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Three Common Mistakes Couples Make When They Go To See A Therapist

3 Common Mistakes Couples Make When They Go To See A Therapist

Hey everyone; thanks for joining us on a new episode of the Therapy 365 podcast. Today, Lisa discusses the three common mistakes that couples can make when attending couples counseling.

So, without further ado, let’s jump in.

Three Common Mistakes Couples Make When They Go To See A Therapist

#1 Not Being Open To The Big Picture Of The Relationship 

According to Lisa, the first mistake is not being open to the big picture of the relationship. This means that instead of solely focusing on what their partner is doing wrong, both partners should widen their perspective and look at the relationship as a whole.

By doing this, they can identify issues that they might have overlooked and may be contributing to problems in the relationship. Both partners must be willing to examine their roles in the relationship and make changes to improve it.

#2 Having An Urgency To Complete The Counseling Process

The second mistake that Lisa talks about is having an urgency to complete the counseling process as quickly as possible. Couples may come in with the mindset that they want to reach their goals and move through the process quickly.

However, it’s important to recognize that the issues in the relationship may have taken a long time to develop and require adequate time to be addressed and resolved. Couples should settle in and allow enough time for the therapy process to unfold and work towards real, lasting change.

#3 Over-Reliance On The Therapist To Change The Relationship 

The third mistake that Lisa discusses is over-reliance on the therapist to change the relationship. While therapy can help uncover dynamics in the relationship and provide tools and suggestions, ultimately, it’s up to the couple to be the agents of change.

It’s worth noting that the therapist is only present for a small fraction of the time compared to the couple’s life together, and it’s a mistake to assume that the therapist can be the sole solution to their problems.

Lisa notes that sometimes people come into therapy and just expect the therapist to say something magical that will change their situation, but that’s not how it works. Instead, the therapist can guide the couple towards understanding their roles in the relationship, exploring past experiences that may be impacting their current dynamic, and providing tools and suggestions for them to try on their own.

Ultimately, it’s up to the couple to put in the effort to create lasting change in their relationship.

Final Thoughts

Lisa concludes by emphasizing that the therapy process is patient, open, and proactive. It requires a good attitude and a willingness to put in the effort to create change. She notes that even the most disconnected and hostile relationships can be repaired and become better than ever before if both partners are committed to the process.

If you are looking for any other emotional health or relationship insights, be sure to check And remember, at Therapy 365, you are always a work in progress.

Thank you for listening!


Lisa Brookes Kift:

Hey everybody, it’s episode nine of Therapy 365 and today I am going to talk a little bit about couples counseling and three mistakes that couples can make when they go to see a therapist for counseling.

Mistake #1: Having blinders on for the big picture of your relationship [0:46]

So first thing to keep in mind, always avoid the mistake of not being open to the big picture of your relationship. So what this means really is, you know, of course everyone comes into therapy with an idea of what their partner is doing wrong, right? They have a laundry list of things that, that they would like to change in their partner or that they think is not working for them, or the relationship isn’t working for them in some way. But most times people don’t come in having really thought about how they are showing up.

So it’s really important for you both to have the best possible outcome, sort of go in with your lens pulled out a bit wider onto your relationship itself. And perhaps there’s things you didn’t even realize that are showing up on your end that are hard for your partner. So you can have the best possible outcome by making sure you show up, being willing to look at your own role and hold a mirror up to yourself.

Mistake #2: Trying To Rush The Process [5:33]

Second thing is you have to avoid the mistake of trying to rush the therapy process. It is very common for people to come in with a real urgency in completing the process, getting to the end of their goals, get through it as quickly as possible, move through it. And if, if you think about how long it can take for couples to have the issues that they do like to be disconnected or to have resentment be building up as high as it can for them, imagine that it might take a little bit of time to actually unwind that.

So going in and expecting it’s going to happen quickly is a mistake. So settle in and allow adequate time to understand and address all of the issues at hand to make sure that you have real, deeper, longer lasting change.

Mistake #3: Over-Reliance On Your Therapist [2:41]

So number three, avoid the mistake of over-reliance on the therapist to change your relationship. So if you think about the amount of time you’re with your therapist, in the grand scheme of things, you know, compared to the amount of time you are in life with your partner, it’s really a very small, small fraction of time. And there’s some great things that can happen within that time that can be guideposts for you, but you ultimately need to be the agents of change for your relationship.

So keep that in mind that the therapist is there to help uncover sort of dynamics that you aren’t aware of and that you need to see how you both are impacting the dynamic in the relationship. Look into maybe some historical underpinnings around that, like your family of origin or how you’ve done relationships in the past, and maybe that’s showing up in your current relationship. But also giving you tools and suggestions for things that you can try on your own.

So ultimately you need to be the agents for change, and it’s a mistake to assume that the therapist can be that change. I’m not kidding when I say that sometimes people come and they sit down in front of me week after week and literally just look at me and I think I feel bad because I think, oh gosh, they really are waiting for me to say something magical that’s gonna change their situation. And I’m just hoping that they can start moving themselves and be brave enough to do something different and hopefully, I’m gonna give them the tools to be able to do that on their own and it will heal over time with effort by both of you.

So again, the process is a patient and open, and proactive one, and if you settle in for it and have a good attitude about it, then anything can happen. And I’ve seen the most disconnected hostile relationships come back together and be better than they ever were before.

So, until next time, thanks for tuning in and listening to this podcast. If you are looking for any other emotional health or relationship insights, you can check where there’s lots of articles and tools and tips there for you to see. Take care and remember that at Therapy 365, you’re always a work in progress.