Should My Spouse and I Go For Couples Therapy?

Married couples often feel uneasy or embarrassed when couples’ therapy is mentioned. After all, who wants to sit around talking to a total stranger about the very private and deeply personal matters in your relationship, right? Shouldn’t you just keep these things to yourselves?

The hesitation is understandable, for therapy always involves being vulnerable and trusting not just your partner, but also a therapist, with your innermost thoughts and feelings. You may also feel some shame in having to ask for help in solving your own relationship issues.

To help you break the stigma about couples therapy so you can appreciate it better, let’s do a myth and misconception check in this article!  

Should My Spouse and I Go For Couples Therapy?

Myth # 1: It's only for couples on the brink of splitting up.

You often see couples’ therapy as a last resort before a break up. While many do use it as a last attempt to save their relationship, couples’ therapy can be beneficial at any stage. Your therapist can help you navigate conflict better, come up with more effective communication strategies, and make plans on how you can further strengthen your bond and increase your closeness.

Therapy does not have to be an emergency intervention only when things have hit rock bottom; it can be a regular check in to find ways to further improve an already healthy relationship.

Myth # 2: Therapy is unnecessary for couples who love each other.

“If we truly love each other, we should be able to figure this out on our own” is a common idea among couples. After all, we spend so much time and energy getting to know your partner and finding out if you are compatible. Shouldn’t you just sit down and talk through your problems without a therapist?

It can be difficult for you to see your own relationship dynamics when you are in the middle of it, so the issues you see may not even be the actual problem. For some couples, it can be helpful to have a neutral third person guiding them through thought and communication patterns that they may not even be aware of.

Myth # 3: If there are no immediate results, the therapy isn’t working.

While a well-trained therapist using suitable approaches can make the therapeutic process more efficient, you can’t expect a magical solution. All relationships are different and require different timelines to see progress. While you can expect to see some reasonable improvements after a few sessions, your progress as a couple really depends on different factors like the specific issues you are working through, the commitment level of both parties, and the approach your therapist has chosen to utilize.

Couples’ therapy requires commitment and participation even outside of your set sessions. Therapists often give assignments for couples to work on the tools for effective communication and conflict resolution skills.

Myth # 4: Couples therapy is too expensive.

With the rising cost of living these days, financial concerns can be among the many issues that couples have to navigate. It’s understandable that you may not want to spend more in order to avail of couples’ therapy if it will strain your budget.

There are, however, options worth exploring before you make a decision. Different institutions provide a wide range of price points so you can find one your pockets are comfortable with. You can also ask your therapist about what payment plans they offer. Some companies also include mental health interventions in their healthcare benefits and you can see if that option is available for you.

While couples’ therapy may feel like an unnecessary expense, it can be a worthwhile long term investment in your mental health and the quality of your relationship.

Myth # 5: Going to couples therapy is embarrassing. 

To some, going to couples therapy can feel a little too much like airing out dirty laundry when it comes to their relationships. You don’t want to talk to a stranger about your problems because you worry that other people will hear about your private disclosures. Confidentiality is a key aspect in all therapeutic relationships.

In your therapy, your therapist will ask you to sign an informed consent waiver that includes a guarantee that everything that you and your partner will share will be kept confidential. Building trust and ensuring that you feel safe and secure in your sessions is part of your therapist’s role. They are legally and ethically bound to keep all your information secret.

There is nothing shameful about seeking the help of a trained and licensed professional in order to maintain the health of your relationship. Think of it as going to the doctor for regular check ups to make sure that you keep your body in good condition! Attending couples therapy just means that you and your partner are willing to commit time and effort to grow together.

 

The decision to seek guidance from a therapist should be an agreement between both partners. Therapy is one way to improve your communication and conflict management skills while also learning to appreciate each other more.

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