Like most things we decide to spend our resources on, we want to know “will this be worth it?” In fact, most people would agree that making a decision on something without asking a variation of this question could be unwise or impulsive.
So, if you find yourself asking this question, you’re in good company.
The short answer is yes. The long answer is yes…and…
1. Yes, and…not every therapist will be a good fit for you.
Hear this: That is okay! Therapists are humans! We all have our vibe, perspective, personality, and ways to approach couples counseling. It’s okay to find the best fit for you.
Side note: If you’re looking not just for a good fit, but for a perfect fit, unfortunately you will be disappointed. No human is perfect and so (shocker), no therapist is perfect either.
2. Yes, and…it will be hard work.
I’ve worked with many couples who come in with the idea that counseling will help fix or change their spouse or partner. It feels like as couples counselors we are actively refocusing couples to the question, “what do you bring to the table?” It takes honesty with yourself and your partner in the areas that you can learn and grow. You may be asked to be intentional about time spent together, challenge reactive responses, and do things that feel scripted (I’ve heard “ingenuine”). But this is purposeful! Your therapist is asking you to do these things to create new ways of interacting, so naturally it will feel a little weird at first.
3. Yes, and…it doesn’t happen overnight.
This may seem obvious, but the number of times I’ve had conversations with couples about this may surprise you. You personally have years and years of practice operating one way (think your whole life), and as a couple you have ways of operating that are well practiced. There are complex factors that go into why you perceive and operate one way that takes time to understand and heal. Change doesn’t happen simply by having new information. It takes practice, patience, grace, and apologies when you slip back into old patterns. Be gracious with yourself and try to manage frustration if you feel like things “aren’t getting better.” I promise, if you are trying, they are!
So, are you willing and ready to put in the work to create a deeper relationship? If so, buckle up and reach out to a couples counselor. You will get out of it what you’re willing to put in.