What to Expect in Couples Counseling with Brady Counseling Solutions
It is normal to have some anxiety over what may happen when you work with a Couples Therapist. I’ve laid out some general guidelines that I operate from to help you learn about the process.
1. I work collaboratively with couples. I do not take sides; I am interested in helping you with your dynamic, your communication, your expectations of each other, and your strengths and vulnerabilities together as a couple.
2. I will help you every step of the way. I will give you an overall plan, with manageable, flexible steps to work on. I go at your pace, not mine, and we adjust as needed. I will provide you with justifications and rationale for why we are doing what we are doing. I will always ask you what questions you have and check-in with you each frequently.
3. My only agenda is to help with dynamics, communication, and quality of life. I am neither pro-marriage, nor pro-divorce. I am, however, pro-self-awareness, pro-emotional intelligence, pro-communication, pro-self-determination and pro-autonomy. There are many couples that come out happier, stronger, and more connected with therapy. Others come to the realization that they were poorly matched and do not have the same goals in life. Those couples, while sadly do not last, are usually grateful for the process of getting to know themselves and be able to choose a partner that is more suitable to their personalities.
4. I do not keep secrets from partners. In following with best practices for building and maintaining trust and communication, I encourage each partner to communicate with each other. You may use me to help determine how best to deliver messages that may be painful to hear, but ultimately these messages are yours to deliver.
5. I do not expect people to change their personalities in order to benefit from therapy; quite the opposite. I respect that each individual comes with their own background, history, viewpoints, experiences, and unique personalities and characteristics. My job is to create strategies to allow you to keep all of that, but connect with your partner better.
6. You do not have to be committed to each other, or even committed to therapy to benefit from counseling. It is okay if each of you are undecided about each other or therapy, that is normal and I will meet you where you are. I will help you determine what is fair and reasonable to expect from your relationship and if you choose to pursue it, what it may entail.
7. If you do decide to move forward with therapy, I highly recommend making it a priority until your situation has shown much improvement. If appointments are missed or skipped, you will not make much progress and can feel even more vulnerable once you open up issues for discussion.
8. I highly, highly recommend 80 minute sessions for the majority of couples due to the nature of having three people in a room together discussing sensitive issues. Some couples who are in the “active work” phase of therapy will try 50 minute appointments and the potential problem with this approach is that by the time we are in the middle of getting somewhere, we have to stop and end session. This is the wrong dose of medication. I hope to make enough progress with couples in 80 minute sessions so that we can discuss dropping down to 50 minute “maintenance” sessions soon. I am happy to consult on which amount of session time best would suit your needs.
9. If you or your partner is out of town, I offer distance sessions via e-Therapi for continuity of care.
I hope this has been helpful. Feel welcome to contact me for further questions.
Micah Brady, LICSW, LCSW-C, CTC, eRYT