Besides balancing your feelings of nervousness and excitement about finally starting couples therapy, is there anything you should do before the first session?
Just a few simple things.
Your time in the assessment, and in therapy, is a time for complete and dedicated focus on the two of you. Please research in advance how to silence your phones completely – not just silencing the ringers, but also no vibrations or notifications. The outside world is staying outside.
At the end of the session we’ll look at scheduling your second and third assessment sessions. Please review your calendars ahead of time, bring them with you, and be prepared to find times the three of us all have available.
I’ll ask for your driver’s licenses so I can make a copy as a way of having photos of you in your file. (Over the years I’ve found that when couples return after a long break for a tune-up, it really helps my memory to see a picture of them.) If you’d prefer I don’t have a copy of your driver’s licenses I can either cover up the data and just copy your pictures, or you can bring other photos of yourselves that I can photocopy.
I will be asking you about your goals – for your relationship, and for therapy. Take a little time to think about what you want to get out of therapy, and the changes you’re hoping for in your relationship.
What are your basic, minimum goals – what are you struggling with now that you really need to change?
What do you hope for – what would it be like for the two of you to be in a really good place?
What do you dream of in your relationship – how would your relationship look and feel if you had the relationship you’d always dreamed of with each other?
And what are your goals for therapy itself – what do you particularly hope to learn, or do, or overall get out of therapy before you’re done?
Congratulations – you’ve taken a great step. I look forward to meeting the two of you soon.