As a couples therapist, I often have a front row seat to relationship miracles. Honestly, I suppose there are no miracles really. The truth is “fixing” a relationship takes work. It takes two people wanting it to work and then putting in the effort.
Having said that, I have seen couples go from nearly ending it to being back in love. Couples who used to fight constantly learning bringing romance back into their life and re-learning to respect each other.
Couples therapy can be a powerful change agent, there is no doubt about it. But what allows some couples to make it while others don’t? The couples I have seen be most successful in couples counseling, recover from marital issues and form an even stronger union typically have a few things in common.
3 Things Couples do to Succeed in Couples Counseling
Commit to Saving Your Relationship
Many couples view therapy as a last-ditch effort. If this is your relationships last chance, isn’t it even more important to go all-in and commit to the process entirely? And even if therapy is your first attempt to salvage the relationship, it’s important that both parties give it their best effort. Just showing up and sitting in a chair for an hour to play the part is unlikely to get much change. But if you throw yourself in, I’ve seen the power of Cognitive Interpersonal Therapy (the type of couples counseling I do) help couples change their marriage.
This means even if nothing else has worked, and even if you’re both at each other’s throats most of the time, you choose to leave any defensiveness, criticism, contempt, or stonewalling at the door. These will only impede any progress that may be made and you are choosing to give this your very best effort.
Assume Counseling Might Help…Or at least Be Open Minded
It’s common to be skeptical of therapy if you have no experience with it. It’s also common to feel skeptical that the particular problems or issues in your relationship are too big to be overcome. While there are no guarantees in life, my professional experience has shown me that most relationship issues are solvable. But if you believe that they aren’t, you’re setting yourself up for failure right at the outset.
Real change requires an open mind. So, if you want couples therapy to be worth the time and money you’re investing into it-enter my counseling office with an open mind. Accept that your therapist is an expert on relationships. Know that I’ve seen couples succeed and might be able to guide your relationship to the same success.
Do Your Homework!
You don’t spend money and time on college to NOT do any of your homework. The same goes for couples therapy!
During your sessions, your therapist will help facilitate respectful and effective communication and give you tools to get the same results at home. You’ll have a chance to practice the relationship skills you are learning with the guidance of a mental health professional. But it is up to YOU to use these tools at home. You simply won’t make much progress if you leave everything you’ve discussed at my office door. You have to choose to take it out into the world.
Your relationship will not be “fixed” every Tuesday from 4:15 to 5:00 pm, it will be fixed from the work you both do on your own time. The point of therapy is to learn how to navigate obstacles and conflict as they arise in everyday life outside of the therapist’s office.
So, make the choice to practice what we’ve discussed in couples counseling sessions. No matter how busy you, how stressed you feel or what awful thing you spouse did this week: do your homework. Get your money’s worth out of our work together. More importantly, give your relationship the best shot you can of healing.
Begin Couples Counseling in Cincinnati, OH
Couples therapy is a wonderful resource that helps many couples overcome challenges. If you’re willing to commit to the process, have an open mind, and do the homework, you and your partner have an excellent chance of creating a healthy and respectful relationship.
It’s hard to be vulnerable and open up to a stranger. Sometimes couples feel their problems should be kept private. However, more couples are finding the value of seeking help from an impartial and nonjudgmental third party who has seen other marriages or relationships struggle and then recover.
If you are looking for a couple’s therapist in Cincinnati, I’d be happy to speak with you. I specialize in couples counseling and am passionate about saving relationships. Let’s talk and see if I might be a good fit for the both of you.
Still Unsure if Couples Counseling is for You?
I know it can feel intimidating to come in for couples counseling. Especially if you haven’t been to therapy for other emotional or mental health issues in the past. I try to make the process as painless as possible for you. Consider checking out my Frequently Asked Questions page or contact me with other questions.
Other Counseling Services
If you and/or your partner decide on individual therapy instead, I offer additional mental health services including anxiety treatment, therapy for college students, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) for depression and career counseling. I also work with individuals on their relationships. I help a wide range of people in the Cincinnati area and look forward to exploring how counseling can help you live your best life.