Can I get relationship counseling without going to couples therapy?
Yes! In fact, many times it is the best place to start. Most people struggle in relationships from time to time. Two people trying to maintain a loving commitment long-term may have different approaches to working through problems.
Sometimes one person wants to try couples therapy and his or her partner is more hesitant, perhaps seeing counseling as a waste of time or money or concerned it will make things worse. In other situations, one spouse may feel uncertain about the future of the relationship and whether or not he or she wants to stay in it.
People in both of these circumstances can benefit from working on the relationship individually with a therapist.
How can meeting alone help my relationship?
A therapist can help people achieve their goals for their relationship, whether that means doing what they can to strengthen their bond with their partner, learning concrete communication skills, or exploring the possibility of leaving the relationship.
Struggling with a relationship can be isolating. It’s easy to look around and think that marriage comes easily to every other seemingly blissful couple. However, it’s the rare couple that would say they’ve never hit a rough patch. Relationship support for individuals can provide perspective on the natural tendency of a long-term relationship to go through ups and downs. The therapist can work with the individual to come up with things he or she can do to improve communication and other aspects of the relationship. If a person feels unsupported due to their partner’s unwillingness to attend therapy, the therapist can provide different kinds of support and encouragement.
What if I decide I want to separate?
For people who are considering ending a relationship, the therapist can provide a safe environment in which to explore their feelings about the relationship. In therapy, the individual can reach a decision after thorough consideration, providing reassurance that they are making the best choice they can given the circumstances.
If an individual decides to end a relationship the therapist will provide guidance in negotiating the process respectfully and amicably, with specific education if there are children in the household.
I’ve heard that going in alone for relationship counseling increases the chance of divorce. Is that true?
In relationships, it’s easier to focus on the other person’s faults and weaknesses than to look inward. However, it’s often the expectations one places on one’s partner that leads to feelings of disappointment and resentment. A therapist providing relationship support to an individual can help that person examine their perceptions of their partner and relationship, sorting fact from fiction.
It’s possible for a lot of good to be done from the efforts of the partner in therapy. As one person changes his or her thinking and behavior for the better, it can have positive effects on both partners.
Statistically it is true that individual relationship support is more likely to lead to separation than couples therapy. We are unaware of research that has broken down this statistic by individuals whose goals are to stay in the relationship from individuals whose goals are to get support in leaving. Main Line Counseling Partners clinicians support the goals and beliefs of each client without judgment.
Trust the experts with your most important relationship.
Our therapists have decades of experience helping couples save their marriages. We have specialists who have trained with relationship experts John and Julie Gottman, completing the highest level of clinical training offered by the Gottman Institute.
Schedule a time to speak to one of our owners, who will match you with the right therapist for your relationship counseling.
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