Your first session with the therapist will be different from future visits. The first therapy session does not have to be a mystery. Your First Therapy Session . They are not sure of what to expect of the therapist or even if the therapist has any expectations of them. With a bit of effort on your part and a strong relationship with your counselor, counseling can be a successful tool for resolving problems. Whatever your reason for seeking help, you will be more at ease and get better results if you know what to expect. 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. Here, we want to ease the tension associated with your decision to enter therapy. 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. That being said, knowing what to expect during a couples therapy session can make the process go much smoother. Marriage counseling, also called couples therapy, is a type of psychotherapy. One of the ways to get the most out of counseling is to be prepared. There will be some forms to fill out regarding consent to treatment, therapy policies, brief medical history, and … 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. Consequently there is little accurate information or a frame of reference for what to expect. What to Expect. Attending your first couple’s therapy can be a daunting experience. Before Your First Marriage Counseling Session. 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. 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. Ellyn Bader, Ph.D., is Co-Founder & Director of The Couples Institute and creator of The Developmental Model of Couples Therapy. Clients often tell me that they weren't sure what to expect when coming into counseling for the first time. It can seem scary if you don’t know what to expect during your first session. Go into your first counseling session with realistic expectations. Going into a couples therapy session can be intimidating because humans are not naturally vulnerable. We want our clients to make themselves comfortable. Here are 10 couples therapy tips to get ready for your first session. For your first session, you will need to go together as a couple. Part of the fear of attending your first session is just the unknown. 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. Preparing for Marriage Counseling. If you are getting ready to go into a couples therapy situation, then you are likely wondering what to expect. Research Think about what your goals are and what you both want to achieve. Before your first session, your therapist will likely send over some intake paperwork to fill out. 1. In addition, you should come away from the first couples therapy session with a … 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. The first session (and next few sessions) in couples therapy is very similar to the first session in individual therapy. What To Expect At Your First Session. Then you need to do some pre-therapy legwork. 1. What to expect for your first therapy session… Before starting marriage counseling, many therapists will provide a phone consultation. Marriage counseling helps couples of all types recognize and resolve conflicts and improve their relationships. Here is a brief overview of what you can expect to experience on your first visit to the therapist’s office. Couples are often uncertain what to expect from the process of couples therapy. Through marriage counseling, you can make thoughtful decisions about rebuilding and strengthening your relationship or going your separate ways. 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. With couples therapy, most therapists will want to meet with you and your partner together for the first meeting. 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. Knowing what to expect in a first session can help people to feel more relaxed. 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. This is to give you an idea of what to expect in couples therapy … Paperwork. But, going to a therapist can help save your marriage. Putting together a list of questions helps to keep the conversation on track. 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. Ellyn is widely recognized as an expert in couples therapy, and since 2006 she has led innovative online training programs for therapists. Couples often arrive believing that the therapist’s job is to “fix” their partner. Expect to go as a couple in your first session. Marriage Counselling: 7 things to expect from your first session. In fact, there are studies that prove it, particularly from Purdue University’s Couple & Family Therapy Center. Watch this video to learn more! 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. We’ve made a list of things you could expect in your first therapy session. 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… ... Let's clear them up, and then you'll have a better idea of what to expect from marriage counselling. 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. Hopefully, after your first session you’re feeling more optimistic that you’re headed in the right direction. Many therapists will view the first therapy session as an evaluation period. The first therapy session is very similar to the first time that you meet anyone else. What is couples counseling and how is it different from regular therapy? 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. 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. Most couples experience a bit of apprehension at first, but there is nothing wrong with that. About Ellyn Bader. 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. Read on to learn what to expect from a first counseling session with a marriage therapist. It’s A Low-Pressure Session Don’t expect your first session with a new therapist to be a “deep dive” one. Most people find it uncomfortable to discuss their private affairs in front of a stranger, even if it is a counselor. 1. You’ve completed your first couples therapy session, you’re on your way. Couples therapy, relationship counseling, marriage counseling; whatever name you decide to call it, is never an experience you're likely excited about. 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. 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. Some of these worries are only eased once the therapy is in session. This post aims to put you at . “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. 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. 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. The goal here is to get to know one another better and to see if you are a good fit. 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. 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. Future visits will be more therapeutic in nature. 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