Getting the Most out of Beginning Couples Counseling
One of my specialties is meeting with couples to help them communicate and resolve issues. Whether it is relationship counseling or marriage counseling, couples often find themselves at a point where they decide to speak to a third party to help them sort out issues which have grown over time and are now interfering with the emotional satisfaction of the relationship.
I have a unique approach to couples therapy in which I meet with each person individually for the first two sessions and then together as a couple for the third session and thereafter. People generally find this helpful as it allows them to talk freely in the first session with enough time to be able to communicate what is on their mind and the key issues they need to address. With this approach, I am able to gain enough information about each person’s perspective to thoroughly understand what needs to be discussed. From there I am able to direct the discussion to the most important issues at hand. People are often relieved to hear that they can begin couples therapy this way. I will meet with each person alone again if necessary, but many find just that first session alone gives them the time and space to be able to think about and clearly communicate their own point of view.
Once the couple has a plan of moving forward with counseling, they often notice a sense of relief that begins to set in around ongoing disagreements, even before meeting in person. There now is a shared agreement on something – that it will be a team effort to address communication in the relationship. This alone can begin to bring the couple closer than they have recently been, and I am always amazed to see the eagerness to talk about things that have been buried where past attempts to resolve them have been unsuccessful. With uninterrupted time set aside to communicate, both parties often bring up issues they may have not even realized bothered them. Interestingly enough, these issues are often at the root of the main issues that need to be resolved. There is a general flow to the session that no one could predict, so there is an ability of each session to yield new clarity and insights for both parties.