08 May What Happens When You See a Couples’ Therapist?
Seeing a therapist for online couples counselling doesn’t have to be a daunting process. Your relationship is precious and perhaps it’s already in a fragile state. It’s understandable that, because your relationship means so much to you, you feel nervous at the thought of seeking outside support. After all, you want to protect your relationship the best way you can.
Sometimes it can be the fear of the unknown that is most terrifying. When we don’t know what to expect, we can imagine all sorts of terrible scenarios. Unpredictability can cause symptoms of anxiety. To help ease that anxiety and ensure you can feel confident you’re putting your relationship in safe hands, here’s what you can expect when seeing a couples’ therapist.
Confidentiality & Building Rapport
Whether you’re coming to relationship counselling alone or with your partner, it’s the therapist’s job to do the best they can to make you feel accepted, validated and comfortable enough to begin to talk about some of the issues that are bringing you into therapy. The therapist will do this by firstly telling you about confidentiality – that everything you talk about will stay between you and the therapist, the only person they might discuss anything you’ve spoken with them about is their supervisor, and some reasons they may need to break confidentiality. The therapist will then ask if you have any questions, giving you the opportunity to raise any concerns or queries about the process of therapy.
Every couples’ therapist is different and each will have their own specific questions during the first assessment session. These questions help the therapist gain an understanding of your current issues, assess whether they will need to make a referral for more specialised support, or if they can provide the support you need they will determine the best form of treatment going forward. We’ve listed some standard questions below, to give you an idea of what to expect.
- Tell me a bit about the history of your relationship, including any significant moments
- How did you meet?
- What attracted you to each other?
- Tell me what brings you into counselling?
- How might you have tried to resolve conflict in the past?
- Are you able to repair and reconnect after conflict?
- Is there anything about sex or sexuality that you would like to discuss in therapy?
- When do each of you feel connected and closest to each other?
- What are your goals for counselling?
After listening and gaining an understanding of some of the issues that you’re facing in your relationship, your therapist will let you know if they’re able to support you. If they don’t feel they can, they’ll be able to give you some referrals for others who may be able to support you more effectively. Your therapist might then let you know a bit about how they work and where they see the work starting. From there, you’ll have the opportunity to ask the therapist about any concerns you might have about therapy or anything you want to know about the therapy process or how they work.
If you’d like some extra support during this time and you’d like to book in with one of our therapists, contact us at 1300 874 184 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Words by Natalie Claire King, Couples Therapist.