If you and your partner haven’t been getting along well lately, you may have decided to attend couples counseling Palatine, IL offers. Congratulations. You’ve taken the first step in improving your relationship. It takes a lot of courage to admit that you need help. However, before your initial counseling session, there are several things you should do at home to facilitate the process. Taking certain steps can help prepare you for therapy and make it more successful.
Try to Stop Unhealthy Patterns
If you have signed up for couples counseling, you’ve already committed to making a change in your relationship. There’s no reason you can’t start making healthy changes before your first counseling session. If you make an effort to stop unhealthy patterns, you can prevent further damage to your relationship. For instance, if the two of you always argue about the smallest things, such as whose turn it is to wash the dishes, make an effort to stop doing that. When you have the urge to be argumentative, take a step back and recognize how it’s affecting your relationship. Go into another room for a few minutes if you need to cool down.
Take Good Care of Yourself
Healing your relationship won’t be an easy task, so it’s important to be both physically and mentally prepared for it. Eat a nutritious diet that’s filled with whole grains, lean meats, vegetables and fruits. Try to limit your intake of fatty and sugary foods, as they can zap the energy out of you and put you in a bad mood. Drink plenty of water throughout the day and avoid alcoholic beverages as much as possible.
It’s also important to exercise regularly because it boosts your mood and helps you feel better physically. Whether it’s hiking, taking a group fitness class or biking, exercising most days of the week will do wonders for your mental and physical well-being.
When you feel overwhelmed with negative thoughts, try to do something that relaxes you and makes you happy. For example, you could go see a movie that interests you or have coffee with a good friend.
Make a List of the Things You Want to Change
Before your first couples counseling session, it’s a wise idea to think about exactly what you think is wrong with your relationship right now and write it down in a notebook. Maybe you feel like you and your partner can’t talk anymore without getting into an argument. Or maybe you feel like the two of you are just roommates and not romantic partners anymore. Making a list of the things in your relationship you want to change will help get your counseling session started off on the right foot.
If you and your significant other want to improve your relationship, don’t hesitate to talk to a licensed couples counselor. He or she can discuss your relationship issues with the two of you in a nonjudgmental environment and suggest ways to resolve them.
Thank you to our friends and contributors at the Lotus Wellness Center for their insight into couples therapy and how to prepare beforehand.