Today, around 44% of married couples received marriage counseling before choosing to become married, but does couples therapy work? Studies have shown that 98% of couples who went to marriage counseling/therapy were satisfied with the outcome of the sessions. Around 93% of couples would also agree that therapy gave them the tools they need to manage their marriage issues at home.
If you believe you and your spouse are ready to reap the benefits of couples therapy, then it’s time to start preparing a list of couples therapy questions to ask during your first session. In the guide below, you’ll find several common couples therapy questions to ask your therapist and yourself. Continue reading below to learn more.
1. What Do I Want Out of Therapy?
The very first question you want to ask yourself at the beginning of your first sessions is what your goals are for going to marriage therapy. Your therapist might even ask you this question to get you thinking. It’s important to know what you expect out of therapy or what you want to get out of it.
What are your expectations? Are these expectations realistic? Take a few minutes to write down a few of these goals and then discuss them with your therapist.
Write down some goals the two of you have as a couple and a few individual goals as well. Your therapist can then discuss what’s realistic, what you can expect, and how you’ll reach those goals.
2. What’s the Treatment Plan?
Don’t be afraid to ask your therapist what their different approaches are. Not all therapists use the same treatment plans or approaches to counseling. You want to find a therapist whose approaches align with what you’re looking for.
For example, you may find success using cognitive behavioral therapy, humanistic approaches, psycho-dynamic therapy, or talk therapy. Which approach is the right choice for you? This is something you and your therapist will determine together.
You can also ask about what worksheets, activities, and homework you’ll have during your therapy experience and how these things can help you as a couple.
3. How Successful Are Marriages After Therapy?
It’s not uncommon for couples to wonder if going to therapy will actually make a difference. Is it worth your time? What percentage of couples found success in their marriage after attending marriage therapy with your therapist?
Allow your therapist to provide you with the answers to these questions. Keep in mind that it’s unrealistic for 100% of couples to remain happily married after receiving counseling, but a percentage above 70% is within the average. You can ask your therapist to provide you with proof of their success rate and use that information to help you get a better understanding of the importance of marriage therapy and if it’s the right choice for you.
4. What Experience Do You Have With Couples Similar to Us?
Marriage therapists see many different couples throughout the years. They see multiple couples a day, all with their own unique marriage struggles. It’s not a bad idea to ask your therapist about their experience working with couples similar to you.
Although no two couples struggle with the same exact marriage troubles, there are many issues within a marriage that some couples have in common. How many couples have the therapist seen with struggles similar to yours and what were some ways those couples were able to overcome them?
How was the therapist able to help those couples find success in their marriage? Not all approaches work the same for all couples, but it’s beneficial to have an idea of some approaches that might work for you.
5. Is Therapy Only to Focus on the Bad?
If you’re concerned about going to marriage therapy due to the idea that you’ll only focus on the bad, then feel free to speak with your therapist about this. Speaking about the bad parts of the relationship is often necessary to work through marriage problems, but this is not the sole focus of your therapy.
Your therapist will also explore individual and couple’s goals, aspirations, and desires for the relationship and one another. Yes, there will be some focus on the negative, but your therapist will also help the two of you build a vision of what your happy relationship looks like and how to bring that vision to life.
6. How Do You Feel About ____?
It’s also important to find a therapist with whom you feel comfortable. Do you and your therapist have the same morals and views on specific topics that are important to you? You can ask your therapist how they feel about certain topics.
For example, if you and your spouse are in an open relationship or a polyamorous relationship, then you might want to learn your therapist’s views on this. How does your therapist view divorce or blended families? Don’t feel shy when it comes to finding a great therapist who’s accepting of the type of relationship you and your spouse have.
Prepare a List of Couples Therapy Questions Before Your First Session
Starting couples counseling is a wonderful first step towards reaching goals in your marriage. Before attending your first sessions, consider preparing a list of couples therapy questions to ensure all of your questions are answered. At Harbor Counseling, you’ll find help navigating the waters of life.
This could range from gaining better self-esteem to improving the quality of all relationships in your life, and much more in between. To see how couples therapy might benefit you and your spouse, schedule a free consultation today.
Your consultation is the perfect time to have all of these questions answered and to find a great couples therapist for you and your spouse.