Six Common Obstacles Preventing Couples from Seeking Therapy
Some of the main reasons couples go to therapy have been to improve how they approach conflicts in their relationship (%45), to work on the lack of desire or love, and to change a particular thing about their relationship. However, many reports that convincing their partner to attend therapy is challenging.
In my previous post, I wrote about ways that might help you to encourage your partner to attend counselling. In this post, I will talk about myths surrounding couple therapy that sometimes stop people from considering relationship counselling.
1. The therapist is not going to take my side. One of the most important jobs of a competent therapist is to ensure that s/he is unbiased and neutral towards you and your partner. Your therapist would aim for both of you to feel heard and understood and work towards achieving your goals from therapy.
2. If I agree to go to therapy, I will be blamed for everything wrong in our relationship. I understand that this concerns many people, especially when your partner has initiated couple therapy. However, a competent therapist will make sure neither of you feels blamed for the shortcomings in the relationship. S/he will support and guide you towards doing things differently and learning new ways of relating to one another.
3. Some people believe you should know how relationships work, and if you can’t figure it out on your own, maybe this is a sign you should not be together. This myth perpetuates the idea that we are all relationship experts. It does not recognize the complexity of relationships and how difficult it is sometimes to resolve conflicts. A therapist is privileged to look at your relationship objectively and help you see your relationship through a new lens.
4. I have tried everything; nothing is going to change. I want to address this myth by saying that I believe you wholeheartedly. You have done everything in your power to help yourself and your partner, and none of it has worked. However, this is not a sign that couples therapy will not be able to help the two of you. Because couples therapists have been working with couples for years, and they might have strategies that you might not be aware of yet.
5. Some believe that going to couple therapy is a sign that you have failed in your relationship. This myth does not appreciate the strength it takes to recognize something missing from the relationship. It also takes courage to seek expert advice in addressing them.
6. Last but not least myth is that you only need to go to therapy when you are thinking about breaking up or getting a divorce. This myth ignores the fact that if you do not wait long before seeking couple counselling, it will increase your chances of success at solving your relationship difficulties, and it decreases the risk of divorce. There are many different reasons couples come to therapy, and trying to figure out if the relationship will work out is only one of them.