During your first therapy session, your counselor’s goal is to work with you in developing an understanding of how and why you have come to the point of seeking help. This entails inquiring about the relationship, which includes its history, how it was created, and how you are feeling about it now. It also entails asking succinctly regarding your families, background on your different relationships, and understanding the situation and the environment that you and your partner have.
For instance, your counselor might inquire about your age, religion, education, work, support networks, and others. All these may seem to be vague issues, but they could help the counselor better understand the disparities you and your partner may be experiencing. When you have disclosed this information to the counselor, the key mission of counseling is to concur clear results that you both wish to work on. Your counselor exists to help you come up with mutual objectives, and their presence is to guide and walk you through achieving these objectives. Objectives do change or progress as counseling continues, and getting a sense of the direction you’re heading can also help build meaning and structure to your work.
Whatever the issues are, regular sessions would most likely entail:
- What is workable in your relationship
- How your past relationships affect your present
- How you appreciate and respect one another
- Circumstantial factors like lifestyle, faith, family, and culture, among others
- Developing new ways to approach and manage conflicts
- Taking care of yourself and one another
- The things you are willing to commit to, not what your partner wants you to commit
This is an idyllic list, although the one-size-fits-all principle does not apply here. Part of your counselor’s job is to guarantee that your needs are acknowledged and met. Additionally, don’t forget that desires and needs are not the same all the time.
Sensitive Issues Tackled In Your First Therapy Session
Anticipate that couples counseling sessions are quite awkward and typically going in directions that you would rather evade. The counselor would most probably ask you intimate matters about your sex life, as it is one of the things in a couple’s relationship that bigger challenges are inclined to be blatantly reflected. The counselor will strive to maintain a no ‘no-go’ space and securely talk about whatever you have to.
Like any counseling, the real mission of couples counseling occurs outside of your home. Your counselor would probably provide you with activities that you can do as a couple and individually in between the sessions. Taking time to contemplate in between sessions allows you to explain ways in which you can improve on the progress you’ve made so far and successfully triumph over the unraveled challenges. However, viewing the counseling per se as ‘the solution’ on a one-hour-a-week basis would not likely be efficient.
When you and your partner are still willing to fix or improve your relationship, this is when couples counseling is most effective, along with some effects. Having another individual observe and assess the dynamic of your relationship and your partner modifies things, and you can learn more about yourself and your partner as well.
Disagreement is so frequently seen as unpleasant, yet disparities in opinions and feelings matter where growth and understanding can arise. Your counselor works with you to help you generate a space where you and your partner can express yourself without interfering. What you might hear and say may be puzzling, but evading what is occurring and what each of you actually feels won’t you get where you want to go quickly. Again, do not forget that communication problems are a very typical aspect of couples on counseling.
It’s not hard to criticize ourselves according to our intentions and other people by their impact. When a person talks, we often process what he says through our own opinions that have been influenced by our childhood, beliefs, values, and personalities. We do not hear their explanations; we only hear what the words mean to us. Unraveling these areas of ourselves is a fundamental part of couples counseling. When you successfully understand how you hear what you hear, you will finally be open to freely changing how you listen to others.
More importantly, it is crucial to be aware that couples counseling does not fix profound individual concerns affecting the relationship. Occasionally, it is beneficial to stop or pause the first therapy session if you need to provide you or both you and your partner time to receive individual guidance and support.
Most of all, you must remember that if your main objective is to change the things you hate about your partner, perhaps couples counseling is not the right option. In counseling, you are encouraged to be accountable for voicing out your needs and desires, but it does not imply that they will always be met. The counselor works as a support system to help you and your partner express yourself freely and considerately. Counselors are not negotiators or referees. Being open-minded to transforming yourself is essential to successful couples counseling.