Couples Therapy: It Doesn't Always Have To Be For Two

Posted On: Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Introduction

Have you wanted to fix your marriage or committed relationship, but your partner is not willing to seek marriage counseling or couple's therapy and doesn't seem motivated to change? Don't give up; consider doing couple's therapy solo!

A recent University of Denver study found that individuals who attended a relationship skills program without their partners reported as much improvement in their relationships as couples who attended together.

So what does this tell us?

First of all, by the time most couples seek out a therapist for help, the relationship may be so stressed that one partner or the other is unable to be hopeful that things (or their partner) can be different.

Second, most of the time when couples do present for therapy, they are focusing on everything that their partner is doing wrong rather than what they could be doing differently that might bring them the results they desire -- more love, more attention, more communication. When we are able to focus on eliciting our own happiness rather than expecting our partners to provide it, we immediately feel a sense of empowerment and control in our lives.

Lastly, even if one person can focus on negative interactional cycles that they engage in time after time, being aware of how to break these cycles can make a huge different in one's relationship.

There are a few guidelines to consider.

Both partners must be committed to the relationship, even if one is not willing to attend therapy. This type of therapy becomes more challenging if a partner is not participating because he or she is halfway out the door.

The sessions are geared toward developing new, effective interactional cycles. The purpose is not to come to therapy sessions to vent and talk about everything that is wrong with your relationship. That may be an important part of the process in the beginning but the ultimate goal is to find new ways to understand relationship problems and find new ways of resolving them.

The key to individual couples therapy is to learn how to become a happier person from within, rather than expecting that your partner is going to do this. Individuals learn how to ask for what they want in a respectful, loving way.

If you think you might benefit from individual therapy aimed at improving your marriage or committed couple's relationship, call today to schedule a consultation. You might find that happiness is closer than you think.

Dr. Laura Richter is a licensed Marriage and Family therapist who works with individuals, couples, and families. Her specialties include: surviving infidelity, improving communication, beginning again after divorce and effective co-parenting after divorce. She is also a trained mediator, qualified parenting coordinator and collaborative law mental health professional. For more information, please call or text us today at 561-715-6404 to schedule a consultation to see how we can help.