Preparing for couples psychotherapy
Sitting down with a psychotherapist can be a daunting prospect. For many people, doing so with someone we love is even more tricky. The stakes can feel pretty high when you are taking your intimate relationship to therapy.
It is always a good idea to give careful consideration to what you want to have happen before you go to see a therapist. It's important to be clear what you are, and are not, looking for. It's also important to know what you are prepared to put into the process and to be clear about your level of commitment. The less you are willing to invest, the less you can expect in return.
You may also want to give your therapist an idea of what you are expecting from them. Talking about what has and has not worked well for you in therapy previously can be useful, as well as finding out how your therapist usually works and what this means you can expect to happen in the room. Not everyone is suited to particular working styles, and you need to find someone that fits for you both.
Here are some questions you may want to consider both separately and together before going to a couples psychotherapy session:
1. What brings you to couples sessions?
2. Why now?
3. What are your goals for psychotherapy - both together and as individuals?
4. What will be different about your relationship once your goals have been met?
5. How important is this to you both? What benefits will it bring?
6. How will you know when your goals have been met?
7. What's your understanding of the issues?
8. How do you think change might occur?
9. What are you prepared to commit to do differently?
10. What are you prepared to let go of?