How to Have a Successful Couple’s Therapy Session (Part 1 of a three part series)
When folks call me they often ask “How long will therapy take.” I answer their question by telling them on the average I see couples between 5 and 12 sessions; but then I add: “It depends on how hard a couple works at the process”.
One of the challenges in couples’ therapy is that sometimes couples are hurt toward each other. After seeing couples that are nasty to each other two things occur to me:
- People are dealing not only with the issues but with the frustration and even anger they are feeling with their partner, this is not a surprise
- People have forgotten how to treat their partner well. I am always surprised by this.
The real problems come when a couple that is very combative get lost in their destructive communication patterns, thus preventing them from making progress.
Couples are so busy fighting during therapy they are just making things worse. To help with this, I have developed a number of forms that each person in a high conflict relationship, can use to evaluate their own progress.
My forms entail a three step process. I have three forms each one progressively asking a little more from both people. These forms provide specific guide lines. At the end of our session, I ask the couple to individually rate them self in terms of how they are progressing during our meeting.
By working following these guidelines couples can put the process in high gear and move forward more quickly
In future blogs I will share with you the guidlines that are on the forms that individuals need to do in order to progress in building their marriage.