Going to therapy for many people can feel uncomfortable and even intrusive. If you have found that you are wanting to go to couples therapy but maybe your partner is feeling these valid emotions, here are some ways in which you can expand the conversation with them.

What can help you in the conversation with your partner

  • Set realistic expectations that your partner may not ever want to go to therapy. 
    • You cannot force someone to go to therapy and giving them an ultimatum may only make this effort be seen as a punishment instead.
    • Recognize that there may be other underlying stigmas related to mental health and counseling for your partner that maybe you do not understand. 
  • Identify how you feel therapy will benefit you and share that with your partner.
    • Perhaps it is that you want to learn better ways to communicate your emotions or even learn ways to truly understand your partner. Maybe it’s that you want to explore ways to increase your sexual intimacy and connection.

Acknowledge their discomfort about therapy and try sharing the following:

  • You can share that they have a say in who the two of you will choose to speak to.
    • Are there any specific qualifications both of you are looking for that may ease both of you in feeling comfortable? 
  • Let them know that many clinicians are open to having a 10-15 minute free consultation to help answer any questions prior to starting therapy. 
    • This may help in feeling comfortable when getting started.

Modern Wellness Counseling Texas How to talk to your partner about going to therapy Acknowledge their discomfort

Tips to keep in mind during this conversation

  • Engaging in empathy is important when trying to understand your partner’s resistance to therapy. It can be hard to see their discomfort and can sometimes be easier to see this as an attack of “they do not care about our relationship.”
    • Instead try vocalizing that this is new for you and that your partner and relationship does matter to you and you want to find ways to improve things. 
  • Share what you believe you both are struggling with.
    • Perhaps it’s both of you having a hard time asking for help around the house. 
    • Maybe it’s both feeling that your sexual needs are not being met. 
    • Or even that you both recognize that when trying to have a conversation, you both just end up yelling and no one gets heard. 
  • Do not play the blame card here.
    • Saying something like, “we need to go to therapy so that you can be fixed,” or “you’re the problem, and the therapist is going to see that,” will only make your partner resist going to therapy even more. 
    • I understand that sometimes partners make mistakes where it may look like it is “all their fault,” but in therapy, we look at what both partners can be changing and improving and look to understand how the couple together ended up in a place where they no longer want to be.
    • Try sharing, “I want our relationship to work and feel that therapy will help me/us in forgiving each other and be able to move forward.” 
  • Share that you personally want to learn and would like to do this with them.
    • Regardless of what you want to change in the relationship, remember that you are also in the relationship and share that you value changing and learning and want them to be there with you. 
  • Be patient with this request.
    • For some couples, if one partner brings up this suggestion, there is no question about it and they are scheduling their intake the very next day. For other couples, it can take years to finally build up the courage to attend their first session.

Modern Wellness Counseling Texas How to talk to your partner about going to therapy things to keep in mind

If you are thinking of asking your partner to start therapy, consider some of these tips and keep in mind that you can also attend therapy on your own as well. More on that on our next blog! Remember that our clinicians at Modern Wellness Counseling can help you and your relationship by seeing you virtually for online counseling. You can call our office at (210) 706-0392 to schedule an appointment or visit our online booking system here.

By Priscilla Rodriguez, M.S., LMFT, Owner of Modern Wellness Counseling

Priscilla specializes in working with couples and individuals who have experienced issues with communication and who are looking to find healthy ways to reconnect with their partner. Priscilla utilizes research based techniques to help clients implement healthy coping skills and communication skills. Learn more on how you can enhance your relationship today.

Want to say “thank you”?

Priscilla Rodriguez, M.S., LMFT (she/her/hers)

Priscilla is the owner and founder of Modern Wellness Counseling and is passionate about helping people learn how to implement healthy relationship skills and learn how to take care of their mental wellbeing.

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