How long will therapy last: While there should be some fairly immediate relief, research suggests that it takes 16 to 24 sessions to create a system that is stable enough to resist relapse. While weekly sessions are typical in the beginning, as soon as things stabilize couples may wish to start alternative weeks and then build in some longer periods between sessions. Most couples find 'tune-ups' helpful from time to time after the conclusion of initial treatment.
The first appointment: The first session includes some simple paper work followed by a history and establishment of therapy goals.
Optional format (usually the 2nd or 3rd appointment): One appointment is commonly divided into two 'individual' sessions of 30 minutes to allow each of the partners an opportunity to discuss the pertinent issues in private. This is not meant to suggest that the Doctor can become party to secret keeping, but the privacy of individual appointments can often increase the effectiveness of future joint sessions.
Assumption #1: A satisfying relationship is a combination of:
Friendship and intimacy
Assumption #2: Increasing skills is the primary focus of couples therapy.
Assumption #3: Friendship is the foundation to a happy relationship and learning skills to build a positive, loving relationship is essential to long-term success.
Assumption #4: Understanding how you deal with conflict is essential to changing the way you behave.
Assumption #5: A therapist's role is to teach couples to help each other in the relationship.
Long term benefit of therapy increases with regular sessions and homework.