the reasons for your misgivings regarding your spouse and the relationship.
Marriage Counseling Sessions Are Going To Be Anxiety Producing
You’re going to hear your spouse reveal things about themselves and their views on the relationship that may be startling and upsetting. Don’t become demoralized and despairing. The fact your spouse has felt confident enough to bring these hot button issues to the surface is a cause for hope! Your spouse trusts enough in the marriage counseling process to let you know the truth. In my marriage counseling NJ practice, I will facilitate a healing dialog over these painful revelations. This, in order that these difficult disclosures can be reintegrated back into the relationship and be a catalyst for change.
If silence occurs in a session, don’t be feel disconcerted. It may uncomfortable for you and your spouse to express painful issues. And if yelling and screaming ensues, let the process unfold. Even though you may be tempted to walk out, don’t! The couples counselor will mediate the process and help you and your spouse weather the storm and work through the contentious issues.
In my marriage counseling NJ practice, I regularly hone in on problematic behaviors and communication patterns that occur between spouses. I may ask to two of you to keep a log regarding what transpired during the course of the week and ask you to replicate hurtful interactions in the therapy room. When role playing these negative interactions, the counselor may ask you to substitute in more understanding and supportive commentary.
As marriage counseling sessions unfold, your perceptions of the relationship may change. You may notice that your attitudes, behavior and communication are less resentful and begrudging. You slowly become more able to see your spouse in a positive light and become more apt to give him or her the benefit of the doubt. Alternatively, you may come to the conclusion that your marriage is unsalvageable. In my marriage counseling NJ practice, I will help you end the relationship in a civil way so that neither you nor your children are traumatized by back biting antagonism and resentment.