“Safety and trust in relationships go hand-in-hand: Safety lays the foundation for trust, and trust over time morphs into safety.” — Robert Taibbi L.C.S.W.
Most people find it weird and frightening to bring in someone who can mediate and give your marriage a fix. That was then. Now, the stigma has increasingly been lifted, and a lot of couples have experienced awesome results from their therapy. Even those who have great relationships go into counseling just to look for advice on how to strengthen their bonds. However, not all couples have found it easy to begin with therapy, just as not all have gotten positive outcomes after going to their therapist.
Before you and your partner decide to be mediated with a couple’s therapist, here are some question you can ask yourself to make sure that couples therapy will work for you.
“Maybe other issues of trust, safety, or security have come up that haven’t been thoroughly resolved. Couples who struggle with sex are often the least likely to talk about their struggles thinking it’s a no-win situation.” — Sam Louie MA, LMHC
When Is The Right Time To Seek Help?
Some couples ask for professional help when the pain has gone overboard, and the argument becomes too difficult to manage. Both parties are overwhelmed with what they might have said or done to each other that they decide to look for someone who can ‘fix’ them.
The wisest time to seek guidance and help from a therapist when you and your spouse can’t find concrete solutions to your marital problems, or if you have decided that your marriage goals are impossible to achieve. Do not wait for the whole misunderstanding to blow up, and violence comes in. When this happens, there might not be any chance for reconciliation at all.
What If My Partner Doesn’t Want To Go To Therapy?
It is typical for a husband to be less interested in therapy than the wife. So if you think that you need to see a therapist for your marriage problems, one way to involve your partner is to tell him that he must be there with you, which is true. But just a fair warning: If you are currently seeing your therapist, your partner might be intimidated that you’re all too familiar with the process. In this case, you can let your spouse choose a therapist for both of you, someone that you will see for the first time. Also, your partner will have a hard time arguing with you if you tell him that you want to know how to make good things become the best. Don’t focus on the negative things that you are about to divulge to the therapist!
How Do We Choose The Right Therapist For Us?
Don’t worry. You’re not obliged to sign up immediately. In fact, most of the therapists have free consultation via phone interview, so take advantage of it. Tell him a little about the problem and observe if it is something that he has extensive knowledge in. You can also listen to the voice – if it’s gentle and the talk is not very fast, the therapist may be a patient one. If he talks fast, maybe he’s more interested in getting to the end of the session! Find a sense of connection between you and your therapist.
If you’re lucky to get an initial face-to-face consultation, the better, you can determine if both you and your partner can get honest and unbiased explanations from your therapist. You’ve got to listen to your instincts.
How Do We Know The Therapy Is Working?
The first determinant of whether it’s working or is not if, after a few sessions, you begin to feel warmer and more comfortable with your partner. This means that your therapist has effectively broken into some barriers that you both have for each other, probably due to the constant arguments and misunderstandings.
“Trust requires a willingness to accept less than 100 percent certainty — otherwise it would be called verification.” — 0 PsyD, CST
Finally, if you are not comfortable with your therapist, it is wise to just look for someone that you share warmth with, someone that you and your partner can fully trust. Additionally, if your therapist is a professional one, then he must inform you if therapy is not working.