Should I Do Individual or Couples Therapy?

Taking the step to try therapy can feel daunting. You may ask yourself many questions before taking the leap. If you’re married and have relationship issues, those questions multiply. A big question: Should I try individual counseling or do we need to go as a couple?

This is an important decision. If, for example, your happiness is connected to your marriage, you may not want to try individual therapy. Studies have shown that this choice can be detrimental to your relationship. This is just one of the many possible elements at play. To follow, we’ll explore more of the factors you should consider.

What If I Want Us to Improve Communication?

This is one of those subjects where you may blame yourself. Just as often, you may blame your partner. Individual therapy can be helpful if your goal is to focus specifically on your own communication skills. It can be counterproductive if you try to use your sessions to point your finger at your partner.

A couples therapist would have the benefit of watching the two of you communicate in real-time. This allows the couple to workshop new approaches and practice what they learn. So, unless you truly feel you alone need help with this skill, couples counseling is probably the way to go

What If I Think I Have a Mental Health Condition?

This is a rare scenario where the choice is almost certainly obvious. Your mental health disorder is surely impacting your marriage. However, you need individual therapy to do the work on yourself. There is only so much self-help you can practice. A diagnosable condition requires the intervention of a skilled professional. As you heal and recover, you will benefit — and so will your partner, by proxy.

What If My Partner Cheated on Me?

Some infidelities can be traumatizing. The betrayed spouse will need one-on-one attention to deal with the fallout. However, if the couple is committed to working through the issue, they will need to attend couples counseling. Trust has been lost. In a therapy setting, the couple can work as a team to rebuild and reconnect.

What If I Want to End the Marriage?

If you are certain about this path, this is one of the instances where couples therapy is strongly discouraged. You’ll need help to transform your decision into action and plan for post-marriage life. In cases where things are tough but you want to seek resolution, couples counseling is definitely the better option.

What if My Spouse Won’t Try Any Kind of Therapy?

This is a tough situation but the decision is kind of made for you. You will feel let down and perhaps a little hopeless. But, by attending individual therapy, you may lead the way. Your partner may see changes in you and perhaps be inspired to try either format. Even if they don’t, you have to look out for yourself. The trick, however, is to not solely use your individual sessions to complain about your spouse refusing to try couples therapy.

What If I’m Still Confused?

Short answer: It’s okay. Longer answer: This can be a complicated and very significant decision. There is no reason to rush. You need to gather information, talk with your spouse, and make the best possible choice for both of you. This type of situation is precisely why I offer a free and confidential consultation.

It’s normal to have questions. It’s normal to be confused. Reaching out to learn more is a wise decision. After we talk and you know more, you are in a good position to make another wise decision. So, let’s connect soon!

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