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5 Things About Marriage Therapy That May Surprise You

couple walking, sunset

“What do I want to fight about today?”

~ Online marriage meme

Do you take this man/woman to be your lawfully wedded spouse till the day you die?  What does that even mean? If I suddenly regret my decision to marry, I am trapped with the person I resent spending my life with? Or, that you have to be a perfect human being that never disappoints and must have it all figured out till the day you die? Early history (even during prehistoric times), marriages were arranged by tribal members or respective families based on the barter and benefit for said unit. Thus, the couple was placed in a position that required patience, tolerance, love, workable goals and personal development that supported overall environmental survival, as well as contentment with one's life. 

In modern times, marriage has evolved to include elements necessary for each person’s needs, goals, ideals and so forth. Women are as capable and ambitious as their male counterparts. And right smack in the middle of it all, are two humans just trying to get it right, with the person they hope will fulfill their dreams of happiness. In the process of couples therapy, the therapist collaborates with the couple to help them build the best version of their marriage.

5 Things About Marriage Therapy That May Surprise You:

  1. Couples therapy is not a place of blame/finger pointing, negative judgment, or ridicule. On the contrary, therapy is a safe space where your most vulnerable thoughts and feelings will be celebrated and nurtured. The therapy room is meant to allow each person to feel comfortable letting down their guard and breathe just a little easier. Therapy can be scary. Most people (especially those who have not participated in services prior) feel a slight nervousness about being judged, sharing intimate details about their relationship, and exposing their flaws. This is all very normal, and actually expected. Therefore, It is the therapist's job to provide and create a safe structured setting, that provides you the client a reassurance these things can be talked about with compassion and protected in their most fragile state.

  2. Couples therapy is not meant to fix your partner while you sit and watch this miraculous transformation from the sidelines. Rather, it is meant to learn, explore, understand and honor both persons. The initial sessions are designed to gather information about you and your honey, via verbal (and at times written) assessments. To evaluate how you communicate, manage conflict, connect on an emotional level, and other significant factors that play a part in your current functioning. The goal is to support both you and your partner to create -together, a harmonious and loving relationship.

  3. Couples therapy is not one-sided, instead it is a panoramic yet intimate view of who you and your partner are. This approach is meant to provide you and your honey, a chance to learn things about one another that will help you to see one another via an empathetic lens. 

  4. Couples therapy does not dwell on the past and stays there. If the past is explored, it is to understand the present, with the emphasis of creating a different present and future.

  5. Couples therapy is not just about talking about your feelings only. Couples therapy will focus on enhancing communication skills and create behavioral changes that create a deeper and more meaningful connection in your relationship. 


letting go

Now, you may be wondering how do you know if a therapist is “good couples counselor?”

Here are some things to consider:

  1. Is the therapist a Licensed Marriage and Family therapist? The credentials are LMFT. LMFT’s are the only type of therapists or psychologists that attend graduate school specializing in relationships. If you plan to work with any other type of therapist (LMHC, Psychologists, LCSW), be sure to ask what is their additional training on relationship education and years of experience dealing with this topic to ensure that they are well seasoned in relationship concerns.

  2. Find out which modalities the therapist uses to help couples. There are several recognized models that are effective with couples. Some are: The Gottman Method, Emotionally Focused Therapy, and Imago. At our practice, we are all trained in the Gottman Method.

  3. Most therapists offer a free 10-15 minute free consultation. This can be helpful to see how you feel with the therapist before you get started.

We hope that you have a better understanding of how couples counseling works and how to choose a well trained couples therapist. Good luck in your search!

For more resources like this, please check out our other tips here: You can always find us at 954-903-1676 for couples counseling services. 

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