Whenever a couple decides to participate in counselling at our clinic we conduct an assessment. An assessment provides us with information that helps identify variables that might be influencing the couple to remain ‘stuck.’ After the assessment, the therapist will provide the couple with information regarding a treatment plan. This will obviously be based on the couple’s goals for therapy, but also the therapist’s impression.
We use specific techniques and questioning to determine behaviour patterns, language used in conversation, and function (or purpose). Our goal is to gather as much information as possible to make an informed assessment and present it as clearly as possible to create awareness.
Should we come as a couple or should I come alone?
It’s typically never a bad idea to come alone to counselling. You can certainly begin to change throughout your therapy process and hopefully that change influences aspects of your dynamic with your partner. However, sometimes an individual can change his or her behaviour and if the other partner is not aware it may bump up against the reoccurring interactional pattern and the other person may attempt to simply maintain the existing pattern. Put simply, you may change through counselling, but your partner may not be completely ready for it and may attempt to maintain the existing dysfunctional pattern (sometimes not consciously). Change in a relationship often requires mutual influence. The change in one part of the system will create a ripple effect through the entire system, but reorganization from both partners is often needed.
Why hire a professional psychologist or psychological associate?
Psychologists have years of experience that includes an extensive amount of clinical training and supervision. This training includes 10+ years of education and thousands of hours of clinical experience. What also separates a psychologist form other professions is their certification to use specific assessment tools that help guide assessment and counselling.