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Overcoming Challenges with Your Partner About Couples Therapy

What are the main signs that, as a couple, it is time for couples therapy?


No relationship is perfect, but it can always be improved. Problems and arguments, if not dealt with properly in a relationship, can cause resentment and frustration towards each other. You see, you can be in a relationship and feel lonelier than someone who is actually single and technically “alone”. In a partnership, it should not be you versus them. It is about two people coming together and being a team. And for many, relationship counselling is an excellent opportunity to help couples become a team again. Whether it’s communication issues, unresolved conflicts, or differences in expectations, facing these obstacles head-on is crucial for maintaining a healthy and fulfilling partnership.


Overcoming stigmas associated with couples therapy


There are many misconceptions and stigmas around relationship counselling or relationship mediation. The idea that couples counselling is a last-minute resort to save a doomed relationship or a relationship must be completely broken to even consider getting a relationship counsellor is simply not true. Unfortunately, these perceptions mean that partners who could seriously benefit from the safe environment provided by relationship therapy are not. Getting couples counselling is never too early or too late because it is an investment into your relationship. There doesn’t need to have been a significant event or conflict that leads you with no other choice than to seek a third party’s help; couples can seek relationship counselling if they want to strengthen their partnership. 

A common misconception is that relationship therapy involves being told what to do by a stranger. Again, a therapist or counsellor is there to listen, offer insight, and suggest strategies to help improve communication between the two. 

So, how can you overcome these stigmas surrounding couples therapy? It is ideal to first start by changing your own view. By changing your mindset to have a more positive and healthier outlook on your situation and goals in therapy, you will be able to talk more openly about it with your partner and others. 


Advice on communicating to your partner that you wish to attend couples therapy


You may be keen about couples therapy, but your partner may not feel the same way. So, what should you do if your partner or spouse is not willing to go to relationship counselling? Firstly, it is important not to resort to blame or anger toward your significant other. Even though that is how you may be feeling, it is vital to understand why they do not want to go. 

Once you hear them out, you can acknowledge their reasons and reassure them, as they could stem from various personal factors. There are many reasons why someone may refuse couples counselling. 

• The first and probably the most common one is the price. If finances are already a common theme of conflict in your relationship, then this can deter couples from getting a relationship counsellor. However, we would advise always doing your research before completely dismissing relationship counselling or private therapy, as you very well might find something in your price range or an alternative solution. 

• Your partner could be afraid of feeling blamed or judged, believing sessions will be focused on pointing out who is to blame or highlighting their faults. This is a natural feeling, as nobody wants to be criticised or attacked. Couples counselling focuses on both parties feeling heard and aims to help couples better understand each other and strengthen their bond. It is a therapist’s responsibility to create a non-judgemental environment where both voices are heard and able to freely express their feelings. 

• Perhaps they have had a negative experience in the past that has deterred them from going back to therapy, making the thought of going back uncomfortable.

You can’t force somebody to go to therapy if they don’t want to, but how you communicate with them can make the difference. Gently remind them that seeking help doesn’t signify failure but rather a commitment to strengthening the relationship. Or, possibly, find a middle ground by offering to try out a few sessions with no commitments and the option to stop if they don’t find the couples therapy helpful. 


The role of individual therapy in conjunction with couples therapy 


Sometimes, our relationship with ourselves can be complicated and chaotic, let alone trying to manage our relationships with others. Self-improvement will always be valuable to yourself and even the relationships around you. 

If one partner does not want to go to therapy, that does not mean you cannot go alone.

The relationship can still benefit from just one of you going to counselling, so don’t let their unwillingness to go stop you from going alone. 

Your progress and experience might just inspire or encourage your partner to rethink their decision and consider relationship counselling, too. 


Setting goals for therapy as a couple


When starting the relationship therapy journey, entering it with the right mindset is crucial. Having the assumption that relationship counselling is an easy remedy or solution to their problems and conflicts is not always the purpose of the process. In couples counselling you can set long-term goals as a couple to maintain your relationship. Through regular therapy sessions and consistent effort, partners can cultivate a deeper understanding of each other and develop healthier patterns of interaction. Setting goals helps build that partnership with you, working together as a team and communicating effectively. 


Managing expectations about the couples therapy process 


Going into relationship counselling can feel overwhelming as you need to figure out what to expect. You may have many questions to ask, so make a note of them so you can ask your counsellor during your first session. During the first meeting, the therapist will ask you questions to gain insight into and understand your relationship and current concerns. Throughout the process, you will both have the chance to express your feelings and views, and the therapist will offer you advice and strategies to build a healthier relationship. 

They will also help you find ways to move forward and work together by setting goals as a couple. There may be times when the relationship therapist believes it is best to have some individual therapy sessions as well. 

If you feel your relationship could benefit from relationship therapy, then don’t hesitate to contact My Solution Welling. We have an experienced team of relationship counsellors who are understanding and empathetic enough to offer you advice.

You may also find my article When To Understand That You Need A Relationship Counsellor great for further reading

Written By Ria Kaur 



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By MSWB Team on 26/03/2024 in Resources

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