UPDATED June 17th, 2017

In the wonderful world of Frozen, love is an open door. According to Pat Benatar, love is a battlefield. One of the greatest movies of all time, Love Actually, argues that love actually is all around us. Relationships are exciting and wonderful but they are also a full-time job. And unless you are willing to put in the effort, you’ll never get a true happy ending. Sometimes you need a third party who isn’t a friend or relative for some couples therapy tips.

The first step is being open to couples therapy. So if you’re already there, then kudos. It’s not easy to admit you need help. Step two—the actual counseling begins. If you are nervous, we get it. If it weren’t a little bit scary it probably wouldn’t be worth it. According to William Doherty, PhD, LCSW, “Studies show that, in the hands of a good counselor, marriage counseling is successful 70- 80% of the time.” Counseling can save your relationship and prepare you for all the struggles that come with a happy marriage. Here are 10 couples therapy tips to get ready for your first session.

1. Research
Think about what your goals are and what you both want to achieve. Then you need to do some pre-therapy legwork. Investigate the different types of couples therapy and what they involve. The American Association for Marriage & Family Therapy (AAMFT) is great place to start.

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