When you sign up for any kind of therapy with more than one person, things can get complicated. While any good therapist can help you and your loved ones work things out, it's important for you to be a willing participant in the treatment. Here are a few steps you can follow to ensure that you're making the most of your therapy sessions.
When your therapist wants to hear what you're thinking and feeling, they mean it. If you aren't honest or you keep certain thoughts and feelings under wraps, then they can't fully help you. It's important to be as honest with them as possible. It might feel embarrassing or nerve-wracking, but keep in mind that the people who are there with you are expected to do the same thing. Use this opportunity to open up and reveal what you're really thinking and feeling, even if you usually keep it bottled up.
With group therapy sessions, you and your loved one will take turns discussing the problems that you're both having. Your partner might say something that upsets you or that you disagree with, but under no circumstances should you interrupt them. Take a breath and relax; you'll get your opportunity to talk and, if need be, to show your side of the situation. Once again, your partner will be expected to do the same for you, and you don't want to step on their toes while they're trying to be open and honest about what they're feeling.
Speaking of being open, you need to do your best to be open to what your therapist says. They may suggest things that you don't even know that you're feeling yet. For example, you might be expressing that you have anger issues when in fact you're hurting emotionally. This may not seem realistic or true at first, but just listen to what they have to say and think about it for a while. You might be surprised to learn that they're right.
Most therapists will give you directions or exercises you can do at home with or without your partner to try and make things better for both of you. This may not seem like something that particularly interests you, or the exercises may seem as though they're not worth your time. Keep in mind that your therapist has training for this and has likely seen many people in similar situations to your own in the past. They're only recommending what they think is best for you. Ideally, you should at least try to participate in the exercises, and if you really can't stand them, bring it up at your next session so you can discuss it.
Reach out to a clinic like Andrea Brandt Therapy to learn more.