What to Do When Couples Counseling Doesn’t Work the First Time

Going to couples counseling is an experience that often humbles both parties and helps them see where they can improve in the relationship. If one of the individuals in the partnership doesn’t want to attend therapy or fix the relationship, it may not work. If you are at a point where you want to try couples counseling again, but are worried because it didn’t work the first time, observe the following steps for success.

1. Be Honest

When thinking about honesty, it doesn’t just mean being honest about a particular situation or a certain conversation that was had between the two of you. It means being honest about your feelings. If something you feel might be seen as trivial has really made you upset, don’t be afraid to share it. If you think something is funny, go ahead and laugh. Even if you’re embarrassed or ashamed to admit truth, it’s important to do it anyway because your relationship can’t be fixed on dishonesty.

2. Keep It Confidential

The problems that exist between you and your partner should stay between you and your partner. Obviously you’ll share them with your therapist, but it’s time to stop running to your girlfriends to share every detail about your latest argument. You can’t call your dad and complain about your spouse’s undesirable habits anymore. Breaking confidentiality creates negative relationships between your partner and those you talk to, as well as distrust between the two of you.

3. Switch Therapists

If you don’t feel your therapist really gets what you’re going through, it’s okay to switch therapists. Many couples will start out with one therapist who discovers one of them has an addiction that needs addressing. They will then switch to a new counselor who specializes in couples with addictive and codependent behaviors. It’s also okay to get a new therapist if you simply feel you’re being blamed, ganged up on or just have clashing personalities.

4. Do Your Homework

If your therapist gives you homework, whether it’s something to do on your own or something to do with your spouse, make sure you get it done. It’s going to be difficult at first, but the more you push yourself to do the things you’re assigned, the easier it’ll get.

Contact a Therapist Today

If you’ve already been to therapy and don’t feel it worked for you, reevaluate how the process went. Were you honest? Did you commit to confidentiality? Did you, your partner and your therapist work well together? Did you do your assignments? These steps are essential to success, so if it’s time to start over, keep them in mind and contact a therapist today.