Before you and your partner start relationship counseling, it is important that you prepare for the experience. Through preparation, you can ensure that both of you are open to the idea of seeking help and that you have realistic expectations of the counseling. Here are some ways you and your partner can prepare for counseling.
Establish Boundaries With Family and Friends
Even though your family and friends might want to be supportive of you and your partner, some of their actions could actually be detrimental to your relationship. For instance, a family member offering his or her opinion on your relationship can color how you view it and make it more difficult for you to be receptive to counseling. To avoid this, you and your partner need to agree to establish boundaries with your family and friends.
Be Honest About Your Goals
Counseling is not solely for the purpose of saving a relationship. It can also be used to end a relationship, which is especially important if you and your partner plan to co-parent or remain friends in the future. If you and your partner know whether or not you want to save or end your relationship before you start counseling, you can help the therapist set an attainable goal for what is considered to be successful.
If you and your partner are unsure of what you ultimately want from the counseling sessions, be honest and let your therapist know this. The therapist can focus on helping you and your partner determine what you want.
Be Prepared to Take Responsibility
When you and your partner enter counseling, it will most likely be easy for each partner to point out the flaws in each other. However, it can sometimes be difficult to point out your own flaws. Unfortunately, failing to recognize that you are at least partially responsible for some of the problems in your relationship can doom counseling from the beginning.
It is because of this that you and your partner need to be ready to take responsibility for your actions. Part of doing this is stopping the blame game. If you are able to do this, there is a better chance that the counseling sessions will be successful.
During your first counseling session, it is likely that the therapist will discuss his or her expectations with you and your partner. It is important to take into account what is said and be open with the therapist about any challenges you feel you and your partner can face.
Contact a counselor like Sharon O'Connell, MA to learn more.Share
18 November 2015
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