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Couples Counselling: What to expect in your Couples Counselling Session?

Couples Counseling Session

Getting into couples counselling can be overwhelming or intimidating. You might think whether the problems between you and your partner will get resolved after getting into counselling, whether you’ll be able to open up and talk about your relationship with the counsellor, or whether counselling will add to the problems that you are facing in your romantic relationship. To ease you in the topic of couples counselling, we have come up with some interesting information on it. Read on to know more!

What is Couples Counselling?

Couples counselling revolves around the issues between a couple and their marital relationship or a romantic relationship. Every relationship goes through various ups and downs. Arguments or discords are not surprising in a relationship because after all two individuals come together to form a relationship. Their behaviours, their actions, their vulnerability becomes the part of the relationship. Problem arises when small disputes take a form of fight which leads to big conflicts.

Communication is another essential aspect which makes the couple take the route of counselling. Inability to communicate properly, aggressive or passive communication styles affects the relationship and the individuals while making them feel as if they are stuck.

Along with these, there are many factors which couples counselling deals with. The counsellor guides the couple by viewing them from a third person perspective, which helps the counsellor to make them understand how the couple’s thought patterns, their behaviours, their actions can be affecting their romantic relationship.

Related Blog: Marital/Marriage Counselling: Types, Benefits, How it Work

What Specific Issues Does Couples Therapy Treat?

Couples therapy deals with vast number of areas when it comes to romantic relationships. Some issues might seem small and some may seem to cause extreme damage. In any way, all the issues need to be addressed, no matter how little distress it is causing to the couple.

Couple counselling deals with following issues:

1. Communication barrier: Misunderstandings arise from not being able to communicate what you feel or what your thoughts are, with your partner. Sometimes you might want to say one thing, but it might come out as something else. Feeling disconnected from your partner, constant fights, frequent stonewalling are some factors which show poor communication.

2. Feeling distant: Some couples might start feeling distant from their partners, physically and mentally, after few months or years of getting into relationship. This might become difficult to discuss between them mutually and the distance may increase more.

3. Trust issues: Infidelity, extra-marital affair, insecurity, possessiveness are some of the aspects which gives rise to trust issues. Sometimes the trust issue can get irrational leading to more disputes.

4. Financial talks: Financial stress such as debts, spending on household etc can create a rift between the couple. Not discussing financial conditions and responsibilities beforehand can lead to stress.

5. Sexual issues: Some couples may experience low sexual desires or sexual dissatisfaction. Not having an open conversation about it with partner can lead to frustration and other problems. Getting scientific knowledge or opting for sex therapy can help the couple to resolve the sexual or intimacy issues.

6. Cultural differences: If the individuals come from different cultural backgrounds, then understanding their partner’s cultural norms can get a bit tricky. There can be a cultural shock or a religious conflict which can lead to distress.

7. Individual roles: A couple can get into arguments frequently because they do not have set roles in their relationship. One might feel the household load on their shoulders because their partner doesn’t contribute towards it. Small inconveniences can lead to big issues and distress.

What to Expect from Couples Counselling Sessions?

The couple may approach the counsellor with trepidation and can be apprehensive about the counselling sessions. There can be a lot of expectations from the couple regarding counselling. Some of the expectations might be that the counsellor will give a solution to the problem, will take your side and ask your partner to change or vice versa, that you will feel changes immediately after counselling etc.

Let’s see how the couples counselling sessions are scheduled and what to expect from them:

1. The first session:

This session eases you into the process of counselling where you discuss about what is bothering you in the relationship and causing you unhappiness. The counsellor can take down your case history in this session which will help them to understand you in a better way and tell you about what counselling is.

2. The process:

Counselling is a process which takes time to work. It is because you work on yourself consciously, knowing your past patterns and making a change in them can take a while and it will also take time for you to be okay with making a decision of changing your unhealthy patterns. So do not expect that your issues will get resolved in the first or initial sessions. Give it sometime and keep checking with yourself about your progress.

3. Work in progress:

You can expect the counsellor to talk or give tasks to both individuals separately and also to both as a couple. That means, along with your relationship, you can expect the counsellor to ask you to work on yourself individually too.

4. Ethics:

The counsellor will provide you and your partner a safe space where you can discuss anything without feeling guilty or feeling shameful about anything. All your provided information will strictly be confidential and will not be shared with anyone, so you can be as open with your counsellor as you want to be.

5. Uneasiness:

You talk about things that distress you in your relationship. While talking about something that is so personal, you might feel vulnerable and that is completely alright. You may get some insights from your counsellor on why things are happening the way they are and that can create a little uneasiness or discomfort, but all this is normal so do not get scared of these unpleasant feelings.

Unbiased work:

All the counsellors follow the practice of being non-judgmental and being unbiased, so your counsellor will not pick sides and be either on your side or your partner’s. Rather you will be working as a team!

Lots of activities:

To make you and your partner understand each other better and reconnect as a couple, the counsellor might suggest some great activities. Do not shy away from doing them, because they will enhance the process!

What You Can Get Out of Couples Counselling?

Couple counselling, as daunting as it might feel at first, has tremendous benefits. Couples counselling helps the couple to break the loop of conflicts and shifts their focus from conflict forming conversation to conflict resolution in a realistic and practical way. Couples therapy is not only for the couples who are going tough times in their relationship, but it can also be opted by couples who want to enhance their happiness and romanticism in their relationship.

By opting for couples counselling, this is what you will get:

  • From conflict to conversation: Therapy helps the couple to know the boiling point in a conversation and how to turn a conflict into a normal conversation. In sessions, the couples learn to communicate with each other in better way, the individuals feel heard and know how much they are loved by their partner. This is all because the counsellor motivates them to have an open conversation and they are encouraged to follow it outside the counsellor’s cabin too.
  • The real problem: Most of the times the reasons for which the couples might opt counselling for are just the upper layer of the deeper stress causing problem. Counselling helps the couple to uncover this deep-rooted issue and works around it.
  • Increases closeness: The talk therapy and other techniques helps the couple come closer together, emotionally. It helps them to be vulnerable around each other and talk about their actual feelings without having the fear of what their partner will think of them.
  • Forming boundaries: Sometimes, an individual might need his/her space in the relationship. And not getting that space can lead to distress. Counselling helps the couples to form healthy boundaries with their partner, may it be in the aspect of financial matters, personal matters or social matters.
  • Discover each other: In therapy sessions you navigate through different ways of getting to know your partner, be it their shortcomings, their loving side, their triggers which could be deep rooted. Uncovering such qualities make you understand them better and same goes for your partner when they are trying to understand you.
  • The blame game: Therapy helps you to take the path of problem solving instead of playing the blame game with each other. This way, things get resolved quickly and efficiently.
  • Expressing your needs: Most of the times the individuals might feel that their partners should understand what they want without telling them about it. Therapy helps the couples to openly express the wants and needs to each other without being resentful or angry.
  • Process pain: Past traumas and stress, if not dealt with, can follow into the current lives and affect romantic relationships the most. Therapy helps to process this past life pain and trauma effectively.

What is The Success Rate of Couples Counselling?

Couples counselling has started getting in demand in India in recent times. But its results have been blooming ever since. Because of new therapies and techniques, the current success rate of couples counselling can be said to be between 50% and 70%. But how do we decide the success rate for your sessions?

The success of counselling sessions depends on you! Of course, the therapist will do their job of making sure you are heard, that you talk about your issues and guide you in the right direction. But at the same time, it depends on you, as an individual and also as a couple. The success rate depends on how efficiently you grasp the information or insights given by your counsellor, how much willingness you show to bring in the change within you and also by showing it in your actions and how well you respond to the counsellor in this entire procedure!

How Do I Prepare for A Couples Therapy Session?

There is a lot to look forward to when you decide to start a Couples therapy session. You might have many mixed feelings about this and might not understand how to prepare yourself and your partner for the same. First of all, you need to do is prepare yourself and your partner to religiously follow and prioritize counselling because it isn’t just one time thing. You will have to put in your time and efforts for your own betterment.

Then, do your research about the counsellors. Ask your friends or family for references, talk to them and decide who you wish to go with. Once you have made your appointment, write down the pointers that you wish to discuss with your counsellor, because in the flow of personal sharing we tend to forget a few things and having the pointers written will make your task easy.

Lastly, do not hesitate on seeing your counsellor at the last moment, we do understand the mix of emotions but go for it!

What Should I Not Tell a Marriage Counsellor?

The answer to this question that you should not hide anything from your counsellor. That’s right, nothing is to be withheld from your counsellor. We know that the sharing in the counsellor’s cabin can get very personal. You might feel uneasy while sharing all these personal stories with them. But this could be because you might have attached guilt, shame, regret, anger, remorse or any such emotions to the story. But your counsellor is the last person to judge you and your partner so do not hesitate and tell them everything.

Rather, if you or your partner feel that the counsellor is being biased or not understanding you, that you do not feel comfortable with them or if you feel that the therapy isn’t working then make it a point to communicate this to your counsellor.

The more you share and be transparent with your counsellor, the better it becomes for you counsellor to understand your case. This helps them to make an efficient therapy plan for you and accelerate the process of counselling.

‘Healthy relationships of all kinds are usually composed of honesty, trust and respect.’

-Ace McCloud

To add to the above quote, the differences between a couple start arising when the honesty, trust, respect, closeness, love starts fading away. If not sorted out, the misunderstandings lead to greater distress between the couple. By opting for couples counselling, you get a third person perspective to the problems in your relationship which you or your partner might not be able to see. And if you do not spot it, then how will you solve it? By choosing couples counselling, you get a chance to work on the unhealthy relationship patterns that might be occurring frequently in your relationship and which might be breaking the bond between you two.

Even if there is no great deal of problem in your relationship, couples counselling can help you to enhance your love and understanding of each other which is just the cherry on the cake!

Where Do I Go for Couples Counselling?

Your search for finding the right couple counsellor will end right here. As we said, the importance of counselling for a romantic relationship is extremely important to understand the healthy and non-healthy way of dealing the issues that arise in it.

For that we have the best Couples Counsellor onboard. All you need to do is go on to- https://www.waitt.in/therapy/ and book your session with them!

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Shriya Khalate

Counselor, Team WAITT

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