A positive mindset can help set the stage for major breakthroughs in your relationship therapy sessions. Yet, it’s sometimes hard to take a timeout from all your worries to truly focus on yourself for a few minutes. As you prep for your next session, try adding some of these strategies to your tool kit to get yourself ready to make serious progress in your relationship.
Give Yourself a Little Extra Time
Rushing to make it to your appointment only adds more stress on top of what you already experienced during your day. The American Psychological Association reports that 42 percent of Americans claim that stress is a major source of their anger and frustration. Avoid carrying these negative emotions into your session by giving yourself a few minutes to calm down after work or caring for the kids before you meet with your counselor. Keep in mind that this doesn’t have to be a long time. Even five minutes helps you clear your head and establish a sense of openness.
Reflect On Your Purpose
It is best to keep your mind on the larger goals in your sessions rather than discuss a small squabble that you just had with your partner. Although it is okay to vent if you need to, clearing the air before your session will help you focus your thoughts on learning strategies for resolving conflicts in the long run. Try to let go of any negative emotions that you feel right now, and instead spend time thinking about what you want to get out of the session, such as learning how to trust and communicate with each other.
Review Your Last Session
When you attend relationship therapy once a week, it is easy to forget what you discussed in prior sessions. Always take notes about each session, and spend just a few minutes with your partner reviewing what happened in the previous session. This helps you to build upon the things that you have already learned about improving your relationship.
Connect as a Couple
Couples sometimes find that tension in their relationship makes it hard to open up in the beginning of their sessions. Avoid wasting time by making it a point to erase any tension by connecting physically or emotionally. For some couples, this might mean simply holding hands before the session, or you could each say something nice about each other. Either way, this connection helps to reinforce in your mind all of the reasons why you have chosen to work through your relationship issues in your therapy sessions.
Set the Right Ambiance
A counselor would never leave a television blaring in the background when you visited their office for a session, and you should treat your online couples counseling with the same level of respect. Turn off any noisy distractions, and try to arrange to have someone watch the kids or give them a quiet activity while you meet with your therapist. Adjust the lighting to help you focus, and turn off your phone so that you can focus solely on your session.
Do a Relaxation Exercise
Create a soothing ritual that instantly sends a signal to your mind that it is time to relax and focus on the session. According to the APA, 48 percent of people find that listening to their favorite music is a soothing way to deal with stress. This technique is one that you can do in less than five minutes to prepare for your session. Just try to keep your music choice upbeat to promote those positive feelings. Alternatively, you could try deep breathing or closing your eyes for a few minutes while you repeat your favorite mantra.
In relationship therapy, you will be addressing tough issues that require you to focus without letting the worries of your day interfere with your wellbeing. Our Cuppls therapists are full of ideas to help you cultivate a positive attitude, so reach out and let them know if you need more tips for cultivating the right mindset before your next session.