Perhaps you and your partner are ready to get started with couples therapy to continue the process of healing from infidelity but you still have some questions about what that will look like.
- “What is the counselor going to ask us? Do we need to prepare beforehand?”
- “How long will we have to go?”
- “Will be just be sitting on a couch talking about our feelings?”
- “Will the counselor give us homework?”
How do we choose the right therapist?
As discussed in this article (link to Couples Therapy – 6 document), there are several approaches to couples therapy that have all proven effective, but you will likely find that one or two of these methods work best for you and your partner during this time.
Research couples therapists in your area thoroughly online and by calling their offices to determine the practice that will be the best fit for you. This is an important first step that should not be rushed. Determining a therapist together gets you and your partner closer to the same page. If your partner is reluctant or hesitant to pursue couples therapy, choose the therapist that you think will be the best fit and ask your partner to commit to participating in the first session. Hopefully, the therapist and the content of that first session will convert them to a regular commitment.
What will the sessions be like?
It could go without saying that every therapist is different and will personalize their treatment of every situation and couple, so there is no way to pinpoint exactly what your therapy sessions will look like. But cast your preconceptions aside and have an open mind. Your sessions will likely involve a significant portion of time spent talking, either responding to the promptings of the therapist or just speaking from the heart. Be sure you are honest with the therapist about what you are most comfortable with, but be willing to let them lead you into some uncomfortable areas when the time comes.
They will give you “homework” consisting of things to talk about or specific actions to take before the time of your next session. For example, talking with your children about what is going on, making a list of the 5 things that made you fall in love with each other all those years ago, or going out to a meal or coffee one-on-one.
How long will this take?
It will take as long as it takes.
Choosing a consistent day and time for your sessions is a great way to be mentally prepared for each session, allowing you and your partner to be fully engaged in the session and make the most of your time. Couples spend anywhere from a few months to a few years in therapy after an experience with infidelity, and this investment greatly increases your relationship’s likelihood of healing and reconciliation.
The tools you will learn during therapy can help you improve your communication and understanding in every relationship in your life, in addition to giving you and your partner a toolbox to draw from when difficulties come even after your counseling has concluded. Completing couples therapy is not a guarantee that nothing will ever happen between you and your partner again, but it provides you with resources and practices that will allow you to grow stronger through the trials.
Be sure to check out these articles on the Novus Mindful Life blog for more information about getting the most out of couples therapy: