5 Ways Individual Therapy Can Help Your Relationship
It is a scary thing when your relationship is in a bad place, but your partner isn’t willing to do something new to try to improve your situation. You may have read some things online or asked friends for advice on how to make changes to better your situation but, alas, you find yourself in an unhealthy rut.
As a marriage counselor, I implore people to consider going for individual therapy when they have a partner who is reluctant to do couples’ work. It is understandable that going in for couples therapy alone feels like an oxymoron. But trust me, you are clearly struggling, and it may have more to do with than just your relationship.
By taking care of yourself, you are taking care of your relationship. Ideally, your partner would join you to work on bettering your relationship; however, in the meantime, here are five ways individual therapy can help your relationship:
- You’re happier. A therapist can help identify and process difficult feelings and painful experiences, both in your past and in your current relationship. This will enable you to show up as a more positive and optimistic person, which inevitably will change your partner’s reaction to you.
- You become a master communicator. Individual therapy is a goldmine for learning new communication skills. Often, we fall into a rut of using maladaptive communication styles, such as defensiveness and criticism. Your communication with your partner will elevate once you begin using different techniques to communicate your feelings.
- You learn how to fight productively. Individual therapy isn’t an end-all to disagreements. The difference? You change the direction of the arguments because you have new tools.
- Your self-awareness increases as does your understanding of your partner. A therapist can help us truly understand our feelings and experiences. Plus – even though your partner isn’t participating, your therapist can help you imagine your partner’s perspective.
- Your partner might end up joining you. I see this time and time again. First, you have done the heavy lifting by removing the stigma of starting therapy. And when your partner sees you bettering yourself, feeling more content and joyous, they will be encouraged to jump on the healing train.
If you want to better your relationship, start with yourself. See where the process takes you. Regardless if it ends up in couples therapy, you have accomplished the goal of bettering your relationship by bettering yourself.