Will I get advice regarding the solutions to my problems?
The aim of therapy is to help couples see the dysfunctional patterns of interactions rather than to give direct advice regarding one particular situation or fight. Through therapy, if couples better understand themselves and their partners, they will be able to find solutions for their own problems.
Will the therapist judge who is right and who is wrong in this relationship?
Therapists are not judges. Right and wrong may be very relative; they may reflect different points of view. The partners will be helped to understand each others points of view better, rather than be labeled right or wrong.
How long does therapy last?
It depends from person to person, but usual time frames are 3-6 months. This may mean roughly 12-15 joint and about the same number of individual sessions. It may, however, vary quite a bit, depending on the partners individuality and relationship.
How frequent will the sessions be?
Individual sessions are usually once a week, and joint sessions anywhere between once a week to once a month; once a fortnight is common.
Does the therapy favor reconciliation or separation?
Neither. Of course, the basic premise when therapy begins is that both partners have some desire to address the issues in a relationship that has gone bad. In that sense, the basic aim is to search for ways to make the relationship better. But it does not imply that partners will be pushed together even if the quality of their relationship is not mutually satisfactory.
Will my confidentiality concerns be kept in mind?
Absolutely. Either partner can request any part of the conversation in the individual sessions to be kept confidential from the other partner, and the request will be respected.
How can someone else understand our deep problems? Why would I want to go to a third person to solve my personal problems?
Well, it depends on how good a alliance one is able to form. It may actually be easier to tell our problems to an emotionally neutral professional, whose only agenda is to work on the relationship. Friendly and good-natured advice from friends and family can help in some areas, but it is difficult to keep biases out of the advice.
My partner is impossible, can that be rectified?
Impossible is relative. It may be that we are yet to explore different and more adaptive ways of interaction and perception in the relationship.
How do I convince him/her to come to a psychiatrist, things will get worse – it might be insulting to him/her.
That is a common feeling. However, in the experience of the therapists, very often the problem in the relationship is not one person’s ‘fault” or “problem” but rather the way these two different people interact. Thus none of the partners is seen as the “patient”, the relationship is the patient. It is an attempt by both partners to improve their relationship. This way of looking at the problem may make it easier for both partners to get involved. They are both stakeholders in the relationship and both will benefit if the relationship improves.
Sure we had a big fight, but I am not sure our relationship is on the rocks, i just dont know what to do.
Most fights and differences are handled by the couple themselves without professional help. It is only when we feel that the methods we have tried have not met with success, or when the distress is too great, or when we start to feel hopeless about the relationship, that professional help is recommended.
Can I handle the situation alone? I mean get help from experts and apply it alone without him/her knowing?
It can be tried as a resort when the other partner is absolutely unwilling to come. However it must be kept in mind that the best results are seen when both partners are involved in the therapy.
Our relationship is broken, but I don’t have the hope nor the energy to revive it.
That can sometimes happen after a long and exhausting tussle. But that is where the therapy steps in to support you, & to help you reboot the relationship. Four people will now work towards getting things on track, & you are not alone any longer.