Prepare for Couples Counselling

How Does Marriage Counselling Work?

Are you asking yourself “How does Marriage Counselling Work?” and “What are the benefits of Marriage Counselling?”

Don’t worry, you’re not alone. I get asked this all the time as couples get started on repairing and improving their relationship.

Watch & Listen

Prefer to watch & listen, instead of reading?

Click play and listen to Jacqui walk through this article, and get extra insights and tips to help you prepare for Couples Counselling.

In this short article, discover:


  • How to prepare for couples counselling
  • How to define your goals for couples counselling
  • How long marriage counselling will take
  • What your ideal relationship looks like
  • Tips for working through feelings of discomfort
  • How to get started with couples counselling

Preparing For Your First Session

Spending some time to prepare for your first session will help you get the most benefit from couples counselling.

Taking the time to think about your own individual issues and objectives can help you to get clear on your highest priorities.

My job as a couples counsellor and coach is to help you find solutions, make repairs, and improve your relationship. I have many resources and therapeutic strategies to help you become a better partner and have a happy loving relationship.

Goals and Objectives of Couples Therapy

The main aim of couples counselling and relationship coaching is to better understand yourself, your partner and the patterns of interaction between you. Working with me in a safe environment is effective for you to talk through your concerns and make changes to breakthrough old unhelpful patterns of behaviour.

Your Ideal Relationship

As your work with me, usually in one of my foundation programs, your thoughts, attitude and beliefs will shift. Having a sense of clarity as new possibilities arise makes it easier to become the partner you aspire to be.

Ask Yourself:

  • What kind of relationship do I desire?
  • What kind of life do I want to build together?
  • What are my biggest blocks to becoming the kind of partner I aspire to be?
  • What skills and knowledge do I need to achieve this life and relationship I desire?
  • Am I open to learning new things I don’t even know about right now?

Trade-offs, Compromise & Difficult Decisions

To create improvement in your relationship you need:

  • A vision of the life you want to build together and individually
  • Positive and healthy attitudes to support each other and work as a team
  • Knowledge and skills to make the changes and adjustments
  • Motivation to keep going and persist toward your objectives and goals
  • Time to learn, grow, experiment and review your progress
  • To compromise and make decisions for the best relationship outcomes

First, let’s talk about time. It simply ‘takes time’ to create a relationship that thrives and flourishes.

Spending time on your relationship is a smart investment that can pay ‘dividends’ for years to come. In the short term, changes will have to be made on how you spend your ‘free time’ to get the most from couples counselling.

Making your relationship the #1 priority (for now) means making sacrifices to your personal or professional time.

The second point is about discomfort. The brain likes comfort and keeping things nice and easy for you. Going outside your ‘comfort zone’ feels difficult, especially for extended periods of time. However trying new ways of thinking and doing things leads to new rewards.

Listening and being curious instead of ‘raising your voice and defending’ could feel emotionally risky at first, but taking a ‘risk’ and exploring entirely different ways of communicating can elevate your relationship to a whole new level!

couple sunset
Visualise your ideal relationship - create a shared common goal and dream

The third challenge you will face is the energy required to push through the discomfort and the effort required to sustain your improvement over time.

Unpacking your feelings, emotions and ‘life’ can be challenging and emotional. Changing habits and behaviour requires a special effort.

Making a concerted effort to be more attentive, understanding, giving, grateful, appreciative etc, all takes effort. The rewards however can be life changing!

Finally, improving your reaction / sensitivity to problems and criticism is another challenging area for many couples.

For example, if one person is hypersensitive to criticism, it will take special effort to improve their resilience and trust to work through the issues in the relationship.

In many cases there is a mismatch between short-term expectations and what’s really required to create a loving and satisfying relationship.

Simply, the couples who put in the work, are much more likely to get the best outcomes and the biggest shifts.

My programs are about achieving long lasting real change, not bandaid fixes.

I encourage you to learn more about couples counseling online and browse the FAQ if you have more questions.

Peruse the many excellent relationship resources to improve your relationship, and get in touch with me below if you want professional help and support.

Ready To Take The Next Step?

Get in touch with Jacqui, and have a free short chat about what’s going on for you.

Jacqueline Hogan Couples Counsellor
Jacqui Hogan - Couples Counsellor, BASW, Dip PsyC, Gottman Level 3, RLT Level 3

Get in Touch with Jacqui

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