|Are You Making the Most of Your Therapy? 7 Tips
Don’t miss these tips on taking an active role in counseling
|If you’re struggling or stuck, counseling may be a good way to get a new perspective, move forward positively and protect your well-being. And if you’re living with a mental health condition, seeing a therapist may be a key part of your treatment plan.
Are you in talk therapy or considering it? These tips can help you make the most of it:
1. Set goals
2. Discuss a timeline
3. Be honest
4. Take notes during each session
5. Do your homework
6. Welcome new ways
7. Speak up
When you’re frank, it gives your counselor a chance to think about the best ways to help you.
It’s also vital that you develop trust and a good connection with your therapist. So if you don’t feel comfortable or you don’t feel like you’re being heard, it may not be a good fit — and you may benefit from making a change.
I welcome active involved clients who want the most out of their experience.
Here may be the REAL REASON your partner may not want to go to couples therapy,
its not because they are stubborn….
THEY ARE AFRAID!!!!
You say WHAT!!!
They don’t seem afraid to me. They seem worked up, belligerent, defensive, critical, snotty and impossible to reach.
YES, that’s what I said. AFRAID.
So, let’s have a conversation about your spouse’s brain on
Suppose the two of you have been trying to talk about any of your “issues”,
you know, $$, kids, work, household chores, in-laws or
and despite how hard you try it always ending in bringing up everything and solving
The two of you have raised blood pressure, frustration, irritation, hurt and alienation (and your are not even “fighters”, this is with no yelling).
All your issues are open and
NOTHING GETS SOLVED!!
Time and time again and the “BRAIN” of your spouse (and you) learn that working on issues is not only not productive, its NOT SAFE, it causes emotional upset and therefore the Brain says it should be avoided or for sure DON’T DO IT on purpose.
VERY VERY UNCOMFORTABLE!!
When we say “I think we need counseling” most people fear it is gonna be a whole lot more of what we just talked about..(and for the brain that is fearful).
So if that is the kind of couples counseling you may have had in the past
then your SPOUSE’S BRAIN IS RIGHT.
The human brain is programmed to protect us at all costs. Sometimes it cannot tell the difference between a real attack to the body or a psychological (emotional) attack. We often respond the to both of them the same.
The BEST TYPE of COUPLES COUNSELING helps the brain of each person stay safe and regulated as the couple learns to respectfully and with compassion work on the vital issues for their relationship. Having these conversations in an atmosphere of calm, safe, understanding is VITAL for a couple.
Staying out of fear and in or wise minds during couple therapy allows the couple to do the work and untwist all the miscommunications and hurts.
You can see that your partner will have to know that counseling does not mean:
- We are GOING to get a DIVORCE or
- the therapist is just going to REFEREE the two of us fighting.
So before you select a therapist make sure you can tell what type of counseling they are trained to do. Without saying DO NOT GO TO A THERAPIST WHO DOES NOT HAVE COUPLES THERAPY TRAINING…IT IS NOT THE SAME AS SOMEONE WHO WORKS WITH INDIVIDUALS.
Read their blogs, look at their website, and if that does not give you a sense that they have a plan to help you safely and productively begin some important conversations then you need to ask about this in your conversation with them BEFORE going in as a couple.
If you do select a couples therapist who has the emotional safety of the couple in mind you will be miles ahead.
The right couples therapy with the right therapist can dramatically help you have the best relationship you have ever had.
Warmest Wishes on your journey to have an even better relationship.
How to Improve Your Relationship Immediately!
(or better know as how to take the chill out of the relationship!)
Who Doesn’t Want a Better Relationship…IMMEDIATELY?
You might be missing out on as many as
100 opportunities per day to improve your relationship
and not even know it. Researchers in couples behavior find that a couple may miss their partners “bid” for emotional connection and these bids can occur up to 100 times in a day between a couple.
What is a “bid” for emotional connection? In an article on couples Savannah Ellis, PsyD states that each day, our partners make many attempts to connect with us, both verbal and nonverbal. World renowned couples research, Dr. John Gottmann calls these attempts “bids” for emotional connection. A bid can be a question, a look, an affectionate touch or anything else that opens the door to connection.
In his research, Gottmann reports that a happy couple can make as many as 100 bids over the course of a meal! How we respond to our partner’s bids is a huge key to a successful relationship.
Gottmann’s research indicates that husbands who eventually were divorced, ignored the bids from their wives 82 percent of the time compared to 19 percent for men in stable marriages. Women who later divorced ignored their husband’s bids 50 percent of the time while those who remained married only disregarded 14 percent of their husband’s bids.
There are three responses to a bid for connection:
turning away and
1. Turning toward. This means to react in a positive way to your partner’s bid for emotional connection. Research indicates that over time, these couples develop stable, long-lasting relationships. They also can access humor, affection and interest in each other during conflict. They can stay connected and not let temporary negative feelings destroy the relationship.
2. Turning away. This response is essentially ignoring or avoiding the bid or acting preoccupied. A consistent turning away response leads to defensiveness and seems to result in early divorce in married couples.
3. Turning against. Couples who turn against each other’s bids for connection appear more argumentative, critical and sarcastic. According to Gottmann’s research, this style leads to divorce in a majority of cases, but not as quickly as couples who more habitually turn away from bids. Once a couple gets into the habit of rejecting each other’s bids for connection, they tend to give up on rebidding or resuming efforts to connect. In stable marriages, spouses rebid about 10 percent of the time and in couples heading towards divorce, there is rarely ANY rebidding.
Gottmann believes that a couple that practices “turning toward” behavior metaphorically “deposits” good will into the emotional (love) “bank” of the relationship. These “credits” accumulate and allow the partners to more readily connect when times become more challenging in the relationship.
The bottom line is that “turning toward” your partner is a strong basis for emotional connection, it is something you can begin to do immediately. A powerful tool to sustain passion, romance and a healthy sex life.
“What do you want for Christmas?”
The dreaded question from your partner.
We want to say something like “JUST SURPRISE ME”
“Be Imaginative.” “You Know What I Like.”
But we all know where this is going.
The look on their face when you didn’t get it right or do it right. Why is this so hard?
What does the average couple spend on each other for Christmas?
It ranges from nothing ( I don’t recommend this)
to the absurd because we have no clue or didn’t think about it).
With that money what is it we really want to gain?
If you buy the right gift you are lucky.
Chances are you buy the wrong gift.
You spend too much, you spend too little, its the wrong size, the wrong color.
You didn’t put enough thought into it
or worse yet
you went to the drugstore on Christmas Eve and bought a gift card.
To be honest all couples really want is comfort, pleasure and connection.
All couples want is to be wanted and special to their partner.
We want to be close and improve our communication.
WHAT IF YOU COULD GIVE THAT TO YOUR PARTNER?
WHAT IF YOU COULD SPEND THE TIME AND MONEY
IN EACH OF THOSE TREASURED GIFTS?
There is a way to do it.
It’s about re-visioning the gift that you give.
Figure out a way to PROACTIVLEY say to your partner
how can I be more loving to you?
And follow this by
‘What if for Christmas this year we gave the gift of time
renewing, rejuvenating our relationship”.
What if this Christmas you gave a MARRIAGE MAKEOVER
to the two of’ you
instead of a 52 inch HD TV
(which certainly wont improve comfort and connection).
It might seem like an awkward thing to say to your partner
without raising concern and worry?
But phrased in the right way.
“I was thinking about how I could love you more……..
and I wondered……..for Christmas……..could we give each other the gift……..
more comfort, more connection, more joy……”
Call me and talk to me and I will explain to you how you can design several hours or several weeks of time and attention to the most important Dream in Your life. To love and be loved.
What are you thankful for in your life?
Kids, home, job, health………….
if the state of your marriage is not on this list……
Then honestly you have to ask yourself what are you doing about it.
Now at first we hope…….
search the internet for what is wrong with them……….
and then sometimes resort to complaining and prayer.
But here is a staggering statistic you might want to consider.
The majority of couples wait SEVEN years once they knew there was a serious problem before they went to get
help. Seven years of not listing your marriage as one of your Thanksgiving Blessings.
Just tragic, and the reason I say this is that there is so much that can be done to:
Heal the Hurts
Calm the Conflict
Build the Friendship
Learn to communicate
and Rekindle the dreams you once excitedly shared.
Wow!!! All that is a good recipe for building a
Sweet Relationship Pie.
I call it a MARRIAGE MAKEOVER……….its what happens in couples
counseling and it builds a stronger you and a stronger relationship.
Wouldn’t you want to be able to say you are thankful
for your vibrant
and healthy relationship.
I want that for you too!!
Warmest Holiday Wishes,