I know many couples out there realize that they could benefit from couples counseling. Yet they would like to have a better idea of what they will really get out of it before they invest their time and money. Ultimately, what you will get out of couple’s counseling depends on several factors.
Research has shown that a high percentage of couple who come in for therapy waited too long to get professional help. Therefore it is important to be honest with yourselves as to whether or not there is enough good will left between the two of you to do the work involved in couples therapy. Your flame of feeling attracted and in love can be out, but you must at least have good will and a desire to give couples therapy your best shot for the process to have any chance of rekindling the flame of your love.
Secondly, you must be able to get some kind of a sense from the first session as to whether or not the counselor’s personality and counseling style feels comfortable for both of you. Your counselor needs to be a good fit.
A third factor is that you must understand that the counselor is there to help you learn how to have a healthier relationship. However, to achieve a healthier relationship takes a commitment from both partners to: make their relationship a priority; follow through with working towards goals set in counseling; and honor verbal commitments made in counseling. Remaining open to change (change can be difficult, even if it is needed for happiness and growth), following through with goals, putting plans into action, and being willing to ask “What could I do differently to improve this situation?” When you think about it, these are things you would do to keep yourself from getting stressed at work (or fired). Doesn’t it make sense to put the same effort into your family life and your relationship with your significant other?