Once your relationship is back on track, couples are often ready to discontinue sessions and employ the skills they learned on an ongoing basis.
Your therapist will work with you to establish new rules, new plans, and new methods of interaction that are all designed to keep you and your partner healthy and satisfied in the relationship without counseling.
Here are a few specific action items that can keep relationships healthy after couples therapy:
Maintain Conscious Communication
The single most common reason that couples fail after couples therapy is that they fall back into the same patterns that prompted them to go to therapy in the first place. Often, this happens because the relationship first falls back into the same communication patterns it had before therapy.
To stay in a healthier place after therapy, remember to be present and conscious in your communication. Refer to notes from your therapy session to relearn healthy communication skills.
Balance The Power In The Relationship
Another common reason why couples struggle after relationship counseling is that they don't address any imbalance in power within the relationship. If one partner hoards power and control, it can create distance.
Remember the "level playing field" that a therapy session creates. Having equal footing provides an environment that is more conducive to communication and empathy.
Keep An Open Heart
Couples must learn to maintain the same level of empathy they displayed during sessions outside of the therapist's office. Remember, building trust and empathy is not a specific solution to relationship or marital problems; it's a prerequisite to finding solutions.
Without empathy, there cannot be effective solutions. The most important thing partners can do after couples therapy is remember to trust each other and keep their hearts open.
Some couples make the decision to return to therapy occasionally in order to "check in," which can certainly help with maintaining a healthy relationship.
How To Get Started With Couples Therapy