How to Choose a Couples Counselor, How to Start the Conversation with Your Partner, and What to Expect from Couples Counseling
Flourish Psychology offers couples counseling in New York City. We’re based in Brooklyn, but use secure video technology to offer marriage therapy and support services for any partnership interested in couples counseling. We invite any couple, in any type of relationship (love is love) and at any stage of their relationship to contact us when you need help.
But we also know that couples counseling often feels like a big step. It’s a choice that both partners need to make together, and one that can feel like a difficult decision. We want to help make the process easier for you, by answering some of your most pressing questions about couples counseling and what you can expect from this type of therapy.
Why Do People Seek Couples Counseling?
All couples – especially here in Brooklyn – experience a variety of different challenges. Most of the time, these challenges come down to what we broadly refer to as “communication.” This word may be misleading, however.
Most couples see “communication” as “talking,” and while talking *is* important, communication typically refers to many different activities:
The words you use when you talk to each other.
The body language you use when you have conversations
The way that you hear what the other person is saying and how you process what they’re asking.
Many couples find that they struggle to verbalize to each other in a way that is both understood and listened to, and they have trouble opening themselves up to see the point of view of their partner. That’s one of the reasons we work hard to create a safe space here in couples counseling – to give our clients a judgment free space to share.
In addition to communication, many couples seek therapy for reasons that include:
Struggling with intimacy
Difficulty parenting or co-parenting
Financial issues that lead to arguments
However, it should be noted that couples therapy isn’t just for couples in the midst of a crisis. It is designed to strengthen any relationship, which is why many couples seek relationship therapy to improve commitment, overcome obstacles, and grow together. There is no wrong time to get help.
How to Choose a Couples Counselor
Both partners need to feel comfortable sharing details about their relationship to the therapist. It helps to find someone that you both feel like you connect with.
Many times, a couple chooses the first therapist they find. If you connect with that therapist, that’s great. But also, as a partnership, you both should try to find someone that you feel truly comfortable with.
If that means trying a few psychotherapists first and then deciding on one later, that is a perfectly reasonable decision. It is more important that you feel comfortable.
At Flourish Psychology, we are licensed to provide couples counseling anywhere in the state of New York, but we also believe we are able to provide value to clients in Brooklyn and NYC, because we know what it’s like to live here, we have shared experiences, and it is often easier to communicate about places and events. Often, our clients find that being local is helpful for them as well.
How to Start the Conversation with Your Partner
We often find that it is one partner that considers couples counseling first, and then wants to get the other partner on board. You know your partner better than anyone, but some of the benefits of couples counseling that you can emphasize include:
Every partner will be given a chance to speak without being interrupted
Each partner’s experience and needs will be valued
There is no judgment, and clients are encouraged to share any need they may have that they feel isn’t being met.
While we may support what one person shares, we will not take sides and will ensure both partners needs are met.
Couples counseling uses evidence-based techniques and is designed around strengthening the relationship. It is not only for someone on the brink of divorce.
It is also worth mentioning that relationships do not have to be stuck or helpless, which is something that many people feel when they’re resistant to couples counseling.
“I don’t think it will help” or “You already know what I need and I already know what you need” may sound true at their face, but our therapists often go deeper, contextualizing each situation and helping both partners understand what they need to do for one another.
We are also happy to talk to them as well. We can discuss what couples counseling involves, and why it is such a strong choice for so many relationships.
What to Expect from Couples Counseling
Going into couples counseling is going to require that you let your guard down and be open to being challenged and questioned. Expect:
To reflect on yourself and how you respond to your partner
To share details of your life that you may never have shared with anyone.
To listen to your partner without talking back or fighting with them in your mind.
To be accountable – to come back for regular check-ins so we can see progress.
To figure out what you both need to make your relationship better.
There may also be additional issues that need to be addressed, such as feelings of anxiety or depression. We are able to provide individual therapy as well for those that need additional support.
Start Today with Flourish Psychology
If you feel like couples counseling will help you, contact us today. We know what it’s like to live here in NYC, and the pressures that can put on a couple financially and emotionally. We are also trained in how to teach couples to communicate more effectively, and to lower their walls in order to hear what their partners are saying.
If you’re interested in learning more, or you’re ready to get started, call the NYC couples therapists at Flourish Psychology, today.