Debunking Myths about Couple Therapy
Maybe you and your partner have found yourselves in a rut where issues have remained unresolved, or have accumulated over time and become overwhelming. It can be challenging to communicate effectively given the tense emotional state, and things can feel quite toxic and draining.
Finding middle ground can be a long process, and finding a counsellor who can help you communicate effectively can turn things around, or make them easier to deal with. Here’s where Couple Therapy can be helpful.
#Myth 1 : Talking about our problems will make it worse.
Perhaps you and your partner have tried “talking it out” and it has only made things worse. Conflicts may have snowballed to an extent that causes total disharmony, and you would do anything to avoid being in the same situation with your partner again.
However, couple therapy is different, because couples are provided with a safe space to discuss conflicts more productively. Being open to each others’ point of view and understanding your partner’s perspective of the conflict can help open the door to resolution and reconciliation. The counselor facilitates this process.
#Myth 2: That we need therapy itself means that our marriage is weak/ ruined.
Allowing ourselves to be vulnerable and open to exploration and change is a sign of great courage. It shows that we're willing to take responsibility to transform our intentions and needs to congruent actions.
It’s likely that you may think it is a phase, and that it will pass. And perhaps it will!
Seeking the support of a couples therapist can help you see the patterns in the conflict, and equip you with different strategies to prevent the continuation of unhealthy patterns, and to be more cohesive as a unit.
Couples therapy isn’t just for couples who have been fighting and arguing a lot. It’s also helpful for couples who want to better their relationship by being able to connect better, and feel more supported by each other. It may also benefit couples who are on the brink of a big change - like having a baby, getting a pet, empty nest syndrome and/or shifting cities/countries.
#Myth 3: There is no point in going to Couple Therapy, we have decided to separate/divorce.
The decision to divorce or separate is always a tough one. People are usually hurt, angry and disillusioned, which in turn increases conflict and makes it difficult to navigate the process of separation in a healthy way.
A Couples therapist can help both partners understand themselves better, express their emotions more effectively, and feel more equipped to develop mutually satisfying solutions to make the separation a smooth process.
Quite often, when we end a relationship, we tend to see it in black and white. Either we see our partners with rose tinted glasses, or with devil horns. To move on in a healthy way, it is important to gain a realistic view of the relationship.
A couples therapist may also be able to illustrate the impact of the ongoing conflicts on each partner, the children, pets, and/or families of origin. Couple therapy can help end the relationship on a good note. It could also help the couple develop co-parenting strategies.
#Myth 4: The Couple therapist is going to tell you / your partner that everything is your/ their fault.
A couples therapist studies both partners, and the dynamic between them, in order to increase awareness with respect to prevalent patterns. Noticing these patterns may help clients see that these patterns are causing disharmony, and not necessarily their partners. The therapist will help people communicate to their partners in a more functional way. The therapist doesn’t point out mistakes or ‘play judge’ in the conflict, but helps clients see their role in the conflicts.