The first marriage counseling session usually includes the counselor asking about the history of their relationship, why the couples are seeking counseling at this point, and what the couples’ goals and intentions are in marriage counseling. Some counselors may have the couples meet privately for a piece of the first counseling session, while other counselors will continue the session with the couples in a group. Both types of first sessions are designed to get the couples on the same page regarding their goals, needs, and the direction they wish to take the marriage. This meeting is also a good time for the counselor to make initial recommendations to the couples and/or parents of these prospective couples.
During the first marriage counseling session, the therapist asking questions will become a guide for the individual therapy process. He or she can help the individual discover areas that need improvement in the relationship. The therapist will identify ways to make the couples more comfortable talking and sharing in an open and supportive environment. There is no set amount of time that the individual must be in the therapy room, as the therapist will make the time suitable for the couples and will not “make” them go if they do not want to.
Generally, couples’ counseling sessions last between fifteen and forty-five minutes depending on how much progress has been made. Both partners should be present in the first marriage counseling session. If a couple is considering marriage therapy, but is unsure whether they will like it or not, they should definitely try it. The majority of couples that enter marriage counseling sessions are willing to try whatever it takes to make their relationship work. The key is for the couples to be willing to give it a shot. Marriage therapy will often provide the needed motivation to work on issues that have been holding the marriage back.
There are many different kinds of couples’ therapy that can be tried, depending on the needs of each couple. Some couples have a more immediate problem to face, such as an argument or fight. Many therapists recommend that such conflicts be handled in a loving and non-violent manner. If violence is the issue, many therapists have techniques for how to properly deal with it. However, some couples have far more complex conflicts to face, and marriage counseling may be recommended.
In order for couples to be able to determine if they will benefit from marriage counseling, they should have their partner to meet with a counselor. Sometimes couples who have had a long-term relationship with their partner and feel stuck are uncomfortable going into marriage counseling sessions. However, many couples have had those same feelings before they entered into a relationship with their partner, and this makes them more likely to take advantage of marriage counseling. If a couple feels that they have an immediate conflict to face, but that their partner is not prepared for it, they can often schedule counseling sessions after they have met with the counselor.
Some couples counseling is done by a therapist, and other couples counseling is done on their own. The type of relationship counseling that is done on one’s own can be just as effective as the therapy that is done in a therapist’s office. When doing self-help marriage counseling, it is very important that the partner who is doing the self-help therapy listens carefully to the spouse who is having the therapy. Many times, couples have misunderstandings about their situation, which makes it much harder for them to find the cause and effect of their disagreements. When both partners clearly understand what is happening, they will have much better success at solving their disputes.