Starting couples therapy can be a bit daunting. Partners may feel apprehensive going in. Along with other uncertainties, a common question arises: “How long will I be in couples therapy?”
The answer, as you might expect, varies. It depends on the couple, the commitment, the goals, and what’s happening in the relationship. Typically, it takes about three months to see a shift in how couples interact and work through issues.
On average, research shows that couples see benefits from marriage counseling within 8 to 20 sessions. This allows time to gain a deeper understanding of the everyday issues that are getting in the way, while working towards long term healing and bonding.
Healing Your Bond
When starting therapy, many couples think about the typical fights they have. They might expect that a therapist will resolve each conflict, or even pick sides about who’s right. However, improving your relationship isn’t about who’s right or wrong.
Couples therapy is about recognizing, healing, and investing in your connection. This is what helps with conflict in the long term. Otherwise, couples will simply fall back into the same patterns as before.
Sue Johnson, a researcher and expert on emotionally focused therapy (EFT) for couples, recognizes the importance of this bond between couples.
In an interview with Social Work Today, she described why this connection is important: “We understand that if we can help a couple create a safe emotional bond, then every time a huge stressor comes towards you, you can reach for each other and support each other. Not only does that help you to deal with the stressor, but it cements your bond.”
During the first several weeks, it’s recommended that you attend sessions weekly. Like with any new class, program, or habit, it helps to stay active at the beginning. This will help you build momentum and start seeing positive changes. Over time, some couples then spread sessions out as they continue to work on their relationship.
Stages of Couples Counseling
Couples therapy is a process that includes specific stages. How long you spend in each area may vary. Here’s a summary of each.
- During this phase, you and your partner will begin to see things more clearly. You’ll get a better understanding of your patterns in the relationship. This is also a chance for you to get more comfortable with your therapist, and for them to get to know you.
- Next you’ll learn to be more understanding and build your friendship. You’ll work on improving your bond, which is the essence of your relationship.
- Finally, as you improve these underlying patterns and become more accepting of each other, you’ll be able to make major changes. You may begin to see where, why, and how you’re each getting triggered. By understanding these issues, you will be able to work together to heal or manage the problems that have been interfering with your happiness together.
Couples Counseling in New York and New Jersey
While it can take a bit of time to complete each stage and see results, most couples say it’s worth it. An investment in couples counseling can make a difference in years into the future.
If you’d like to start this journey towards healing with each other, we can help. The Relationship Suite is currently offering packages for couples counseling in New York City and New Jersey at a reduced rate Contact Us Now to get started.
The Relationship Suite
We are a group of skilled therapists specializing in couples/marriage counseling. Since Covid started we have been working with couples providing Online Couples Counseling in New York, New York City including Manhattan, Queens, Brooklyn, Bronx, Staten Island, Long Island, South Hampton, East Hampton, Montauk. Schedule a complimentary consultation by clicking HERE.
Due to Covid we are also providing Virtual Couples Counseling in New Jersey, Hoboken, Jersey City, Princeton, Chatham, Morris, Westfield, Union, Bergen County, Colts Neck, Tenafly. Schedule a complimentary consultation by clicking HERE.