Most people enter couples therapy believing their partner is the one who needs to change. They have spent years denying or ignoring the major problems in their marriage, or trying ineffectively to change their partner. This is a big mistake, and the longer these behaviors have been maintained, the longer the therapy will take. You will both need to be willing to change yourself, and to work as a team. When it comes to improving your relationship, your attitude toward changing is more important and crucial, than what action you take.
Identifying what to do, and how to do it, is the easiest part of couples therapy. What involves real work is confronting yourself, and figuring out why you don’t do it—what is holding each of you back from becoming the partner you want to be in the relationship.
The essential skills needed to engage in successful couples therapy are:
1. The capacity to envision a better life together.
2. A capacity to work together as a team.
3. The motivation to change, even when it gets difficult.
4. The capacity to speak from your heart about what
5. The capacity to engage in the process of reflection
and non-judgmental inquiry.
*Most couples find resolution of problems within 2 – 4 months of weekly sessions; however, the length of therapy is a function of who you are and what you are working on.