Going to couples therapy isn’t always a simple decision. Both people in the relationship need to be on board. Both need to be willing to open up and accept help. If one person is just going through the motions or attending to save face, it’s unlikely the therapy will be successful.
Sometimes, though, both people can be driven to make it work, and still need some reminders that therapy is paying off. It’s not always clear, at first, what kind of positive changes are happening in your relationship thanks to couples therapy.
If you’ve been attending therapy with your partner for a while and you need some reassurance, there are several signs you can count on that will assure you couples therapy is working for you.
Let’s cover a few of those signs. Knowing that you’re making progress will make you more motivated to continue down this path and strengthen your relationship even more.
You Feel a Bond With Your Therapist
A relationship therapist doesn’t take sides. They don’t favor one person over another. But both you and your partner should feel a level of commitment from your therapist. You should feel somewhat bonded to them, which allows you to open up more and share your experiences, feelings, and thoughts.
If you don’t feel connected to your therapist or you don’t feel like they’re hearing both of you, you’re probably not getting as much out of your sessions as you should. But, if you know they take your goals seriously, you’re likely making more progress than you might realize.
You’re More In-Tune With Your Emotions
Emotions demand to be felt. It’s how you handle them that makes a difference. When a couple comes to therapy for the first time, it’s usually because they’ve let their emotions take control and drive every conversation and argument.
After several therapy sessions, you should start to realize that your emotions play a role in how you treat your partner. Many times, something “bigger” is happening beneath the surface that might cause you to lash out at your partner or treat them unfairly.
Therapy can help you understand your emotions and learn about your common triggers. When you’re able to do that, you’ll recognize them as they’re happening and have more control.
As a result, you’ll be less likely to let your emotions drive your actions in your relationship. If you’ve noticed that you have a greater ability to keep your emotions in check and pause your actions when you’re upset, therapy is working.
You Acknowledge Your Partner’s Feelings
In addition to understanding your own emotions, recognizing how your partner is feeling is just as important. After several therapy sessions, you should acknowledge their needs, wants, and goals. Things that you may have ignored before now become a priority.
When that happens, both you and your partner will feel more comfortable expressing yourselves in front of each other. It can take a huge weight off of your relationship and reduce tension. The more you both express yourselves, the easier it will be to get to the underlying issues and work through them.
Couples therapy should help you realize what’s getting in the way of you responding to your partner. Once those “blocks” are addressed and removed, your communication and understanding will improve.
Sometimes, taking a step back and really looking at the progress you’ve made in therapy makes a big difference. If you’re feeling stronger in your relationship and you’re learning more about yourself, therapy is paying off.
If you’re interested in trying couples therapy and you’re dedicated to making your relationship work, feel free to contact me for more information.