Therapy Blog for Orem, Spanish Fork & South Jordan

What to Expect in Marriage Counseling

Your First Appointment: What to Expect in Marriage Counseling

Whether you’ve scheduled that first appointment or you’re still on the fence about getting started, you are probably curious what actually happens in marriage counseling. What will you do in the appointments? Do you need to bring anything? What will you talk about? 

Today, you will learn about what you can expect in your first marriage counseling session and how you can prepare to have a great experience in therapy. Then, you will learn how to schedule an appointment and get started. 

Before Your Appointment 

Before you and your partner come into the office or meet remotely with your therapist, you will be asked to review and sign some documents. These documents will cover many different topics, like the risks and benefits of therapy, confidentiality, and

marriage counseling

information about your therapist and their experience. You and your spouse can review these documents and prepare any questions about the paperwork for your therapist. These documents are designed to help create a safe environment in therapy where you know you will be safe to speak openly with your therapist and your spouse. 

Additionally, you can spend some time before your appointment discussing what you’d like to address with the therapist with your partner. You don’t need to prepare a detailed plan of action, but discussing the things you’d like to work on as a couple can prepare you to have an effective experience in marriage counseling. 

During Your Appointment

Once you arrive at your first therapy appointment, your therapist will spend some time getting to know you and your partner. The therapist might ask for background information from you and your spouse about your own families and how you grew up. They will likely ask how you and your partner met, and about your current life situation. (Related article: Your First Couples Therapy Appointment). 

Then, you will talk with the therapist about your goals for therapy and the things you hope to address. If you are struggling to think of specific things to address in couples therapy, here are some common problems couples bring into the therapy room:

Lack of connection

Communication problems

Recurring arguments


Lack of Trust

Parenting Issues

Intimacy and Sex Issues

Contemplating Divorce or Separation

This is just a short list of some common issues couples ask to address in therapy. You might relate to some of the topics on the list, or you might be seeking help for something entirely different. Either way, your therapist is here to help. (Related article: Debunking Couples Therapy Myths- “Counseling is for Broken Marriages”). 

marriage counseling

After Your Appointment

After the appointment ends, your therapist will work with you to schedule future appointments. The therapist may give you and your spouse a “homework” assignment to work on. Homework can be an important part of the therapy process. You can practice what you learn in therapy and apply your new skills! 

Throughout the process, it can be helpful to continually discuss your experience in therapy with your spouse. (Related article: Marriage Counseling and Resilience). Don’t be afraid to discuss things you learned or things you noticed. The more involved you and your spouse are in the therapy process, the better your outcomes. (Related article: Promoting Partnership in Couples Counseling). 

Get Started Today

Ready to schedule an appointment? Start marriage counseling in Orem, South Jordan, or Spanish Fork, or via Telehealth for anyone in Utah.

Written by Lauren Adkins

Lauren Adkins

Writer for the Center for Couples and Families


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