Some Common Questions Asked About Couples Therapy
What if my partner is unsure about coming in?
Couples therapy works best when both partners are in attendance, and are motivated, active participants in the process. One suggestion is to ask, rather than demand, that your partner join you. Letting them know that you are hurting, and want to make the relationship better often works. If they still seem unsure about going, offer them the chance to attend one or two sessions, just to see how they feel.
In my experience, people are often afraid that they will be judged, criticized, shamed or ganged up on in session. However, this is not the way couples therapy works. Once your partner experiences the process, and sees for themselves how non judgmental and non threatening the process actually is, they’ll be more likely to find counseling to be a helpful, healing experience.
If your partner still feels uncomfortable joining you, I invite you to still come in on your own. Individual counseling will help you to approach your relationship in a different, more self aware way, which creates a safer relationship. Once your partner experiences this difference in your interaction, they usually become more willing to give couples therapy a try.
Shouldn’t we be able to “fix it on our own?”
Often during an intense argument, both partners may find themselves simply reacting to each other, unable to hear or understand where the other is coming from. A major aspect of our work in counseling is slowing down the argument in order to tease out what you are feeling, in order to help your partner better understand and respond to you accordingly. It is very difficult to do this without a neutral third party present, which is where I come in, as a relationship consultant.
Is couples therapy really worth the money?
Couples therapy is an investment in having a stronger relationship. Over the long term it may prevent you from splitting up or getting divorced. This can save you both from great emotional and financial costs. Ultimately you have to consider what your relationship is worth to you. Only you can decide whether greater relationship satisfaction and the happiness it brings is where you want to invest your time, heart, and money.