What Questions Does a Marriage Counselor Ask?

So, you’re thinking about marriage counseling – that’s great! Marriage (or pre-marriage) counseling is a fantastic way to create or renew a healthy, happy relationship with your partner. But it can also feel like a big, scary step to take; especially if you’re new to therapy or your marriage is presenting big challenges. It’s okay to feel shy or unsure before you get started, but knowing what marriage counseling questions are most commonly asked can help alleviate much of this anxiety.

Let’s jump right in and see some examples of what questions are asked in marriage counseling so that you can better understand the process and feel of what will happen. 

What Questions Are Asked in Couples Counseling at the First Session?

In most cases, couples therapy (also called marriage counseling) will start with your counselor asking some basic questions about your relationship. There are several different approaches that can be taken with these first, groundwork questions with your therapist. We at Well Marriage Center use strengths-based marriage counseling techniques so the focus will be on the positives in your relationship rather than issues. Our first session begins with questions like:

  • What brought you two together?
  • What are some good times that you’ve had in your relationship?
  • What did you originally admire, enjoy, and respect about your partner?
  • What was your relationship like at the beginning?

After your counselor has a better understanding of the history of your relationship and what its strengths are, the first session will help identify some of the current issues you may be struggling with as a couple. These questions may be things like:

  • What are the current dynamics in your relationship?
  • What does it feel like for you in your present marriage?
  • How do you feel about the communication in your marriage now?

By answering these questions, you will help your therapist better understand the history and current state of your marriage. Next, let’s go through some of the issues that may come up in your sessions.

What Is the Most Common Problem Addressed in Couples Therapy?

One of the most common problems talked about in marriage counseling is communication. Teaching couples to speak honestly and respectfully to each other is often a top priority. Once a couple begins talking about the current challenges in their relationship, it is especially important that each partner feels safe and confident enough to share openly so they can get the most benefit from the counseling session. 

However, we know some issues in a relationship can seem impossible to discuss. The good news is that while each relationship is unique, there are marriage counseling questions to strengthen your relationship, and questions that do address the most common problems that other couples have experienced. If you’re curious how to prepare for couples counseling, consider these similar issues from other couples so you can begin your path back to a better relationship.

  • Communication
    • What ways do you think you communicate well, now or in the past?
    • What happens during a conversation that seems to make communication break down for you?
  • Sex and Intimacy
    • What parts of your sex life and intimacy are you happy with, now or in the past? 
    • What is something that could change that would make you more satisfied with intimacy in your relationship?
  • Money
    • What are your expectations when it comes to financial security?
    • What is your ideal way to discuss and make decisions about money as a couple?
  • Children and Parenting
    • What do you imagine as the right family size and age spread for you?
    • What are some parenting philosophies or examples you really look up to?

What Does a Marriage Counseling Session Look Like?

Just like every relationship is different, every marriage counseling session will also look a little different. It will depend on the personalities of the couple and the marriage counselor, the specifics of the relationship, the style of counseling, and where in the process everyone is. Here is an example of how our counseling sessions might look:

First Session

This discovery phase starts with a relationship strengths-and-wellness assessment before moving to what the challenges are for each person. This is an extended, 90 minute session.

Early Weekly Sessions

After the first session, it is common for couples to have weekly, 50 minute sessions so they are able to see fast progress in the relationship. These will focus on and are designed to help:

  • Stopping cycles of toxic behavior, like frequent arguments, conflicts, criticism and blame.
  • Creating positive momentum and reigniting “the spark” for disconnected or sexless couples.
  • Dealing with trauma in the relationship or for the individuals, like infidelity or loss. 

Later, Less Frequent Sessions

Once the major issues are addressed, therapy sessions become less frequent and delve into deeper work. At WellMarriage Center, we work closely with researchers and experts in their fields to help couples with topics like:

  • Emotionally focused couples therapy
  • Developmental model of couples therapy
  • Eroticism and Desire

WellMarriage: Relationship Specialists Who Make a Difference

Couples therapy can work wonders, and we want to help you have the great relationship you deserve! We have worked with over 12,000 couples and have the expertise, wisdom, and passion to help you and your partner get back on track. 

When both partners are invested in doing the work to improve their marriage, our approach empowers you to communicate better, resolve negative behavior patterns, and strengthen your relationship. Our marriage-positive counselors use a variety of proven techniques to let you spend less time in therapy and see the real results you’re looking for. The number one predictor of marriage therapy success is the experience of the therapist, and our therapists devote their entire careers on couples counseling, giving you the best chance for success.

Ready to get started? Spend just a few minutes on our website, filling out our intake form, and scheduling your consultation with Melinda, our Intake Coordinator. She will take you through the steps of our process, connect you to the best counselor for your situation, and answer whatever questions you might still have.