During a marriage counseling session, the therapist often suggests a variety of activities to help both partners better understand their differences and discover how to move forward. It’s important for the therapist to be as descriptive as possible in order to help participants remember what brought them to this point in their relationship. There will also likely be sessions where the therapist asks each partner to imagine how they might achieve a certain goal if they had the same goal. This exercise can help participants reflect on their own behaviors and how those behaviors impact the relationship.
Many couples are open to the idea of trying several new things during a therapy session. The therapist will ask questions about how the various activities would influence the relationship. Sometimes one spouse might be initially resistant to participating in activities that seem to have nothing to do with the other partner. In those cases, the therapist will try to lead the couples toward the desired goal without prompting for resistance from either partner. Some couples find it helpful to keep copies of the activities suggested during a session so they can go back and review if need be.
Some couples enjoy being involved in small, practical ways outside of their sessions. These activities are generally geared toward providing entertainment and reducing the stress associated with everyday life. Examples include going to the movies, bowling, playing games, or shopping for gifts. Other couples prefer to spend their time together doing activities that build meaningful relationships. Some examples of these activities include sharing dinners, taking a romantic walk, or simply sitting and watching television.
When couples are initially confronted with a crisis in their relationship, they may both try to blame each other for the problems they experience. This can lead to a vicious cycle where one partner may accuse the other of ignoring or not paying attention to them. If the therapist asks both partners to participate in a blame game during a session, it may help the couple focus their attention on solving the problem, rather than on who is at fault. In some cases, it may even be helpful for a therapist to suggest that they keep the blame game to themselves during the session so they can work on solutions together. This can provide a healing atmosphere where people can express their frustrations and work together to improve their relationship.
During a marriage counseling session the therapist will ask the couple to imagine how they would feel if they solved the problem they are facing. For example, if the partner whose problem needs to be addressed is inconsiderate, the therapist will suggest an act of kindness. If the partner does not show the required consideration, the therapist will suggest an act of selfishness. The therapist may also ask the couple to imagine what kind of life they would be living if the problem were not existent.
During a marriage counseling session, the therapist will ask the couple to talk about their thoughts and their feelings. The therapist will also make suggestions to help improve their relationship. This process can last up to an hour. The therapist will record everything that is said in the session and then will ask the couple to complete some self-reflection exercises so that they can see what they have been focusing on when they have been having problems in the relationship.