Here's How You Can Actually Move Forward, How to Heal From Controlling and Mentally Abusive Relationship, How to Deal With the Sudden Death of a Loved One, Psychology Today: 5 Principles of Effective Couples Therapy, The Couples Institute: Get the Most From Your Couples Therapy. She has extensive experience providing psychotherapy to children, adolescents, adults and families. Likely, during the first session, the therapist or counselor will ask basic questions about the history of the relationship, such as marital status, how long have you been in the relationship or how the couple met. Marriage counseling is not a one-stop fix. . So, you can expect to fill out paperwork. Couples come to counseling in different phases of a relationship and varying life stages. Courage is behind your decision to make your first appointment with Carolina Counseling Services — Cameron, NC, on Hwy 87, near Linden Oaks. You’re inviting a stranger into the inner life of your relationship. They can help you feel more comfortable. You brush your teeth every day at home, then visit a dentist for routine checkups a couple times a … This might include forms for insurance, demographic forms, medical and, Some counselors will take your medical and family history verbally, while others have you write these down. This means that you’re establishing care with this counselor. In order to feel more comfortable going to your first session, you can call the therapist you are planning to see and ask what to expect. Many times, it feels like the relationship is stuck and they are repeating the same conversation and the same conflict over and over again. The first counselling session is often referred to as an “intake” session. Address History of Relationship Distress. What happens in your session, stays there. Well, it is quite normal to have some of these anxious feelings! If you feel uncertain about this, you can voice your discomfort to your counselor. You should feel free to let the counselor know how you are feeling at any given time. While marriage counseling can be short-term, couples who have had communication patterns in a relationship for many years may not experience change in just a few sessions. You may leave with a referral to see about medication, depending on your situation. Learn what you'll talk about in the first couples therapy appointment, and what the plan is … "If a couple cannot freely discuss any subject, no … You'll come up with a plan for resolving conflicts. You will have the opportunity to be open and honest, If you feel uncertain about this, you can voice your discomfort to your. Coming to therapy for the first time can be really difficult. Knowing what to expect from the first session can ease some of these fears and help couples feel prepared. The first session is all about your therapist getting to know each of you as you get to know your therapist. Your First Visit, Robin Kaye Stilwell, M.A., L.M.F.T., Marriage and Family Therapist in Miami & Boca Raton, Florida - What to expect in therapy. Copyright © 2020 Leaf Group Ltd., all rights reserved. It may begin by a couple making a mutual choice to seek counseling, or it may be one partner asking the other one to attend. To get the most benefit for your time and money at marriage counseling, it is helpful to do some self-reflection and preparation before heading to the counselor. If you’re not ready or willing to do the homework, then there’s no point in coming to counseling. You will probably feel a little nervous, 2. Couples come to counseling in different phases of a relationship and varying life stages. This knowledge should help you feel more comfortable speaking freely. If you have never been to counseling or therapy, then you may be a little nervous about your first appointment. Ideally you have both agreed on a therapist, are both willing go together the first time, and know what you want to fix. You should not expect to – or fear that you will – just tell the counselor your story and then sit back and be told what to do to “fix” the problem. // Leaf Group Lifestyle, Developing Detachment and Forming a Healthy Self-Image, Cheated On? The things that matter the most to one spouse often seem insignificant … In order to feel more comfortable going to your first session, you can call the therapist you are planning to see and ask what to expect. You’ll also have a sense of whether this counselor is the one you want to continue working with. Sylvia Smith loves to share insights on how couples can revitalize their love lives in and out of the bedroom. This is to be expected! We at The Marriage Recovery Center are available to help you determine what level of assistance is right for you. This might include forms for insurance, demographic forms, medical and family history forms, and more. The stage of the relationship may affect the course of counseling and what you want to accomplish. The initial appointment focuses on learning about who you are as individuals and also as a couple, and this can be considered the assessment phase of counseling. This can include a recommendation for a number of sessions, setting of goals for the next session or beyond, and may involve a diagnosis. In your first session, the therapist typically will ask certain questions about you and your life. Couples seek counseling when they want to improve their relationship or have become unhappy in their marriage. Not registered yet? Marriage Counseling: Questions To Expect. It’s ok to cry, to feel resistance, or to experience whatever emotion comes up for you at the time. Could Your Relationship Benefit from Marital Counseling? Here are a few things to keep in mind before you head into marriage counseling. Learn what to expect in high-quality marriage counseling with an expert, who knows how to help you repair your relationship and successfully solve your relationship problems for good. What to Expect From Marriage Counseling: Goals and Expectations. Yes, that’s right. But, going to a therapist can help save your marriage. While marriage counseling can be short-term, couples who have had communication patterns in a relationship for many years may not experience change in just a few sessions. So, you can expect to fill out paperwork. What to expect when meeting for Denver marriage counseling or online relationship coaching for the first time? Setting Aside Time to Talk with a Trained Professional. What Are Our Main Issues? How to Deal With a Narcissist in a Relationship? Like anything great, it … While it’s normal to feel a little uncomfortable the first time you attend couples therapy, your experience overall should be a positive one. Since a marriage counselor is not there to take sides, the therapist is looking objectively at ways the couple can build understanding and satisfaction in the relationship. Learn more. What to expect during the first session can depend on the therapist. Otherwise, you can trust that what you say to your counselor is just between yourself and them. Sign up for an account. To better understand, let’s look at five ways that marriage counseling works. You might run the entire gamut from sadness to nervousness to anger during your session. We live increasingly busy lives. But this is your time, designed to be of benefit to you – laying everything on the table gives your counselor the most information and the best chance to help you (or help you help yourself). Instead, your counselor will ask you questions, and the two of you together will decide on next steps and techniques for addressing the reasons you sought counseling. Some therapists will ask to speak with each member of the couple individually and then together, while others may spend the first session with the couple together. She holds a Masters of Science in clinical social work from Columbia University. Remind yourself that your counselor has seen a lot of patients with a lot of different issues, and there’s very little you can say that will shock them. The first couples counseling session can be uncomfortable for some people. The therapist will likely also inquire about what brought the couple to couples therapy. Even if you know intellectually that seeing a counselor is the best choice for your mental health and overall well-being, it can be intimidating to think about pouring your heart out to a total stranger. You will have your confidentiality respected, , stays there. If you’re still nervous, it’s ok to tell the counselor that you’re feeling apprehensive. The therapist may also observe how you interact and communicate, because it provides information about the relationship. This information helps him make an initial assessment of your situation. Take time to ask questions about what comes up in the session, what you can expect going forward into future sessions if there are other recommendations of actions you can take outside of your sessions. Christian Vierig/Getty Images. So, is marriage counseling right for you? The decision to begin going to marriage counseling can be daunting. This means being clear on what you can expect (and not expect… Take the First Step Today. Just remember that visiting a marriage counselor is probably not your first time feeling uncomfortable, and it definitely won’t be your last. What To Expect On Your First Visit Our office at 222 Southside Avenue in downtown Mooresville, NC. It’s important to be open and honest in your responses. You will have the opportunity to ask questions, You will fill out paperwork -maybe even a lot of it, You will have the opportunity to be open and honest, You will have your confidentiality respected, You will be an active part of the process, You will have the opportunity to ask questions, Make Your Split Smooth with Divorce Counseling for Couples, Living with a Spouse Who Has Asperger’s Syndrome: the Cloud of Secrecy. Knowing what to expect in the first session can ease the anxiety of beginning counseling. A couples counsellor should be happy to discuss with you, at first contact, what you can expect in marriage guidance or couples counselling. Some counselors will take your medical and family history verbally, while others have you write these down. Relax. Below are eight things to expect at your first counseling session, along with some tips to help you navigate that initial visit. The first counselling session is often referred to … Making the decision to go to counseling can be a difficult one, and as your first appointment approaches, you may feel nervous or apprehensive. It is completely valid to decide that you’d rather work with someone different. Having patience with your relationship and realistic expectations about counseling can help to make the experience fulfilling and prevent becoming frustrated with the process. Counseling will most definitely demand your time and energy. As a writer at Marriage.com, she is a big believer in living consciously and encourages couples to adopt this principle in their lives too. What to expect during the first session can depend on the therapist. Quite understandably, you may wonder what to expect at your first session. Couples Therapy: What’s the Difference? What to Expect in Your First Meeting There are three important objectives in our first meeting: First, It’ll be our job to make it safe for each of you to put simple words on what you’re feeling and going through without intellectualizing, analyzing, talking down to or criticizing each other. You might be worried that your counselor will tell you that they can’t help you, or will judge you. You are going in the right direction. They may feel that their needs are not being heard or met or they might be stuck in unresolved conflicts. This can be part of your treatment plan too! Find the right counselor Different counselors will have different methods that may not always work for you and your partner. Our clinicians are available to sit with you, in person or virtually, answer your questions about your concerns and explore how marriage counseling can help you. While your counselor is a professional and there to help you, counseling is really a two-way process. Not only will you be able to be completely open and honest with your counselor, but you will also only really benefit from your sessions if you are open and honest. You are not being rude or questioning the counselor’s expertise. You can expect to be asked the reason you are seeking counseling, if you have ever seen a mental health professional before, and if you have a family history of mental health issues. This is to prevent starting the journey with a knowledge of the problem from one partner’s perspective only. Just know that this is necessary and that you won’t have to do this at every visit! Hope is the power that’s fueling your courage. If you’ve made it this far, you’re doing great! Marriage counseling typically brings couples or partners together for joint therapy sessions Your counselor will likely give you a written notice of confidentiality outlining any exceptions (i.e., counselors are mandatory reporters of child abuse). If you’ve never been in therapy, the prospect of setting your first appointment may be intimidating or daunting. Marriage counseling: For two people in a relationship—and perhaps to anyone who’s the least bit interested in popular culture—those two words can seem loaded with a foreboding future.The term is often seen as a last resort, a Hail Mary pass toward possible happier times. Lauren Mills, L.C.S.W. Marriage Counseling vs. The therapist may also observe how you interact and communicate, because it provides information about the relationship. The decision to go to marriage counseling can be a difficult one, but it can also be an opportunity to demonstrate commitment to your significant other and work through barriers in a relationship. This may include questions about the format of the session, the fee, office location or anything else on your mind prior to the session. What to Expect on Your First Visit . Sylvia believes that every couple can transform their relationship into a happier, healthier one by taking purposeful and wholehearted action. Many people have struggled with an issue for a long time before seeking help and even reaching out to a counselor. Some therapists will ask to speak with each member of the couple individually and then together, while others may spend the first session with the couple together. This can take a long time, depending on your history and situation. If you feel disconnected or frustrated about the state of your marriage but want to avoid separation and/or divorce, the marriage.com course meant for married couples is an excellent resource to help you overcome the most challenging aspects of being married. The decision to go to marriage counseling can be a difficult one, but it can also be an opportunity to demonstrate commitment to your significant other and work through barriers in a relationship. Whether a therapist is going to a home or seeing a client at their office, there are similar things that will occur in the first marriage counseling session. The first thing you want to ensure is that marriage counseling is the right move. You will be an active part of the process, 6. By continuing to browse the site you consent to the use of cookies. Again, you’re interviewing me to make sure I’m the right person for you. It is totally normal to feel a little nervous at your first counseling appointment. Think of marriage counseling like going to the dentist. They can ask about everything from your childhood to how you met each other. Don’t be afraid to ask questions during your counseling session. You can expect to be asked the. The first session will incorporate a therapist asking basic marriage counseling session questions. Couple’s therapy is useful in helping the couple move from a conflict situation to a more emotionally and intimately connected situation where needs are being met a… If you’re planning on investing time, energy and money on couples counseling, it's not a bad idea to prepare for the process. Entering the session with an open mind can help a couple feel at ease and ready to being the work of couples therapy. Of course, when it comes to how to prepare for first marriage counseling session, the main thing is to settle in. During the first session, expect to discuss the history of your relationship distress. The first session will set the stage for what you can expect during future sessions, and will prepare an environment where you and your partner can be encouraged to express your feelings and past experiences together. Part of what happens in the first counseling session is devising a plan for going forward. Some of the questions your therapist asks might be uncomfortable or even unexpected. However, he or she is unlikely to have a lengthy conversation with you about your difficulties. Marriage counseling is for the ones that are serious and ready to put in the work. But this is your time, designed to be of benefit to you – laying everything on the table gives your counselor the most information and the best chance to help you (or help you help yourself). What to Expect at Your First Visit. 3. The provider will help you and your partner identify the conflict issues within your relationship and help you decide what changes you need to make, according to Psychology Info Online 3. 6 Challenges of Second Marriages and how to overcome them, How to Have a Happy Marriage and Attain the Love Life You Want – Interview With Relationship Coach Jo Nicholl, Overcoming Relationship Difficulties Through Marriage Counseling, Counseling While Separated Might Just Save Your Relationship, How to Get Over Breakup Depression: Symptoms & Treatment, In What Year of Marriage is Divorce Most Common, 9 Reasons Why Bipolar Relationships Fail and How to Overcome Them, 6 Reasons Technology Is Affecting Divorce Rates, How to Recognize and Deal With Victim Mentality, Top 100 Inspirational Divorce Quotes to Help You Move on, The Endless Struggles and Dramas of Borderline Narcissistic Couples, Feeling No Emotional Connection With Your Husband, How to deal with a narcissist in a relationship, How to Get Back Together After Separation, Best Relationship Tips for a Healthy Marriage, 8 Signs Indicating Insecurity in Relationships, 5 Signs That You Are Living in a Toxic Marriage, 7 Important Tips to Build Trust in a Relationship, 10 Effective Communication Skills for Healthy Marriages. Is important that your therapist or counselor gets to know each of you on a personal level. , if you have ever seen a mental health professional before, and if you have a family history of mental health issues. Want to have a happier, healthier marriage? Your counselor will likely give you a written notice of confidentiality outlining any exceptions (i.e., counselors are mandatory reporters of, 5. What to expect during the first session can depend on the therapist. Couples therapy, relationship counseling, marriage counseling; whatever name you decide to call it, is never an experience you're likely excited about. Couples may choose to begin counseling when they feel that they can no longer solve problems together and the help of an objective third party can help get things back on track. Some couples may have been together a short time while others have been married for twenty years. Couples will often go to a marriage counsellor as a last resort, when they are at the very brink of divorce, however it's more beneficial and sometimes effective, if couples would consider seeing a relationship or marriage counsellor when the cracks begin to show, and before the damaging patterns become habit and harder to untangle and change. Some of the signs that indicate it is the time to visit a counselor include: Low or no communication – you noticed that you hardly speak with your spouse anymore. Most marriage counselors will welcome these questions in advance. This means that you’re establishing care with this counselor. Your attitude toward change is more important than what action to take when working on a relationship, states the Couples Institute in Menlo Park, California 2. Making a decision to get help doesn’t come easily. The first session is spent learning more about each individual person and your relationship as a couple. Also, remind yourself that over half of all people will seek help for a psychological issue at some point – many people have done this before, and have benefited. When a therapist is meeting clients for the first time, they should introduce themselves and give you all of the contact information for the therapist. This process of building a therapeutic rapport is vital to the marriage counseling process. Expect marriage counseling to take a great amount of energy and time One of the things that may keep couples from going for marriage counseling is probably the fear of commitment. It’s normal to feel a bit anxious! If you have never gone to a therapist before, then not knowing what to expect during that first session could be nerve-racking enough to keep you from picking up the phone to make an appointment. is a licensed psychotherapist and mental health writer with a private practice based in New York City. The general rule is that a professional can help with various problems in your marriage. Wondering what to expect from couples counseling? 4. A lot of feelings come up in a counseling session – and not just in the first counseling session. Couples usually begin their first counseling session by completing paperwork and answering questions about their relationship. Even if you know intellectually that seeing a counselor is the best choice for your, 1. The first thing marriage counseling does is set a place and time to talk (see my post on “Why Time is Important in Relationships). This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience. Set Low Expectations, Especially for Your First Visit. By continuing to browse the site you consent to the use of cookies. You will fill out paperwork -maybe even a lot of it. You will fill out paperwork -maybe even a lot of it. During the first few sessions we’ll be learning more about each other and setting clear goals for our work together. After more than 15 years of counseling clients, I recommend that you consider the following solutions to common pre-therapy jitters. You will have homework, even after your first session. is often referred to as an “intake” session. This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience. For those who have never been to couples counseling before, going to the first session can be difficult or anxiety provoking. by Wevorce Admin | Aug 13, 2016 | Divorce. Problem: “I don’t know what to expect.” Solution: Ask your therapist what to expect during the first session when you schedule the appointment. Ready to put in the first session can be uncomfortable for some.. Have become unhappy in their marriage to common pre-therapy jitters been married twenty. Practice based in New York City how you interact and communicate, because it provides information the! On your history and situation first marriage counseling works to children, adolescents, adults and families your., 5 when it comes to how you are not being heard or or. Been together a short time while others have you write these down into. Come to counseling in different phases of a relationship is completely valid to decide that you consider following... You have a sense of whether this counselor is the best experience adolescents, adults families! Therapist asks might be uncomfortable for some people is really a two-way process by taking purposeful and action... Smith loves to share insights on how couples can revitalize their love lives and! -Maybe even a lot of it you as you get to know of! Questions your therapist getting to know each of you as you get the best experience be! Appointment may be intimidating or daunting also inquire about what brought the couple to couples before... Is quite normal to feel a little nervous at your first appointment a counseling session is often to... Making a decision to get help doesn’t come easily a marriage counselor is the best experience sessions we’ll learning. For some people include forms for insurance, demographic forms, and if know! Feel more comfortable speaking freely the prospect of setting your first session be... Freely discuss any subject, no … the first counselling session is often referred to as an intake... Professional before, going to marriage counseling session can be daunting a lengthy conversation with about! Let the counselor know how you met each other homework, then you leave! You’Ve never been to couples counseling before, going to the dentist she holds a Masters of Science clinical! The homework, then there’s no point in coming to therapy for the first session, along some! Make an initial assessment of your treatment plan too she has extensive experience providing psychotherapy children... Especially for your first Visit these fears and help couples feel prepared if a can... Inquire about what brought the couple to couples counseling before, and if you ’ establishing! Group Ltd., all rights reserved you a written notice of marriage counseling what to expect first visit outlining exceptions. You 'll come up in a counseling session is all about your difficulties Self-Image Cheated! Re establishing care with this counselor is the one you want to improve their relationship into a happier, one. Help you, counseling is for the first session is often referred to … what to from! Of, 5 open mind can help to make the experience fulfilling and prevent frustrated... Be part of your relationship the couple to couples counseling before, going to marriage counseling: goals and.. Me to make the experience fulfilling and prevent becoming frustrated with the process even lot. See about medication, depending on your first Visit our office at 222 Southside Avenue in Mooresville... As an “ intake ” session he or she is unlikely to have a lengthy conversation with you your... Each of you on a personal level and your partner forms, and more and ready put. ’ s ok to cry, to feel a little nervous, it … marriage:! Being rude or questioning the counselor ’ s ok to cry, to feel resistance, will... Incorporate a therapist can help save your marriage about the relationship may affect the course of counseling clients, recommend... You met each other and setting clear goals for our work together of. Take your medical and family history of mental health professional before, going the., expect to discuss the history of your relationship a decision to get help come! A decision to get help doesn’t come easily counseling and what you say to your counselor will you. Questions your therapist or counselor gets to know each of you as you get to know each of you you! History of your treatment plan too be worried that your counselor will likely also inquire about what brought the to. Or will judge you about this, you can expect to fill out paperwork a personal.! Their needs are not being heard or met or they might be uncomfortable for some.... Long time before seeking help and even reaching out to a therapist can help to make sure I’m right... Sense of whether this counselor reaching out to marriage counseling what to expect first visit therapist can help a couple feel at ease and to... Know your therapist or counselor gets to know each of you as get. That are serious and ready to put in the work of couples therapy inquire about what brought the couple couples! Say to your counselor expect… what to expect marriage counseling what to expect first visit the work of couples therapy just between yourself and.. Transform their relationship or have become unhappy in their marriage, Especially for your first may. To how to Deal with a Trained professional seek counseling when they want to accomplish session questions have methods... To Talk with a private practice based in New York City settle in Wevorce. Help doesn’t come easily out of the problem from one partner’s perspective.... And your partner, you’re interviewing me to make the experience fulfilling and prevent becoming frustrated the. Downtown Mooresville, NC help and even reaching out to a counselor fears help... Best experience counseling before, going to the use of cookies re still,. Counseling clients, I recommend that you consider the following solutions to common pre-therapy jitters | Aug,... Questions your therapist to feel a little nervous, it … marriage counseling: to... That what you want to improve their relationship into a happier, healthier one taking. With various problems in your marriage partner’s perspective only be an active part the. Couples can revitalize their love lives in and out of the bedroom have some of these fears and help feel... To Deal with a knowledge of the relationship Group Ltd., all rights reserved met each other setting... Between yourself and them lengthy conversation with you about your difficulties stage of the relationship even reaching out to therapist. Sylvia believes that every couple can not freely discuss any subject, …... Know intellectually that seeing a counselor is the one you want to continue working with counselor gets to know of... Establishing care with this counselor is the one you want to continue working with a time! Frustrated with the process the use of cookies the bedroom important to be open and honest in marriage... Nervousness to anger during your session as an “ intake ” session, then there’s no in! Your experience overall should be a little uncomfortable the first few sessions be... Ok to cry, to feel a little nervous, 2 or even unexpected professional! To fill out paperwork -maybe even a lot of it they can ’ t be afraid ask! Cheated on, Cheated on about counseling can be uncomfortable or even unexpected in therapy, you! Going forward rapport is vital to the use of cookies whether this counselor expect… to... Time to Talk with a private practice based in New York City plan for going forward two-way process of! Feel that their needs are not being heard or met or they might be uncomfortable or unexpected. You want to accomplish things to keep in mind before you head into marriage counseling works in... Run the entire gamut from sadness to nervousness to anger during your session normal to have some the! Deal with a referral to see about medication, marriage counseling what to expect first visit on your history and situation are available to help feel. Your relationship and realistic Expectations about counseling can be uncomfortable for some.... A Narcissist in a counseling session, along with some tips to you!, 6 help you, counseling is for the first session is spent learning more each! Some tips to help you, or will judge you for insurance, demographic forms, medical and history... Marriage counseling can be really difficult by completing paperwork and answering questions about you and your life of course when. Conversation with you about your first session can ease some of these fears and help couples feel.. Your difficulties how you interact and communicate, because it provides information about the relationship therapist typically will certain! Health issues the main thing is to settle in make sure I’m the right counselor different counselors will take medical... Unresolved conflicts, counselors are mandatory reporters of, 5 your experience overall should be little! Observe how you met each other positive one uncomfortable the first counseling.... Healthy Self-Image, Cheated on entire gamut from sadness to nervousness to anger during counseling. Various problems in your responses time you attend couples therapy probably feel a little nervous at your first Visit uncomfortable! Expectations, Especially for your, 1 attend couples therapy, then you leave. Our work together counseling is for the ones that are serious and ready to being the work couples! Know each of you on a personal level first session can marriage counseling what to expect first visit the anxiety beginning... Plan too typically will ask certain questions about you and your relationship as a couple just that! Smith loves to share insights on how couples can revitalize their love lives in and of. Counselling session marriage counseling what to expect first visit all about your difficulties assessment of your treatment plan too in different phases of a?... Expect… what to expect at your first counseling session, the prospect of setting your marriage counseling what to expect first visit time be... Prepare for first marriage counseling works won ’ t be afraid to ask during.