The partner will not go to therapy? Try 5 tips to convince them

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There are so many great reasons to seek therapy and, in fact, many people have been exploring the option for the first time recently. But while you may be in control of this decision for yourself, when it comes to relationship therapy or couples counseling, your partner needs to be okay with the plan as well. Experts agree that counseling is usually always a good idea to keep a relationship healthy (even if it’s okay), but if your partner refuses therapy, what should you do?

Maybe your partner can’t shake off a perceived stigma from therapy, feels ashamed of the (false) idea that looking for a professional means they can’t fix a problem for them -self, or afraid of being vulnerable and expressing his emotions in front of a third party. Whatever reason your partner won’t go to therapy, they can be reduced by remembering that there is always room for improvement in romantic relationships, even those that are decidedly healthy.

“If you want [the relationship] to thrive and grow, you must care for it, nurture it, and help it flourish. —Tracy Ross, LCSW

For example, attending couples therapy can be helpful in breaking down repetitive patterns, resolving issues related to intimacy and sex, and simply wanting to improve communication. Most, if not all, long-term relationships could benefit from counseling at some point, ”says couple and family therapist Tracy Ross, LCSW. “If you want [the relationship] to thrive and grow, you have to care for it, nurture it, and help it flourish. “

With that in mind, read on to discover five expert-backed strategies to convince your non-going partner to try.

If Your Partner Won’t Go To Therapy With You, These 5 Strategies May Change Your Mind

1. Listen to the reasons your partner doesn’t want to see a relationship.

If your partner has already expressed that they don’t want therapy (and it looks like they do here), bringing up the topic might just cause them to get a little defensive. To keep the conversation productive, be sure to listen to their point of view rather than following it up with yours.

Your partner may have their own ideas about what therapy is, and those ideas may not match yours. For this reason, Erika Moreira, LMFT, a Certified Marriage and Family Counselor, says it helps to provide a compassionate space for your partner to share their concerns.

When we sincerely listen to our partners (rather than being willing to rebut) Ross says “they’re much more likely to slack off on a position.” From there, she says a useful tactic is to “insist that you want to … improve the relationship as much as you want your partner to.” [and] give examples ”of some of the areas that you think could be improved.

2. Find a therapist with whom you are comfortable and ask your partner for a brief chat before your first session.

This strategy can help convince your partner to try couples counseling, as there is no real commitment to therapy yet. Plus, it offers the chance to speak to an expert and dispel potential misconceptions.

“A good couples therapist should be very clear that counseling is not about taking sides and should never make anyone feel like they are in a negative position,” says Ross, who also encourages couples to try. individual sessions with a therapist before committing. . Solo sessions offer each person a way to voice their fears or objections without external reaction and an opportunity for your partner to ask questions and share concerns about the therapy itself.

3. Suggest starting with a limited number of sessions.

There’s a reason a lot of people dip their toes in a pool before jumping in: it’s human nature to want to know what we’re getting into. So, if your partner is hesitant about couples counseling, suggesting a limited number of sessions to begin with can help ease their anxiety about the process at hand. Ultimately, this can cause your partner to be open-minded about therapy. And since, again, all romantic relationships can benefit from couples counseling, it’s likely that your partner will see the positive impact of the counseling, which can be encouraging when you reassess your therapy needs.

4. Consult with friends and family who have consulted couples.

“I encourage you to … have a conversation about how [couples counseling] was for them, ”says Moreira. “Sometimes that normalizes couples therapy and partners are willing to give it a go.” Talking to people you know and love about their experiences with couples therapy can help your partner move away from the stigma they associate with therapy and help them see that they are. Is to help.

5. Reiterate that couples counseling is ultimately about improving the relationship.

Ross says there are a lot of things that are glossed over in the name of avoiding confrontation and vulnerability, which in many cases stems from fear of being judged or the end of the relationship.

“I’ve seen couples reveal or bring up things in sessions that they’ve been hiding from their partner for years,” says Ross. “The fear is that the information withheld will arouse anger, disbelief or a feeling of betrayal.” However, she adds, this is almost never the case.

“Most of the time, the partner is so relieved to finally hear what’s going on,” says Ross. It makes sense; talking with your partner about what you thought and felt means that, as a couple, you can actually do something and start working to improve the relationship.

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