- 8 years ago
- Wedding: September 2014
I would love to give you my take on couples counseling – especially because the PP noted that a lot of people suggested it but rarely tell success stories.
From a personal viewpoint: My SO and I just “graduated” from counseling. We’d been going since December of 2011 and had our last session last week. We decided to go because our fights were out of hand. We never seemed to resolve issues and our fights got very ‘dirty’ (name-calling, cussing, etc). We’d tried fixing the issue on our own for so long, but nothing was helping. It was a last ditch effort, to be honest.
We chose a solution-focused therapist because my SO responds well to a “plan of action” as opposed to only insight. It was also being solution-focused therapy tends to be more “compact” and we don’t have a lot of extra income, so a succint time in therapy was very important.
The first meeting is SO vital. We built a rapport with her immediately and knew that we could learn from her. If we hadn’t liked her, we would have searched for a better fit. Therapy was not easy. It brought up a lot of tough issues and forced us both to face our mistakes and shortcomings. I liked solution-focused therapy because she gave us very concrete homework assignments to practice the skills we were learning. For example, one of the first assignments was for my SO to hug me genuinely when he could tell I was getting upset with him. It was so simple, but it’s become something he uses to defuse tension. We learned a lot of little ‘tricks’ like that. It went deeper too. We both realized the motivations and triggers we had that we didn’t even recognize. It’s a lot easier to alter a behavior when you understand it.
Anyway, therapy was the best thing for my relationship. We still fight, but we do it with respect. My SO was VERY averse to therapy to start with and now he says he’s so glad we did it. I don’t think we’d be together if we hadn’t. I think it also moved us to higher level of commitment…we put so much heart into learning about our relationship that it connected us even more.
I really suggest you make sure your therapist is licensed and has EXPERIENCE in couples counseling. A LOT of therapists (I’m a therapist, btw) claim to do couples counseling, but really don’t have the knowledge to do it well. Couples counseling is a whole different animal. I suggest finding someone with their LMFT.