It’s great to hear that you’re considering couple’s therapy! It can be a very helpful process for many couples. To find a couple’s therapist, I suggest looking for a therapist who has experience and training in working with couples. Not every therapist will have that training and expertise, so it’s important to find one who does. You can ask for referrals from friends or other professionals or do an online search on your own. Most couple’s therapists offer a free phone or video consultation, so you can talk with a few people to see who you’re most comfortable with.

It’s normal to feel scared about what you may hear from your partner during couples therapy. Unlike individual therapy, when you do counselling with your partner, you never can be sure what may come up. However, this can also provide an opportunity for growth and renewal. One of the main purposes of couple therapy is learning to have new experiences in your relationship. That could mean better communication, more sex, or less fighting, but the bottom line is that in order to change, you have to have different experiences together.

Before starting counselling, most therapists will do a video consultation with one (and hopefully both) members of the couple. The purpose of the phone consultation is for you to learn more about the process and to ask any potential questions you may have. During the first few sessions, you’ll be getting to know your therapist, and your therapist will be getting to know you and your partner. You’ll also be setting clear goals for your work together.

In the therapy, it’s important that everyone is clear about what is shared and individual goals are. In your work, you’ll articulate what you’d like to be different in your relationship. Then your therapist will help you find individual goals to work on that will bring you closer to that reality. Change happens when you and your partner take individual responsibility for your part and are motivated to do the hard work necessary to have a different experience together.

It’s normal to feel nervous about starting therapy. For some people, the idea of coming into couple’s counselling and talking about your relationship is stressful. For those uncomfortable with change, being nervous is a perfectly acceptable place to start. For others, the idea of couple therapy is exciting. Perhaps you’ve been dealing with a similar issue for a long time, and you’re ready to get to work and make some meaningful change.

The process of therapy typically involves meeting all together and individually. For the first session, your therapist will typically meet with you as a couple. After that, your therapist will meet with you and your partner individually for one session each. The purpose of the individual session is so that your therapist can learn a lot about your history in a very quick way. After the individual sessions, you’ll meet all together again and usually stay that way moving forward.

While you can make lots of progress in session, there will be work outside of session as well. Your therapist will likely give you homework or exercises to do between sessions to help you practice the skills you’re learning in session. It’s important to be committed to the process and willing to do the work necessary to make meaningful change in your relationship.

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