How to Talk About Couples Therapy With Your Partner
Check out our top tips and video below on how to talk about couples therapy with your partner. In our last post, we shared how you can tell if you need couples therapy (and can’t do it on your own).
Although the stigma around therapy is changing, most people still feel some degree of uneasiness about asking for help. To ask for help and let someone into your relationship problems may seem extra hard to do. So, how can you talk about couples therapy with your partner so it goes well? What if they don’t want to go? What if one or both of you are nervous about couples therapy?
For a moment, let’s put ourselves in your partner’s shoes.
When it comes to the idea of couples counseling, your partner may experience shame, embarrassment, or fears of what it will be like, or fear of the unknown outcome. There also may be some feelings of failure if you are the one who is introducing the subject.
Try to come from a place of empathy that this might be a scary or uncomfortable experience for your partner.
While there may be things in therapy that are uncomfortable or difficult to talk about, remember the end result and goal you are looking for is, a positive change!
Although it’s not easy, there is good news: introducing therapy to your partner does not need to be a negative experience!
Top Tips – How to Talk About Couples Therapy in a Gentle and Non-Confrontational Way:
Tip #1: Pick the Right Time
Do not bring up the idea of Couples Therapy in the middle of an argument.
-Conflict makes it very difficult for your partner to hear or understand your concerns when all they hear is yelling, blaming and that they are the problem that needs to be fixed.
-Don’t present a list of complaints. This can feel overwhelming and will just trigger your partner’s defenses.
–Try and listen carefully to your partner’s response. Perhaps share some of your fears or concerns about counseling as well. Honesty (delivered gently) is so important.
-Once you understand the reason your partner is resistant or fearful of counseling, you can work through the issue together and decide how to move forward as a couple.
Tip #2: Share your Vision
Tell your partner what you hope to accomplish.
-Being told your partner wants couple therapy can be a scary experience for some people. Your partner might worry you intend to leave, blame them, or that you believe that the relationship is doomed. It can go a long way to share your vision. Say something like, “I want us to be so much better together.” “I hope we can get help to start communicating better.”
Sharing your hopes and dreams for your relationship will make your talk about couples therapy feel much more comfortable and reassuring to your partner.
-Some people are concerned that therapy could actually make their relationship or marriage worse, while others feel that therapy is a stigmatizing process. Strong couples get good help for their relationship. Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT) is considered the most successful method of helping couples, and a large majority of couples who seek EFT improve their communication and create stronger relationships.
-Some people fear that they will be the one to blame for all of the problems and the sessions will be focused on “fixing” them. This is a common misconception that good Couples Therapists work very hard to avoid. Tell your partner you want to find a Couples Therapist you both like and feel comfortable with.
Tip #3: Use the Free Phone Consult to Talk about Couples Therapy
Set up a free phone consultation. This is something that many therapists offer, including our team of Greenwood Village Marriage Counselors here at Thrive. Call 303-513-8975, X1.
-A free phone consultation allows you and your partner (if possible) to create a connection with your therapist.
-This gives you the opportunity to share a little of what brings you into therapy, some of your goals and ask any questions you might have.
-Phone consultations can create a sense of reassurance and increase comfort with the idea of couples therapy. It helps especially with some of the fears of the unknown.
-It is so important to find someone you both like. We know from research this is a critical factor to the success of any therapy. This is true for couples therapy also. You want to come away feeling like this team of therapists is likeable, know what they are doing with couples and can help you achieve the relationship goals you have.
The intention of therapy is ultimately about how to make the partnership happier, healthier and more fulfilling. So make it a collaboration and focus more on the positive changes you want to see versus the negative behaviors you want to change.
If you are looking for a Greenwood Village couples counselor or marriage counselor, call us at Thrive, 303-513-8975 today to speak to our team about how we can help you and your partner take the first step toward healing your relationship.
Stay tuned for the next post on how to revitalize your relationship. Sign up here to be notified when it’s live.