+ What are the goals of couple therapy?
An important part of good quality couples counselling begins with a careful evaluation of the relationship. Your first appointment is considered an intake appointment where your therapist will meet with both partners to discuss the situation that you are currently facing. We explore with you the highs and lows of your life together and we observe how you discuss your problems. Next, we book appointments to meet with each of you individually and learn about your backgrounds before we meet again for couples counselling. At the following appointment, we will meet with both partners and share with you a summary of our analysis and will make a plan on what would be helpful to work on together.
In our therapeutic work together we focus on the goals of rebuilding your friendship and appreciation for each other. We will provide you with skills to regulate conflicts and understand them in a different way. We help couples repair areas that are stuck, as well as develop a sense shrared meaning and purpose in your lives. We will also ask you to complete activities outside of session that will enhance our work together.
+ What kinds of people typically participate in counselling?
People from all walks of life benefit from counselling. Some people hesitate to pursue counselling because of the thought that they have too few issues or too many issues for a therapist to help. This is not true. Counselling is a wonderful starting place for wherever you may be at in life’s journey.
+ How long will it take?
The length of therapy will be determined by you and your therapist based on your specific needs and goals. In the course of therapy, we will keep an open conversation about your progress and timelines. We encourage you to raise any questions or concerns that you have about this at any time.
+ How often do we meet?
Frequency of sessions is a decision you and your therapist will make together. Initially, it is sometimes helpful to meet weekly in order to get the ball rolling, especially if there are critical matters at hand. In other cases, every two or three weeks can be helpful as it gives you plenty of time to process the content between sessions. Eventually as progress and confidence grows, we may decide to move to monthly appointments, and then proceed with booster sessions from time to time as future needs arise.
+ What should I expect at the first appointment?
Your first session is considered an intake appointment and it will be a time to get to know you better and discuss the therapy process. The first appointment also gives you a chance to 'test' out the experience and see if it might be a good fit and for your therapist to answer any questions you may have. We will have some paperwork to review and we will discuss your goals and what we could accopmplish together in further counselling appointments. You will have the option of booking further appointments at the end of this session, or you can think about it further and call our office to book as needed.
+ How can I suggest couples counselling with my partner?
Some couples often wait years to attend counselling even after recognizing problems early on. There are many misconceptions that only couples who are in very dire circumstances should come for counselling. This is not the truth at all. Couples attend for a variety of reasons. Many couples who have a great quality relationship often attend to deal with things proactively and ensure they get the tune-ups to continue making their relationship a priority. Whatever the situation, we are here to help.
If you are in a position where your partner remains hesitant about pursuing the idea of couples counselling, it is sometimes helpful to frame the situation in the following ways:
“I have been thinking about ways we can make our relationship a priority and make sure we are on the right track. I have heard that couples counselling can help people with ___. I found a therapist that might be a good fit for us. What do you think?”
+ We’ve heard that couples counselling is expensive and takes a long time.
Couples therapy is indeed an investment in time, energy, and money. Taking this step involves the time to attend appointments as well as the time work on new strategies together as a couple outside of sessions. Change takes a conscious effort. We also know that couples therapy is not cheap. That is why we encourage all couples to consider this step carefully and determine if you are both comfortable making this investment. Many couples decide that the investment in couples counselling far outweighs the emotional costs of the relationship stress they have been carrying without repair. Cultivating new paths to intimacy can have profoundly positive effects on your long-term health and wellbeing, increasing your overall satisfaction with life as a whole.