Couples therapy, relationship counseling, marriage counseling; whatever name you decide to call it, is never an experience you’re likely to get excited about.

office2-2013It might not be as bad as it sounds though, and if you’re a little worried about what might happen, here are a few things you can expect from Susan Reed Therapy.

I have found that many couples find the idea of counseling is often intimidating, and the idea of having these sessions alongside their partner or spouse can be downright terrifying. Nothing is really going to change that anxiety before your first appointment, but knowing what to expect may help to reduce feelings of fear. While every counselor and therapist is different, here’s what I’ve learned over my many years of private practice.

Couples therapy seems a straight forward concept: you sign up for some appointments when your relationship is in trouble and you need help dealing with it.

In a nutshell, that’s right, but the whole experience is a bit more complicated than that. How do you know if you will benefit from relationship therapy; how can you recognize that the problems can no longer be dealt with at home, together. There’s no straight forward answer, but often we get a sense that things are reaching stalemate.

Perhaps you are both arguing and fighting about the stupidest things and these conflicts quickly escalate into something more serious.

Or perhaps your relationship feels like it has gone stale, and if you were not so busy leading individual lives you feel that you could die of boredom.

Alternatively, there is a big issue – such as money, sex, infidelity, in-laws or children— situations that your partner seems not to understand how you feel.

The main function of couples therapy is to put you and your partner in a room with a impartial mediator to help both parties make sense of what’s going on. If you’re having trouble communicating with each other, then the counselor is going to help guide you through talking about it.

A couple counselor’s responsibility is that the relationship and both of you will get equal time, attention and understanding. Couples work avoids the victim or “poor me” attitude that can be a by-product of individual therapy, which encourages clients to dig deeper into their own world view.

The central point is to get you talking through whatever issues you have, or to simply figure out what those issues are. If you’re both willing to give it a chance it can be a rewarding and fruitful experience. The sessions at Susan Reed Therapy have proven extremely successful in helping couples resolve their problems and avoid future difficulties. Some clients see me 3 or 4 times, some just once or twice, others on a longer term basis with a few deciding to continue attending once a month over many years to just “touch base” in a private and safe environment.

Whatever happens you will find me very proactive and you will never have more sessions than is required. Many couples leave their sessions feeling closer and more hopeful than they have in years.