If you experience anxiety choosing therapy, whether or not it is individual therapy vs couples therapy to repair your relationship, this post has some good criteria to consider. Often both are warranted, but thinking about it with these areas in mind is a good place to start.
Typically one partner will contact me in great distress about their relationship and will want to be seen immediately. After they begin therapy, usually fairly quickly, they will begin to question whether their partner should attend with them. Sometimes they have not been married for long, and the adjustment is giving them difficulty. Other issues are considering a big life change such as having a child, or, the couple has been having the same fights over and over, with one partner refusing to participate. They are just shutting down while the other partner endlessly beseeches them to solve the problem.
COUPLES THERAPY IS NOT A NEGOTIATION
Couples therapy is not a negotiation. It is not a place to come and trot out your scorecard. And the therapist is not your fairy godmother sent to ‘fix’ your partner. It is a place where both parties may come to experience forgiveness, accept individual responsibility for their part in the struggle, and learn new ways to communicate their needs. And therapy is not likely to work well if one partner is using the fear of leaving the partnership as emotional blackmail.
If you are experiencing anxiety about therapy itself, and what might be right for you, take a look at this blog post from an excellent therapist, Irina Gillett, located in New York City. She offers three criteria for individual therapy, and two for couples to consider. She already said it better than I could, so happy reading, (and with her permission) I offer you this information to consider. May it help you to make a reasoned choice at a time when it often seems like emotions are ruling.