So, you and your partner have finally agreed to go ahead and move forward with couples counseling? First off, congratulations for taking the first, and often the hardest step, towards working on your marriage! Many couples don’t even make it this far. So you should really give yourself a pat on the back. Even though the counseling sessions haven’t started yet, there are still some things you and your partner can do prior to coming in for your first session. Doing these 3 things will help to make the sessions go smoother and be more productive.
1. Practice Introspection
Therapy is a great way to an outside perspective of your situation. However, introspection can go a long way as well. Think about your relationship and your experiences within the relationship from a new perspective. Doing so can help you to empathize with your partner and help you identify where you might be falling short. Don’t be afraid to ask yourself questions. The best therapist sometimes is yourself.
2. Practice Self Care
It might seem counterintuitive to practice self-care when you’re trying to work together to make your marriage work and get back on track. However, self-care isn’t a selfish activity. In fact, self-care is all about choosing behaviors that nourish your body and spirit. You can’t pour from an empty cup. So, if you’re running on empty, that means you have nothing left to give within your relationship.
3. Prevent Further Damage
This will be different for every couple but preventing further damage prior to your first session is going to make things a whole lot easier. Further damage is typically unhealthy patterns of interaction or communication. These unhealthy patterns are the ones that are causing distress in the relationship. This can be anything from yelling to passive-aggressive behavior to even physical, emotional, or mental abuse. Try to notice and be aware when you find yourself spiraling into an unhealthy communication pattern. Take a deep breath, step back, and regroup when you have regained your composure.
Marriage isn’t always rainbows and butterflies. There are going to be long periods of both joy and grief which is what makes these relationships so beautiful. But sometimes during the dark days, you need a little bit of extra help. If you and your partner are struggling to communicate, we can help. Our team of highly skilled counselors can help you and your partner identify problems and teach you how to resolve issues in a healthy, effective manner. Schedule an appointment with us today.