5 Things to Know Before Starting Couples Therapy

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Published Date|
February 27, 2024

5 Things to Know Before Starting Couples Therapy

You know you want something to change in your relationship - but is couples therapy the right way to get what you want?

Couples therapy can be a great way to grow your relationship and feel more secure with your partner - but it’s also a huge investment. You want to make sure it’s the right choice for you.

Here at KMA Therapy, we’re relationship experts. For over 15 years, we’ve taught our clients and community about the best tools to help their relationships thrive - including couples therapy!

After reading this article, you’ll know what couples therapy is, what happens during couples therapy, and five important things to know before you begin couples therapy.

What is Couples Therapy?

Couples therapy, which is also often called marriage counselling or couples counselling, is a type of therapy designed to help you and your partner identify, address, and find solutions to problems you’re facing.

The goal of couples therapy is to create a supportive environment where you and your partner can openly explore the challenges you’re facing and work on growing together to reach your mutual goals in the relationship.

Couples therapy is an effective way to help strengthen your relationship (in fact, 70% of couples experiencing a positive impact from couples therapy.)

5 Things to Know Before You Start Couples Therapy

Deciding to start couples therapy is a big decision - it can be a big investment of your time, money, and energy.

Here are five things to consider before you begin couples therapy.

1. How does couples therapy work?

During couples therapy, you’ll have sessions with a licensed therapist who will help create an environment where you and your partner both feel safe and heard when discussing the challenges you’re facing.

Couples therapy is solutions-focused, meaning your therapist will work to help you experience meaningful changes in a short amount of time.

Overall, your couples therapist will guide you through exercises and conversations that help you get to the root of the problems in your relationship and figure out how to solve them, communicate clearly with each other, and feel empowered to face any new challenges you experience after therapy.

2. Will our therapist take sides during couples therapy?

During couples therapy, your therapist won’t take sides - they’ll remain neutral and provide you with a new way to see problems, as opposed to telling you who is “right” and “wrong.”

do couples therapists take sides

You might hear your couples counsellor talk about how there are three sides to every story - your side, your partner’s side, and the truth.

Instead of viewing issues as you versus your partner, your therapist will help you reframe your conversations as you and your partner versus the problem.

3. What type of therapist is best for couples therapy?

Your couples therapist should be a licensed and registered therapist who has plenty of experience helping couples and has specialized training for couples therapy. You might also choose to see a Registered Marriage and Family Therapist depending on the issues you’re facing.

When choosing a couples therapist, make sure they’re experienced in the specific issues you’re facing and they’re someone who you and your partner feel comfortable speaking to.

Specialties you might be interested in include:

  • Infidelity
  • Fertility issues
  • Mental health issues
  • Preparing for marriage
  • Communication issues

You also want to make sure to choose a therapist whose values align with your own - for example, if you’re interested in exploring ethical non-monogamy, you might not want to speak with a super traditional therapist (and vice versa).

4. What types of therapy are used in couples therapy?

A variety of different types of therapy can be used during couples counselling, and your therapist can help you figure out what’s best for you depending on what you’re looking to address with therapy.

Therapies commonly used with couples include:

  • The Gottman Method, which helps you focus on specific components to build a resilient, enduring, and fulfilling partnership
  • Emotion-focused therapy, which uses attachment theory to help you and your partner understand and regulate your emotions
  • Solution-focused therapy, which emphasizes setting goals, finding solutions, and looking  toward the future

5. Is couples therapy right for my relationship?

You might also be wondering if couples therapy or individual therapy is the better choice for you.

For example, you might be experiencing a lot of communication issues in your relationship - this might be something that couples therapy can help you explore with your partner, or it might be something you struggle with more than your partner does and you’d like to explore it with your own therapist.

Signs you could benefit from couples therapy include:

  • You keep having the same arguments with your partner
  • You’re going through a difficult life transition
  • There’s a breakdown in communication
  • You’re dealing with intimacy issues

You might also choose to see a couples therapist and an individual therapist at the same time. This can be helpful if you’re struggling with personal mental health issues or you want to have more time in therapy to focus on yourself and the challenges you’re facing separately from the relationship.

If you decide to see a therapist with your partner and on your own, it’s often helpful for these to be two separate therapists.

Next Steps for Beginning Couples Therapy

After reading this article, you know five ways to determine if couples therapy is the right choice for you.

Here at KMA Therapy, our talented couples therapists are here to help you and your partner identify, plan for, and achieve your goals to create a satisfying and fulfilling relationship.

Explore our Couples Counselling Page to learn more, or Register Online to connect with a member of our team today.

If you’d prefer to keep reading, explore these articles for more information:

Author |
Emily Weatherhead (Guest Author)
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