Maybe your partner has suggested couples counseling but you aren’t sure about the process. There are many common myths about couples therapy that may be holding you back from attending, but remember, these are just myths! If you want to have more tools in your arsenal to grow with your partner, then couples therapy might be the right place for you.
That being said, let’s take a deep dive into 10 misconceptions of marriage counseling.
1. A Stranger Cannot Help My Relationship
One myth about marriage counseling is that a stranger cannot help a relationship that is outside of themselves. Although it may seem like therapists may not be invested enough in your personal relationship to give you good advice, their lack of investment is actually an excellent thing.
When you ask your loved ones for advice, they either have something to lose or gain, depending on the advice they give. On the other hand, a therapist has nothing to lose or gain if your relationship does or does not work out. They can look at your relationship with an objective and trustworthy eye.
2. The Therapist Will Take My Partner’s Side
A couple’s therapist is not there to support one partner’s opinion over the other. They are there to help you both process your emotions about any given situation. If your therapist is supportive of your partner’s ideas and emotional processes, that does not mean they ultimately choose your partner over you. Your therapist will be there to protect your relationship, which involves both of you. If your therapist were to take one partner’s side over the other, this would sabotage the work they are trying to do.
3. Therapy Takes a Long Time
While it is true that some people do attend therapy for quite some time, couples therapy is typically a shorter process. Most couples therapy focuses on the couple learning tools to build and grow their relationship. Once a couple has a good grasp of these tools and has worked through any major issues, they can continue working on their relationship outside therapy.
In general, most couples therapy plans are an average of 6-12 sessions, but this timeframe will depend on the reason you are going to couples therapy, of course. Individuals in a couple may want to attend their own therapy sessions after couples therapy ceases, or your therapist may suggest a follow-up visit after some time passes, but typically, couples therapy is not a long-term process.
4. Therapy Is Only for the Weak
Therapy is not for those who are broken or weak. Therapy is for those who want to learn tools to process their emotions and connect with their partners. Many people think therapy is only for couples who fight constantly or suffer a huge betrayal — however, going to couples therapy might not mean that your relationship is on the brink of collapse.
Therapy can be a great way to get to know each other better and have an objective facilitator to work out any issues. You may go into therapy with a particular issue, but some couples come in simply with the goal of strengthening their communication and love for each other. Whatever the case, a couples therapist can help.
5. Therapy Is Not Affordable
Therapy in general is an investment in your mental health. In particular, couples therapy is an investment in the continuing success of your relationship. Your mental health and the continuing health of your relationship are great things to be spending your money on, especially if you typically find yourself spending a lot of money in areas that don’t have as much meaning to you.
6. The Therapist Will Point Out All of My Faults
A therapist will only help you with or comment on things that you offer up willingly. That being said, they will not be looking for flaws in you. They will be looking at your verbal and non-verbal cues to support any information you’ve given them. They will only be looking for ways to help you through what you’re trying to process.
7. Therapy Can Fix My Relationship
Therapy is one tool. It will not be the only reason why your relationship grows or deteriorates. You can ultimately take the tools you learn in therapy and apply them. In that case, you have a huge role in whether or not your relationship moves forward in a positive way. Sometimes, couples therapy is a great way for couples who are separating to move on in a constructive way — especially since divorce can be an incredibly stressful event for an entire family.
Also, keep in mind that therapy is not a quick fix. You’ll have to continue to use the tools you learn in therapy over time to see results.
8. Therapy Can’t Help With a Breakup
Just because you’ve decided that your relationship is over does not mean that you don’t have something to learn from couples therapy. When a marriage or relationship is ending, both individuals often have questions about why the relationship is done, and they may also have residual emotions they need to process with their former partners. Overall, your therapist will help you process any negative emotions and help you move forward positively, whether you and your partner stay together or not.
9. Couples Therapy Is Only for Marriages and Families
All relationships are important, not just marriages. Even if you are not married, you can still gain the same benefits from couples therapy as a married couple would. Therapists are trained in diversity, which means they are trained in working with many different types of couples who have different types of relationships. The most important factor in a relationship is the same across all types — healthy communication.
Your therapist will help you dive into the communication patterns in your relationship as well as how communication is tied to the resolution of your issues.
10. Therapy Is About Assigning Fault and Blame
Therapy is not about assigning fault and blame because then it would illicit and perpetuate negative emotions instead of fostering positive emotions, which is one of the points of therapy. Therapists are trained to be neutral parties in any discussions you might have with them. They do not look to find and assign blame to either party — their primary concern is to help each partner realize their responsibilities within a relationship.
Overall, your couples therapist will work to help you understand and accept you and your partner’s differences in the relationship.
Contact Taylor Counseling Group
At Taylor Counseling Group, we center our couples counseling around one very important factor in a relationship — communication. Over time, communication styles can change in a relationship, which is why we’re here to help you unearth helpful information surrounding your relationship’s particular styles and patterns of communication.
Learn more about us and what we can do for you when you give us a call at (214) 530-0021.