What are Common Questions Marriage Counselors Ask?
Marriage counseling can be a safe space to get to the heart of your problems. A good marriage counselor can help you identify challenging topics, talk about them in a neutral environment, and process difficult emotional areas in the marriage.
The right marriage counselor can teach you to communicate with respect, compassion, and gentleness, even when you need to bring up difficult conversations. Using effective research-based strategies and tools can allow for honest communication even under the hardest circumstances. When you are committed to a life together it takes work and effort to maintain a healthy and happy relationship.
Many couples wait on average 6 to 7 years before seeking counseling. During those years many can experience a gamut of negative emotions: sadness, frustration, resentment, anger, as well experience a lack of intimacy and loneliness. By the time they reach a therapist’s office many are in distress. The impact of marital difficulty can be felt not only within the marriage but also by their children.
Dr. John Gottman’s research on thousands of couples reveals that certain kinds of negativity can be lethal to a marriage. Contempt, especially if it is persistent can lead to the demise of a relationship. Other modes of challenging communication if consistently used during conflicts can also create unhealthy communication dynamics. Other modes include criticism, defensiveness and stonewalling. If goodwill attempts are not made to repair the problems in the relationship the result can lead to withdrawal, separation or divorce.
When couples begin to turn away or withdraw from one another, it’s time to seek out some professional help and guidance. Many couples aren’t sure what types of questions a marriage therapist may ask. Psychologist, Dr. Angela Bisignano wants to understand your relationship and will want to ask you questions about the story of your relationship.
Here are some questions she may initially ask when a couple comes to see her:
- Where did you meet?
- What was dating like?
- How did your partner propose?
- How was your courtship?
- What was your wedding day like?
- Was your honeymoon what you expected?
- What was the first year of marriage like?
- What are some of the good memories you have?
- What are some of the more challenging times?
- What brings you to therapy at this time?