Marriage Counselling with an LCSW: Typical Start

Licensed Clinical Social Workers (LCSWs) are trained in a variety of therapies and counseling techniques. Although the process can vary based on the LCSW's style and the couple's specific needs, the following steps provide a general outline:

1. Initial Contact and Scheduling

The couple typically initiates contact with the LCSW, often after receiving a referral or doing their own research. The initial appointment is then scheduled.

2. First Session - Introductions and Assessments

The LCSW uses the first session to get to know the couple and understand their reasons for seeking counseling. Topics discussed may include:

  • Individual backgrounds and relationship histories
  • The history of the couple's relationship
  • Attempts the couple has made to address their issues
  • The couple's goals for therapy

3. Evaluation and Treatment Planning

After gathering initial information, the LCSW typically creates a treatment plan, which might include:

  • Identifying the main issues to address
  • Setting goals for therapy
  • Discussing the preferred therapy approach
  • Discussing logistics such as session frequency and length, cancellation policy, and fees

4. Homework Assignment

LCSWs often assign "homework" for couples to work on between sessions. This could involve practicing a communication strategy, journaling, or trying to break a negative behavior pattern.

5. Confidentiality

The LCSW will explain that everything discussed in therapy is confidential, with certain exceptions related to safety and legal requirements.