Congrats for taking the next step in deepening your understanding of relationship counseling. Take a read of the information below to help you determine if you want to proceed in saving your emotional and spiritual investment on your current relationship.
Spiritual Couples Counseling, as practiced at Sistrum, is a non-denominational, supportive therapy focused on the clients’ beliefs and value systems in support of their essential being and spiritual growth, both as individuals and as a couple.
The goal of Spiritual Couples Counseling is to deepen and/or re-establish healthy communication, heal grief, anger, and trauma, and facilitate the growth of authentic intimacy.
Sessions are 100.00 per hour and most sessions last approximately an hour.
The number of sessions you will need will vary.
The length of counseling takes is largely determined by:
The goals of the couple
The specific needs of the couple
Other variables that affect the length of time marriage counseling takes
Some couples get what they need in as little as 4-6 sessions. These are often situations in which couples need help with improving communication, or solving day to day problems around responsibilities, parenting, finances, or common goals. This specific, solution focused work is often referred to as “relationship coaching.”
Sometimes, couples face more complicated challenges or there are underlying issues that require longer-term work. Their goals in these situations may involve changing long-standing patterns in the relationship or healing trust after an affair. Sometimes goals may involve changing patterns that were in the partners long before the relationship even began. These situations can take longer to resolve. However, the average course of successful relationship counseling with us takes about 12-16 sessions.
How often should you attend?
In terms of timing of the sessions, couples usually start out by attending weekly, then every other week and dropping off to monthly meetings as they get traction, start making positive changes, and focus on putting into practice the things we discuss in our sessions. Sometimes, even after couples are “done” and have successfully made many positive changes in their relationship, they still like to schedule periodic “check-ins” our “touch up” sessions with us as part of their investment in having a high-quality relationship.
Sometimes, over the course of relationship counseling, it is discovered that part of the problem affecting the relationship is that one or both partners may be struggling with more serious issues. For example, Depression, Post-traumatic Stress Disorder, or Substance Abuse can have a major impact on the functioning of the couple. Furthermore, one or both partners may have very long-standing patterns of disrupted attachment that interfere with their ability to have good relationships. In these situations, it is often necessary to have longer-term support for the relationship (as well as individual therapy for the partner who is struggling).
Other variables that impact the amount of time relationship counseling takes to work can include:
1. Learning style:
A big variable is how engaged a couple is with the process. Couples who are “active learners” — thinking about our sessions, doing their assignments, following through with the things we talk about — are going to heal quicker than more passive couples. It's important to remember that the relationship counselor is not going to solve the problems in your relationship without engagement. Just showing up for sessions is not going to move the needle.
You will get expert guidance, and opportunities to have better experiences with your partner from your marriage counselor, but your success in relationship counseling depends on your ability to follow through, do what you say you’re going to do, and be open, communicative, and engaged with the process.
2.Commitment to the process:
Being committed to attending sessions frequently (weekly if need be) will help couples move through the process much more quickly. A relationship counselor can meet weekly with a couple for 8-10 sessions, move through the process efficiently, and are basically done in two months. Or, we can see a couple sporadically– every other week, or every three weeks, and start and stop the process so many times that it takes the better part of a year to repair their relationship. It’s like going to the gym once every three weeks. It’s frustrating for everyone, and generally much less effective. If you want to have successful relationship counseling, just do it, and be consistent. Make it a priority.
3. Ambivalence about the relationship:
Sometimes one (or both) people in a relationship are ambivalent about continuing in the union. Part of them wants to stay in the relationship, but part of them may be fantasizing about leaving. In these cases, time must be spent making up their minds about the relationship before embarking on the repairing-the-relationship part. Because, truthfully, repairing a relationship requires commitment, effort, and occasional discomfort. If you are not sure that you want to be in the relationship at all, it’s really hard to muster up the motivation to try that hard.
Only once ambivalence is resolved and people are sure they want to put the effort into repairing the relationship, can marriage counseling be successful. Figuring this out can be a process in itself, and is one thing that can add time to the overall process of relationship counseling.
So at the end of the day how long does relationship counseling take? Again every situation is unique but part of it depends on the therapist while part of it depends on you. But at the end of the day, a successful relationship is worth the effort you put in. relationship counseling is not a quick-fix, and you might not feel better immediately. But the process is healing and helpful, and it works.