10 Tips For Getting The Most Out of Couples Counseling

Last Updated:
November 15, 2023

Let’s face it, the idea of therapy can be pretty nerve-wracking; what to say? How to act? Where to look? This is why whether you are still in the decision-making phase or you and your partner are already seeing an expert regularly, it’s totally natural to be curious about how to make the most out of your couples counseling sessions.

From choosing the right therapist to applying your learnings day to day, these are Ritual’s top 10 tips on how to get the most out of couples counseling, marriage counseling, or relationship guidance.

10 tips for getting the most out of couples counseling

Choose the right therapist

We have mentioned this before in our previous article on how to prepare for your first relationship guidance session. But we can’t stress enough that choosing the right type of relationship help and the right expert is a crucial first step. Find an expert, therapist, or marriage counselor who has expertise in the relationship issues you’re facing and who will create a safe space for you both to feel comfortable to speak your truth. Remember to also consider your preferred method - you and your partner might like the idea of online relationship help that works around your schedule (just like Ritual), or maybe the traditional in-person sessions are your preference. No matter your choice, the most important thing is that you make the right choice for your relationship!

Set clear goals

Make sure that before starting couples counseling, you and your partner are on the same page about what you want to achieve from the experience - that might be improving communication or finding better ways to manage conflict. This will make it easier for you both to track your progress over time and consider whether you are going down the right path, or lost track slightly. Having clear objectives and ideas of your ‘end goal’ will also help your chosen expert to tailor their approach to your specific needs throughout the therapeutic process.

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Commit to open communication

It might go without saying, but effective communication is the cornerstone of any healthy relationship, and it’s also important throughout your couples counseling journey. Throughout your experience, commit to being open, honest, and respectful to your partner - both during therapy sessions and in your day-to-day lives outside. Remembering to be open will support you both in identifying the root causes of any relationship problems and make it easier to work on finding solutions together. 

Take responsibility 

Couples counseling sessions aren’t an excuse to blame each other for past wrong-doings but rather taking responsibility for your past actions and feelings. To make the most of your time, make sure to acknowledge your role in the relationship dynamics and be willing to work on personal growth and make improvements. Doing this will help create an environment in which you will both feel comfortable resolving conflicts and creating mutual understanding.

Be patient

Couples counseling is a process. It may take time to see substantial progress but you should both remember to be patient, trust, and even enjoy the journey. Change can’t happen overnight and you might stumble across a few bumps along the way. However you both must give the time needed to address underlying issues properly and develop healthier patterns of behavior and communication - it’s a marathon, not a sprint!

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Embrace vulnerability

Being vulnerable isn’t something everyone is used to, but it’s a key element in couples therapy. It requires you to open up and share your thoughts, feelings, and concerns with your partner and the relationship expert. And while you might find this challenging to begin with, it is essential for building trust, empathy, and intimacy in your relationship. The right couples therapist will guide you and support you to ensure you feel completely comfortable expressing your emotions during your sessions.

Practice active listening

You might think that therapy revolves around talking, but listening is just as crucial! Make a conscious effort to practice active listening during your sessions. Active listening refers to genuinely focusing on your partner’s words, without interrupting or thinking of how you will respond while they’re still speaking. Practicing this will benefit your understanding of your partner’s feelings and experiences, this can lead to more effective communication and better problem-solving.

Stay committed

Not to sound like a broken record, but couples therapy is a process! It is essential to remain committed to attending your sessions and doing the work outside of them. Even when you see small positive changes, try to continue attending to help reinforce and build upon your progress. Consistency is key to making sure you both get the most out of couples counseling.

Apply what you learn

Take the new skills and strategies that you have learned while speaking with your chosen expert and apply them to your relationship outside of the therapy session. Practice the communication techniques, conflict resolution strategies, and listening skills you have acquired during your sessions in your daily life to make sure your relationship is taking steps in the right direction.

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Maintain self-care

Couples therapy or relationship guidance focuses on your relationship, but this doesn’t mean you should forget about yourself! Prioritize self-care throughout this journey, and take care of your physical and emotional well-being, this will only contribute to a healthier and more balanced partnership in the long term. So whether it’s attending your favorite gym class or watching your favorite TV show, maintaining your individual needs will help you bring your best self to your relationship and your sessions!

Are you and your partner interested in accessible relationship guidance that is schedule-friendly, easy to follow, and affordable? Ritual is an app that helps you heal and turn crisis into opportunity with the help of our experienced Relationship Experts, and science-backed method.

Here’s how it works:

  1. Tell us about yourself: Start by having a session with one of our experts. Together we explore your goals and needs, to make sure our guidance stays relevant and effective.

  2. Get your personalized plan: Decide which areas of your relationship you want to focus on. You’ll receive insights and tools to help you get where you want to go, while better understanding your partner (and yourself).

  3. Make daily steps forward: Improvement becomes a habit, with new skills and approaches you’ll start practicing right away. Weekly 1:1 sessions with your expert will help you track the changes as you go, and keep you motivated in the process.

Start your journey with Ritual today.