Have you wondered what happens at couples therapy sessions or whether it would be helpful for your relationship? Here's a basic flow for how this works at our office:
WHAT TO EXPECT IN COUPLES’ COUNSELING
WHAT CAN WE EXPECT?
1. We will discuss MY ROLE and responsibilities to you as clients. I believe clients must determine that there is a “good fit” in a therapeutic relationship. This typically takes at least two sessions.
2. We will discuss YOUR ROLE as the clients. Exploring what will make this experience worth your time, efforts and investment. There may be things for you to do outside of the therapy session in order to further your success in goals you’ve set as a couple. This is not “pass/fail,” but is essential in making meaningful change.
3. The first session: this one is different from other sessions because we go over “housekeeping” items such as privacy; roles & expectations of therapist and client. We also talk about what each of you wants to get out of counseling and what some of the issues are.
4. Other sessions: my focus will be on getting both of you to talk with each other about what the issues are with specific attention to ways you currently communicate and suggesting new ways of communication. Therapeutic tools that address the basic foundation of how you interact in your relationship, your communication style and unhelpful ways of thinking are all explored. This is done towards efforts of creating meaningful change and success in the goals you set forth.
5. Whose side is the therapist on? The therapist sides with the RELATIONSHIP and the goals you all set for the therapeutic experience. There is no “right” or “wrongs” to be discovered in sessions, because that is often the root of what has brought you here and why you may be STUCK, feeling miserable, hopeless, etc.
I believe in short-term therapy where appropriate. This said, the willingness with which you approach sessions and implementing new ways of thinking, acting and interacting outside of sessions is KEY. I am always open to feedback of what is and is not working or whether we are addressing what you feel is most important.
I look forward to helping you reach your relationship goals.
Lauren DePaola, MSW, LCSW