Nervous about your first marriage counseling session? You’re not alone. Marriage counseling is an extremely vulnerable experience, bound to unearth intense emotions for everyone involved. Fortunately, if you and your partner know what to expect before you begin, it can feel a lot less scary—and you’ll likely get more out of the experience. So, how do couples prepare for a therapy session? Although the specifics of your marriage/ couples therapy exercises will differ depending on your unique goals, there are some basic steps you can take to ready yourself for any initial therapy session.
Frequently Asked Marriage Counseling Session Questions
What Do You Talk About Before Couples Counseling?
Naturally, every couple’s reasons for pursuing therapy differ. However, there are common factors that often contribute to strife in a relationship, such as:
- Communication issues
- Loss of romantic feelings
- Financial issues
- How to raise children
- Health issues
- Intimacy issues
If there are clear stressors—like those listed above—that you and your partner deem the main source of tension, then it would be best to review those points before your first therapy session.
However, if your reasoning is less cut and dry, then it maybe is beneficial for you both to explore the following questions before starting therapy:
- Do we want to stay together?
- What are your opinions of therapy?
- What are the most significant problems in our marriage?
- Does this rough patch/relationship feel temporary or permanent?
- When did you first notice that something was wrong?
Going through these questions can give you a better idea of how to navigate counseling. It’s important to note that you do not need concrete answers so long as you both actively engage with these questions on a deeper emotional level.
Additionally, reviewing these types of questions in advance will better prepare you and your partner to have difficult conversations, making your first counseling experience more productive and beneficial for everyone.
What Do You Talk About During Marriage Counseling?
As we’ve said before, the specific topics of each counseling session vary greatly depending on the couple’s unique goals and challenges. Every couple is different, so every counseling approach is equally distinctive. That being said, here are a few of the most common questions a good therapist asks during an initial counseling session.
- In general, how would you describe your life and marriage together?
- What does the timeline of your relationship look like?
- What strengths do you bring to the table in your relationship? And what strengths do you think your partner has?
- Do you have any prior experience with marriage counseling or other types of therapy?
- What made you decide to seek marriage counseling?
- Have you tried anything to resolve present issues before seeking counseling? What did you try, and how did that go?
- What do you expect to get out of couples therapy?
- Do you currently want to stay with your partner? Why or why not?
- Are you willing to put in the work and make changes to improve the quality of your marriage?
Is There a Difference Between Couples Therapy vs Marriage Counseling?
This depends on who you ask, but Well Marriage Center uses these terms interchangeably. We believe that all couples, legally married or not, can repair and strengthen their relationships via therapy. Ultimately, the end goal of therapy for all types of couples is the same—to heal, reinforce their relationship, and bring about a happier future together.
How Long Do Couples Usually Go to Counseling?
The actual duration of couples counseling is different for everyone and depends on several factors, like:
- How long you have been together
- What your needs are
- What challenges are present
- The counseling model used by the therapist
In the end, the average length of marriage counseling doesn’t matter. A couple may pursue counseling for as long as they need to; incorporating a strict timeline doesn’t do anyone any favors, and may add unnecessary stress.
Searching For Marriage-Friendly Counseling? Try Well Marriage Center
It’s important to understand that pursuing counseling does not mean you have failed as a couple. Instead, it’s a chance to make your relationship even stronger. Regardless of your specific situation, you and your partner deserve a therapist who will help you pursue individual happiness while advocating for the success of your relationship.
Although counseling can feel daunting, the right therapist will help you and your partner work through the tension to build a stronger and happier union. Our licensed, specialized therapists know how to tailor your therapy experience so you and your partner can discover mutually beneficial solutions.
If you are both ready to take the first step of your counseling journey, fill out our short intake form and set up a consultation with our Intake Coordinator, Melinda. She’ll happily walk you through our process and answer any questions you have to match you with a counselor who meets your unique needs.