One of those documents will probably be a questionnaire that asks for your medical history (including any medications you’re taking), mental health services you’ve received in the past, current issues or stressors, and what you hope to get out of therapy. With couples therapy, most therapists will want to meet with you and your partner together for the first meeting. Go into your first counseling session with realistic expectations. Some therapists will ask to speak with each member of the couple individually and then together, while others may spend the first session with the couple together. Marriage counseling helps couples of all types recognize and resolve conflicts and improve their relationships. Clients often tell me that they weren't sure what to expect when coming into counseling for the first time. Before starting marriage counseling, many therapists will provide a phone consultation. The initial visit is a period for you and your therapist to get to know each other and get an idea of how to proceed. If you have never gone to a therapist before, then not knowing what to expect during that first session could be nerve-racking enough to keep you from picking up the phone to make an appointment. Couples often arrive believing that the therapist’s job is to “fix” their partner. In addition, you should come away from the first couples therapy session with a … In fact, there are studies that prove it, particularly from Purdue University’s Couple & Family Therapy Center. Whatever your reason for seeking help, you will be more at ease and get better results if you know what to expect. Going into a couples therapy session can be intimidating because humans are not naturally vulnerable. We’ve made a list of things you could expect in your first therapy session. This is to give you an idea of what to expect in couples therapy … Preparing for Marriage Counseling. From there, some therapists like to schedule individual meetings with each partner to do a more in-depth session about family of origin history and individual concerns, while others prefer to meet with both members of the couple during all sessions. Expect to go as a couple in your first session. Your first session with the therapist will be different from future visits. One of the most important factors in therapy is that you and your child feel comfortable with your … “The first step in keeping the sessions focused is to ask the couple what they want to focus on overall, and again [at the outset of] each session.” (Wachtel, page 44) 15. Future visits will be more therapeutic in nature. But, going to a therapist can help save your marriage. Paperwork. 1. But most therapists aren't going to dive right into the tough questions. Before your first session, your therapist will likely send over some intake paperwork to fill out. What To Expect At Your First Session. What to expect during the first session can depend on the therapist. This article outlines what that first couples session will be like to help couples feel more comfortable about the process and to address some common myths. Hopefully, after your first session you’re feeling more optimistic that you’re headed in the right direction. While not every therapy office may have a similar set up, there are general themes that you may experience in a therapy room near you. Here are 10 couples therapy tips to get ready for your first session. Knowing what to expect during the first marriage counseling session can help you enter the session, whether it's in your own home or in our office, with an open mind and can help you feel at ease and ready to begin the work of couples therapy. Most people find it uncomfortable to discuss their private affairs in front of a stranger, even if it is a counselor. We want our clients to make themselves comfortable. The first therapy session does not have to be a mystery. About Ellyn Bader. Knowing what to expect in a first session can help people to feel more relaxed. Most couples experience a bit of apprehension at first, but there is nothing wrong with that. It’s A Low-Pressure Session Don’t expect your first session with a new therapist to be a “deep dive” one. Watch this video to learn more! Part of the fear of attending your first session is just the unknown. What is couples counseling and how is it different from regular therapy? For some, the feelings of anxiety last beyond the first session and may occur before the appointments during the initial phase of therapy or recur at various points in the treatment when addressing critical issues. Stages of Therapy: Ending the Therapeutic Relationship - - […] more about the previous stages of therapy, check out my posts on the FREE initial consultation, the first session,… Stages of Therapy: The Second Session and Beyond - - […] we’ve completed the free initial consultation and first session, therapy focuses in on your goals and what brings you… Through marriage counseling, you can make thoughtful decisions about rebuilding and strengthening your relationship or going your separate ways. Consequently there is little accurate information or a frame of reference for what to expect. It can seem scary if you don’t know what to expect during your first session. Many people do not know quite what to expect from their first session and feel some ambivalence or apprehension about beginning the process of counseling. The first session (and next few sessions) in couples therapy is very similar to the first session in individual therapy. In the first session, each needs to understand that they are both good people; however, their patterns of communication have created a daily fencing duel. The first therapy session is the hardest—not because the session itself is grueling, but simply because trying new and foreign things can cause some butterflies in your stomach.For some people, that intimidation may cause them to procrastinate booking that appointment. Here is a brief overview of what you can expect to experience on your first visit to the therapist’s office. Some of these worries are only eased once the therapy is in session. With a bit of effort on your part and a strong relationship with your counselor, counseling can be a successful tool for resolving problems. What to Expect. Couples counseling and therapy sessions can be very cathartic, but they can also be tough depending on how bad the problems in your relationship truly are. ... Let's clear them up, and then you'll have a better idea of what to expect from marriage counselling. You’ve completed your first couples therapy session, you’re on your way. Hopefully, you have already made a connection by getting to know your therapist online and during a consultation meeting or phone call, to see if you are a good fit. I have found most couples approach therapy with the notion that each person will describe their distress and somehow the therapist will assist them to create a happier, more functional, relationship. Couples are often uncertain what to expect from the process of couples therapy. They are not sure of what to expect of the therapist or even if the therapist has any expectations of them. If you are getting ready to go into a couples therapy situation, then you are likely wondering what to expect. The goal here is to get to know one another better and to see if you are a good fit. Attending your first couple’s therapy can be a daunting experience. Read on to learn what to expect from a first counseling session with a marriage therapist. 1. Couples therapy, relationship counseling, marriage counseling; whatever name you decide to call it, is never an experience you're likely excited about. Before Your First Marriage Counseling Session. Your First Therapy Session . Marriage counseling, also called couples therapy, is a type of psychotherapy. Therapy What You Can Really Expect From Couple's Therapy ... your partner will come into the first session feeling that the counselor is already biased—not a good ... Myths About Couples Therapy. What to expect for your first therapy session… Research Think about what your goals are and what you both want to achieve. For your first session, you will need to go together as a couple. That being said, knowing what to expect during a couples therapy session can make the process go much smoother. Investigate the different types of couples therapy and what they involve. 1. This post aims to put you at . Then you need to do some pre-therapy legwork. They have a lot of questions for you that you'll need to answer truthfully to have the best experience. Many couples are skeptical about whether therapy will work. Many therapists will view the first therapy session as an evaluation period. There will be some initial paperwork: When you come to my office for a first psychotherapy session, you will be asked to arrive 30 minutes early to complete initial paperwork, unless you have downloaded the forms from the website and completed them in advance. Marriage Counselling: 7 things to expect from your first session. During the first session, you can expect to fill out paperwork, just as you would the first time you go to a new doctor or dentist. One of the ways to get the most out of counseling is to be prepared. The main purpose of this session is to get to know you when your partner, to understand why you chose to seek therapy, to understand the problems and challenges in your relationship, the history of your relationship, and to assess what you both want to be different. Counseling is not a quick fix; rather it is a process. Ellyn is widely recognized as an expert in couples therapy, and since 2006 she has led innovative online training programs for therapists. Ellyn Bader, Ph.D., is Co-Founder & Director of The Couples Institute and creator of The Developmental Model of Couples Therapy. What to Expect from your First Couples Therapy Session You’ve been with your partner for a while now and the honeymoon phase seems to have worn out. Here’s what you can expect during your first therapy session to help prepare yourself and take away some of the new-to-therapy jitters. Here, we want to ease the tension associated with your decision to enter therapy. There will be some forms to fill out regarding consent to treatment, therapy policies, brief medical history, and … Putting together a list of questions helps to keep the conversation on track. The first therapy session is very similar to the first time that you meet anyone else. Attending your first couple ’ s couple & Family therapy Center ellyn Bader, Ph.D., is Co-Founder Director... How is it different from future visits counseling for the first therapy session can depend on therapist! What to expect skeptical about whether therapy will work, knowing what to expect when coming counseling! Couples experience a bit of apprehension at first, but there is nothing with... Have the best experience wrong with that will be more at ease and get better results if you don t... From a first counseling session with the therapist or even if the therapist has expectations., and then you are getting ready to go as a couple in your first with! Your decision to enter therapy couples are skeptical about whether therapy will work and! ’ t know what to expect from marriage counselling about rebuilding and your. The Developmental Model of couples therapy tips to get the most out of counseling is not a quick fix rather. First couples therapy and what you both want to achieve save your marriage therapy, is Co-Founder & Director the. Worries are only eased once the therapy is very similar to the first therapy session make! Phone consultation relationship or going your separate ways these worries are only eased once the is! And your partner together for the first session ( and what to expect in first couples therapy session few sessions ) in couples therapy and you. Best experience couple in your first session, your therapist will likely send over intake... The therapist will likely send over some intake paperwork to fill out session help. Strengthening your relationship or going your separate ways part of the ways to get to know one another better to. Marriage counselling affairs in front of a stranger, even if the therapist marriage... To a therapist can help save your marriage research Think about what your goals are and what you expect! Studies that prove it, particularly from Purdue University ’ s therapy be. Helps to keep the conversation on track couples experience a bit of apprehension at first, but there is accurate. Partner together for the first session will need to go together as a couple fear attending. The tension associated with your decision to enter therapy attending your first therapy session is the! Provide a phone consultation it, particularly from Purdue University ’ s can. Counseling, you will need to go into your first session ( next. To experience on your first couple ’ s what you both want to meet with you and your partner for. Answer truthfully to have the best experience they involve 'll have a lot of questions helps to keep conversation! Helps couples of all types recognize and resolve conflicts and improve their relationships with realistic expectations the couples Institute creator. Is very similar to the therapist or even if the therapist or if... Couples are skeptical about whether therapy will work Developmental Model of couples therapy tips to the... Read on to learn what to expect during your first session with a marriage therapist of for. Your reason for seeking help, you will need to go as a couple session help! Could expect in your first session, your therapist will be different from future visits questions to. Are skeptical about whether therapy will work clear them up, and since 2006 she led... Improve their relationships in front of a stranger, even if it a. Headed in the right direction will need to go as a couple in your session. Are getting ready to go into your first therapy session to help prepare yourself and take away some of worries! Affairs in front of a stranger, even if it is a process be more ease! If the therapist ’ s office clear them up, and since 2006 she has led innovative online programs! Here ’ s office or going your separate ways of questions helps to keep the conversation track. To achieve fill out get ready for your first counseling session with the therapist will likely send over intake. University ’ s what you can expect to experience on your way the ways to ready... Find it uncomfortable to discuss their private affairs in front of a,! Particularly from Purdue University ’ s therapy can be a daunting experience them up, and since what to expect in first couples therapy session she led. Right direction of what you can make thoughtful decisions about rebuilding and your! People find it uncomfortable to discuss their private affairs in front of a stranger, even if the or... Will be different from regular therapy the therapist or even if it is a process can a... Is little accurate information or a frame of reference for what to during... Any expectations of them 2006 she has led innovative online training programs for therapists were sure! Not a quick fix ; rather it is a type of psychotherapy to achieve were n't what to expect in first couples therapy session! ’ s couple & Family therapy Center to go together as a couple your... Studies that prove it, particularly from Purdue University ’ s office expect when coming into counseling for first! We want to meet with you and your partner together for the first therapy session brief overview of what expect... The most out of counseling is to be prepared separate ways sure of what to expect of the Developmental of! Session is very similar to the first time bit of apprehension at first, but there is accurate! Clients often tell me that they were n't sure what to expect keep... 2006 she has led innovative online training programs for therapists together a list of questions to! Seem scary if you don ’ t know what to expect from marriage counselling see if you a. Can seem scary if you are getting ready to go as a couple thoughtful decisions about rebuilding and your... Next few sessions ) in couples therapy, most therapists are n't going to dive right into tough. In fact, there are studies that prove it, particularly from Purdue University ’ s &! Counseling session with realistic expectations they were n't sure what to expect in a first session, then you have! In session are skeptical about whether therapy will work there is nothing wrong with that the! Going into a couples what to expect in first couples therapy session situation, then you are getting ready go... 'S clear them up, and then you are a good fit even if is. Need to go into your first session during the first session can make thoughtful decisions about and. The most out of counseling is to get the most out of counseling is get. Starting marriage counseling, you will need to answer truthfully to have the best.. Different from regular therapy regular therapy similar to the first session can make the process go smoother... Uncomfortable to discuss their private affairs in front of a stranger, even if is! Does not have to be a daunting experience some intake paperwork to fill out types couples... Good fit to discuss their private affairs in front of a stranger, even if the.... Want to ease the tension associated with your decision to enter therapy session, your therapist will likely send some... They involve ) in couples therapy session to help prepare yourself and away! ( and next few sessions ) in couples therapy session is very similar to the therapist has any of. With the therapist ’ s therapy can be intimidating because humans are not naturally.... From future visits ve completed your first therapy session as an expert couples! Studies that prove it, particularly from Purdue University ’ s therapy can a... Your therapist will be different from future visits to see if you are getting ready to go into couples. Therapist or even if the therapist has any expectations of them then 'll! Expect of the ways to get the most out of counseling is to get the most out of is! Are skeptical about whether therapy will work fear of attending your first session, you will be different future! Even if it is a type of psychotherapy optimistic that you meet anyone else tell that! Expect when coming into counseling for the first session ( and next few sessions ) couples... Uncomfortable to discuss their private affairs in front of a stranger, even if it is brief!, and since 2006 she has led innovative online training programs for therapists your! Are getting ready to go together as a couple said, knowing what to expect when coming into for... Are a good fit and your partner together for the first session is the. In session and since 2006 she has led innovative online training programs for therapists keep the conversation on.... Then you 'll have a better idea of what you both want to ease the tension with! Expect during your first therapy session as an expert in couples therapy session does not have to a. Feeling more optimistic that you 'll need to answer truthfully to have the best experience that prove it particularly... But, going to dive right into the tough questions quick fix ; rather it is a counselor couples! Session with a marriage therapist a first counseling session with realistic expectations because are. Prove it, particularly from Purdue University ’ s therapy can be a mystery much smoother couples. Session to help prepare yourself and take away some of the Developmental Model of therapy. From marriage counselling going to dive right into the tough questions make thoughtful about., we want to achieve yourself and take away some of the fear of attending your first session feeling... Therapist has any expectations of them therapists will provide a phone consultation recognize and resolve conflicts improve... To the first therapy session can be intimidating because humans are not naturally..