The Benefits of Couples Counseling
If you are looking into couples counseling in Palatine, IL, it is probably because you know that love is not always bright sunny skies and cuddly feelings. Sometimes, relationships go through periods where the couple experiences increased arguments or tension. The couple may not know why they are bickering, while others are aware of the problem but do not know how to resolve it themselves. When such difficulty arises, many couples may consider going to see a therapist. It is not uncommon for people who have never attended therapy before to be intimidated and unsure about what to expect. However, it is important to remember that the role of a therapist is to provide a safe space for expressing thoughts and emotions. Patients should never feel judged or embarrassed by their therapist.
If you have been experiencing problems within your relationship, engaging in couples counseling may be the appropriate next step for you and your partner. Relationships require work, which means you will need to always be putting forth the effort to keep it flourishing. The Palatine, Illinois couples counseling therapists at the Lotus Wellness Center are a group of experienced professionals who can help make the space for you to begin repairing some of the problems in your relationship.
What to Look for in a Palatine, IL Couples Counseling Therapist
The process of finding a therapist that feels like the right fit can be tough. Knowing what to look for will be important in finding a therapist who is skilled, experienced, and reputable. There are a few important components that you should take into consideration when in the process of finding a therapist:
Perhaps one of the most important aspects is finding a therapist that you and your partner is compatible with. You will want to choose a therapist who has experience in the field and the necessary licenses and certificates to work with couples. This is key, as it will ensure that you are working with someone who has the appropriate credentials.
Speak with the therapist by phone, asking them questions about their practice and ideals. You can gather details on their experience, training, sessions, and cost.
Relationship Problems are Common
Seeking out therapy for your relationship doesn’t necessarily mean it’s your last stop before divorce. In fact, many couples engage in therapy long before it gets to that point. Experiencing relational strife is something that most people contend with. Having kids, jobs, mortgages, etc. can be stressful, and it can be difficult to make time for each other or put the time into the connection that is important for all relationships. Seeking couples counseling in Palatine, Illinois is a healthy way of gaining the skills needed to improve your relationship.
Your First Session
The idea of going to couples counseling can feel daunting to some. It can feel overwhelming to think that you and your partner will discuss the problems in your relationship before another person. Our therapists provide an objective, non-judgmental environment so that you can let your guard down. The process can take time and as you build a relationship with your therapist, you will feel more comfortable in discussing the intimate details of your relationship.
At your first couples counseling session, your therapist may ask you a series of questions. You will begin to develop the basis of your work during your time together. It is important to note, that problems in your relationship won’t get better overnight. The results from couples counseling are all contingent upon what you and your partner are willing to commit to the process. You will need to be open and honest with each other and apply the lessons from therapy into your daily lives.
How To Prepare for Couples Counseling
No couple is perfect, and yet couples counseling can carry a pretty nasty social stigma. The truth is that counseling can be largely beneficial for many different types of couples. If you and your partner aren’t operating optimally as a couple, you may want to consider couples counseling in Palatine, IL. The Lotus Wellness Center can help you get started, but here are some ways you can prepare for your first session.
Know That You Don’t Have To Be On the Verge of Divorce
Couples counseling doesn’t have to be the only thing standing between you and divorce before you start going. You should make sure you are on the same page as your partner, as many couples start counseling when one wants to improve a relationship and the other is using it to decide whether or not they want a divorce, but you don’t even have to be in a bad place in your relationship to decide you want couples counseling in Palatine, IL. In fact, it can be a healthy activity to pursue when you’re looking to maintain a healthy relationship.
Make the Commitment
It can be difficult to reap the benefits of couples counseling if both of you aren’t committed to the process. It can also be difficult when only one person gets to pick their favorite option for a counselor. This can place the partner in a defensive position from the start if they don’t think their counselor will “be on their side.” It’s also important to give counseling a fair shot. You need to add it to your schedule and see it through to experience positive changes.
Create Shared Goals
To get the most out of couples counseling in Palatine, IL, try making some shared goals before you go to your first session. Even if you’re seeking counseling because you rarely see eye-to-eye anymore, you should think about what you both want to get out of it. Do you want to communicate better, or tackle financial issues? Or maybe you want to address your intimacy issues or differences in parenting styles. These topics can be embarrassing or jarring to bring up without warning, so making a goal list can help.
Couples counseling isn’t a magic spell that repairs any relationship, and arriving at your first session with that mindset will only end in disappointment. What Lotus Wellness Center can provide is a safe environment to work through issues, changes, and big decisions regarding your relationship.
6 Common Myths About Couples Therapy or Counseling
1. Therapy Is Too Expensive
While there is a cost involved in couples counseling in Palatine, IL, it pales in comparison to what you would pay for divorce proceedings. Furthermore, therapy may be covered by health insurance, while divorce expenses definitely are not.
2. Therapy Is for Weak People Who Can’t Work Out Their Own Problems
It takes tremendous strength of character to find the courage to go to Lotus Wellness Center and ask for help saving your marriage. Sometimes couples need the benefit of an objective viewpoint to help them find solutions to their longstanding problems. It has nothing to do with the strength of the relationship.
Think of it this way: Seeing a doctor to have a broken bone set isn’t a sign of weakness; it’s just what has to be done to ensure proper healing. The same is true of going to couples counseling in Palatine, IL.
3. Couples Counselors Take Sides
Couples counselors are trained to stay neutral and reserve judgment with the goal of helping you find solutions to your problems. They are not supposed to take sides. If you ever feel like a therapist is choosing sides, you need to find a new counselor at Lotus Wellness Center because the other one isn’t doing his or her job correctly.
4. Therapy Takes a Long Time
Therapy can be either long-term or short-term. Long-term therapy can last a year or more, but short-term therapy lasts up to 20 weeks, or five months. It may only last eight weeks. It depends on the nature of your problems and how much work the counselor feels you need to do. He or she should be able to give you an estimate of how long your therapy should last after an initial visit.
5. Therapy Is Only for People Heading for Divorce
Some couples go to counseling because they feel that their relationship is in danger and this may be the only way to save it. However, that is only one possible reason. Other couples go to counseling to learn strategies for more effective communication and conflict resolution to prevent relatively minor complaints from turning into major problems.
6. Therapy Solves All Your Problems
Couples counseling is not magic. It does not automatically make all your troubles go away. It can give you tools for dealing with them more effectively, but if the relationship is too unhealthy, it may be beyond saving. In situations such as these, therapy may help you to gain clarity about your circumstances and help you figure out a way forward. Therapy may help you to divorce amicably and avoid unnecessary conflict that could prove expensive and damaging.
Common Questions to Ask your Couples Counselor
How do I know whether we need couples counseling?
If you and your other half feel as though things could be better in your relationship, then it may be a good idea to try out a Palatine couples counseling session. Do keep in mind though, that it may take more than just a single session for you to work through challenges. In the event of infidelity, miscommunication, or major disagreements within the relationship, going to couples counseling can be a great resource.
What topics may be covered in a couples counseling session?
The topics covered in a couples counseling session in Palatine depend on the couple. Every pair is different and every person may have unique needs or personality traits. The intention of a therapist to get to know you both as individuals and as a couple. Then, problem areas may be identified and worked through at a pace the couple is comfortable with.
Will the counselor offer solutions to our problems?
A counselor’s role is to be an unbiased and neutral party as you and your other half work through challenges. A therapist may guide the conversation and help you arrive at an agreement together. However, it is unlikely that a therapist will make straightforward statements about what you should or should not do. Your therapist should never take the side of one spouse or the other during sessions. Each person should feel supported and equal during counseling.
What is Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT)?
Emotionally focused therapy is a counseling approach that can help reduce conflict and encourage support between the couple. EFT identifies patterns in communication that can get in the way of a rewarding and connective relationship dynamic. Through this approach, many couples may observe they have less fights and decreased overall tension. Additionally, conflicts that do arise can be worked through faster, compared to how long it would take to settle in the past. This can be a direct result of the improved communication skills couples learn how to use in sessions.
How do I know if a counselor is right for me?
First and foremost, a counselor should always make you and your spouse feel safe to share how you feel. A skilled counselor can help you navigate very painful or difficult conversations that have previously ended in disaster when you both tried to battle the talk alone. The right counselor may not only help you become better together, but as an individual too.
Common Questions a Couples Counselor May Ask
If you and your partner have been experiencing relationship problems, you may have considered seeing a couples counselor. A licensed couples counselor can help you work through your issues in a comfortable and nonjudgmental environment and give you advice on how to improve your relationship. However, if this is the first time you’ve ever been to couples counseling in Palatine, IL, you may not know what to expect.
Here are some questions your couples counselor may ask:
What brings you here?
This is like the first question your couples counselor will ask you and your partner. It helps get right to the point. Your couples counselor will want to know specific details of why you sought therapy so that he or she can better assist you. Be completely honest and don’t leave any details out. Whether you and your partner have been arguing more often than usual lately or one has had an affair, it’s important for your counselor to know the reason you’re there.
What’s the history of your relationship?
A couples counselor will also ask questions about the history of your relationship, like how the two of you met, how long you’ve been together, and whether or not you’ve had previous issues. Finding out about the history of your relationship can help the counselor work more effectively with the two of you.
Are you happy in your relationship at all?
How you answer this question can tell a lot about where the two of you are as a couple. If you can’t think of one thing that makes you happy in your relationship, you may just be staying in it for security reasons. If that’s the case, it may be better to end the relationship instead of continuing to be in happy. On the other hand, if you can still think of several things that make you happy in your relationship, it may be worth saving.
What do you hope to get out of therapy?
People often can have very different goals they hope to achieve from Palatine, IL couples counseling. That’s why your counselor will likely at the beginning of the session ask you and your partner what goals you hope to achieve from therapy. It’s quite possible that you and your significant other will have different goals.
Have there been any trust issues in the relationship?
When one or both partners lose trust, it can deeply impact the health of the relationship. Your counselor will want to know if either of you have broken each other’s trust before. Affairs and lying about finances, for example, can make even the strongest relationships suffer. Your counselor may help you repair some of that damage and become a stronger couple.
If you want to save your relationship, scheduling an appointment with an experienced couples therapist may be your best option. Come prepared to answer the questions listed above during your first session. If you have questions for your counselor also, don’t hesitate to ask them.
Couples Counseling Can Help Make Big Life Decisions
Sometimes, couples may find themselves at odds with one another. It’s not uncommon for couples to seek guidance from a couples counseling in Palatine, Illinois for a number of reasons. Some of the time, a couples therapist may be beneficial to help repair a relationship. However, it’s important to realize that not all couples are able to repair their relationships with counseling. Sometimes, a couples therapist may provide a safe space for couples to discuss the end of their relationship. When this occurs, there are many significant decisions that will need to be made. While this can certainly be challenging, at times, therapy can provide a space to dissolve a marriage in as amicable a way as possible.
Therapy to Choose Divorce
When two people make the decision to get married, they usually are hoping that it will last forever. Unfortunately, divorce is a common risk that couples may ultimately face. Relationships take work. However, it’s important to realize that sometimes, no matter how hard couples work, they may be unable to repair the challenges in their relationship. Therapy can sometimes assist couples in reaching the decision to initiate the divorce process. In some cases, one person may choose therapy as a way to communicate their wishes in a safe space. An experienced couples therapist can provide a place for couples to make some of life’s most challenging decisions.
Once you and your partner have determined that divorce is the most appropriate next step, you both will be faced with making a number of tough decisions together. While it’s possible to amicably make decisions together, some of the time, making such significant decisions can result in serious conflict with your partner. When moving forward with divorce, common decisions that couples may need to reach agreements around include:
- Child Custody
- Child Support
- Spousal Support
- Division of Property
- Real Estate Property
Couples therapy can be beneficial to those with challenges in their marriage who are considering divorce. Not only can a couples therapist help to reach decisions regarding the relationship, they can also assist in helping people to manage the emotions that may come with ending a marriage.
Coping with Change
The change that comes with ending a relationship can be rife with emotion. While for some, the end of a relationship can come with some sense of relief, there can still be pain and loss associated with the end of relationship. While a couples therapist can certainly help with this process, it may also be in your best interest to seek care from an individual therapist. A couples therapist can help you to process the emotions you may be experiencing by providing a listening ear and coping strategies for facing these changes.
Divorce can bring forth an onslaught of emotions. While engaging in couples therapy was likely initiated to help repair your relationship, the direction of your relationship may have taken a complete turn. The divorce process can be a lengthy and stressful process. However, in some cases, couples may have the ability to discuss their divorce and make important decisions with the assistance of a couples therapist.
Many people feel isolated when experiencing relationship issues. You may not know whom in your support network to turn to. This is especially true if you are a very private person. Couples counseling Palatine, IL clients trust can prove to be helpful. We can provide you with the space to discuss the conflict in your relationship, privately. Call today to schedule an appointment with a Palatine, IL couples counseling office at the Lotus Wellness Center.
Couples Counseling: Do’s and Don’ts
Do Find a Therapist You’re Both Comfortable With
Once you and your partner have decided to attend couples counseling, you both should be involved in the process of finding a therapist. If one partner makes the choice unilaterally, it can start your counseling journey on a sour note. When seeking couples counseling in Palatine, IL, look for a therapist you can both be comfortable with, and don’t be afraid to pass on a therapist who doesn’t meet your needs.
Do Have Goals in Mind
One of the first questions you are likely to be asked in couples counseling is, “What do you hope to get out of these sessions?” As you begin the process, consider how you hope counseling will strengthen your relationship. Setting clear goals helps your therapist understand how to best support you and your partner and helps you get the most out of your couples counseling in Palatine, IL.
You and your partner may have different goals, and that’s okay! However, it can help to talk about your goals with your partner and find common ground.
Do Be Honest and Open
Sharing the private details of your life with a stranger can be challenging. It will get easier as you build a relationship with your therapist at Lotus Wellness Center. Remember that your therapist is there to help you, not to judge or condemn you. A good therapist can help you feel more comfortable sharing your feelings.
Don’t Wait Until Things Get Worse
Many people assume that couples counseling is a last resort for a relationship that is nearing its end. In reality, couples counseling can be helpful at any stage of your relationship. Consider exploring couples counseling in Palatine, IL, before problems escalate. Even a relationship with little to no conflict can benefit from counseling.
Don’t Expect a Quick Solution
Couples counseling requires hard work from you and your partner. The role of a therapist is to provide support and guidance to you and your partner as you work through relationship issues together. It can take some time to get used to sharing your problems and feelings with your therapist, so don’t get frustrated if you don’t feel that you’re making progress after one or two sessions.
Don’t Feel Ashamed
There is an unfair social stigma associated with couples counseling. The truth is that many couples in all stages of their relationships seek couples counseling in Palatine, IL, at Lotus Wellness Center. Do not let shame prevent you from taking this important step to repair and strengthen your relationship.