Therapy — whether individual or couples — is more common and successful than ever. Still, some stigmas and myths persist. For example, people will tell you that they avoid counseling because it’s designed to keep you going “forever.” They also wonder if and how you can gauge progress.
So, firstly, therapy is not a conspiracy to hook you for life. Gauging progress, however, is not always a clear, linear process. Fortunately, there are tools for such measurements. In this post, we’ll explore the ins and outs of couples therapy. In particular, we will identify clear signs that counseling is working for you and your partner.
A Little About Couples Therapy
Obviously, this is a form of psychotherapy experienced with your partner. It’s a commitment you make together to:
- Address existing issues.
- Identify underlying factors.
- Prevent future problems.
But again, how will you know that it’s working? Before we get into that, let’s start with a couple of tips. To dramatically increase the odds of success, it helps to enter into the process:
- With an agenda and a focus. (The process can sometimes be more flexible but, if you want to see results, try to set goals.)
- Pledging to help make it succeed.
Talk therapy is a proven path to change, healing, and recovery. It cannot provide maximum results unless you both commit to doing the hard work required.
5 Clear Signs Your Couples Therapy Is Working
1. You’re Not Dreading Each Week’s Session
Some sessions will be tough. There will be times when you’re not exactly excited to attend. But, that’s not the same as dread. Self-exploration and introspection are hard work. A good couples therapist will help keep you on the path without things turning into a source of deep angst. If either of you is feeling authentic dread, bring it up and talk about it.
2. You Talk About the Process and Do Your “Homework”
Weekly counseling is just one part of the journey. You and your spouse will be asked and expected to stay focused between sessions. You’ll really know things are working when this flows naturally. Regular conversations about the process are a great sign. Plus, of course, you must follow through on any “homework” you’ve been given.
3. Acceptance and Gratitude
When things are bad, it’s easy to stop seeing what’s good. Successful couples therapy helps both of you appreciate the positive aspects of your relationship. You learn to accept your partner instead of trying to change. Gratitude is more present for what you have. Even during a struggle, it is essential to see the full spectrum of experiences. Therapy helps with that task.
4. Working on Yourself
Do you find yourself putting in the effort to work on your personal issues? Is your partner doing the same? This is not a coincidence. The carry-over from dissecting your problems as a couple is a deeper self-awareness.
5. Both of You Are Clicking With the Therapist
You may have started therapy because of chemistry issues between you as a couple. The last thing you need is chemistry issues with the therapist. This can happen. If it’s not happening, there is a very strong likelihood that things are going well. If your post-session discussions are about the work and not the counselor, you’re on the right path.
Getting Started With the Process
Couples therapy involves taking a blend of emotional and practical steps. It can feel overwhelming, confusing, and daunting. Thus, for starters, why not break it down to an initial step? Reach out, ask questions, and set up a complementary 20 minute consultation with one of our therapists. Call us at 623-680-3486,text 623-688-5115, or email firstname.lastname@example.org. You can ask all the questions you have and see if couples counseling at Crossroads is the right fit for you. If you want to learn more about the process and how we use Emotionally Focused Couple’s Therapy (EFT) click here.
Our offices are conveniently located throughout the Valley of the Sun including Phoenix, Anthem, Biltmore, Paradise Valley, and Scottsdale.