30 Jul Couples Therapy – Going it Solo
If there are communication problems in your marriage, it’s a bad idea to wait to get help. The longer you wait, the worse the problems will become. The divorce rate has doubled in the past 25 years, and many occur over the age of 50. One of the best ways to get your marriage back on track is couples therapy. Vancouver couples in need of help, however, may find that one party in the marriage doesn’t want to try this road. What do you do when only one of you wants to seek help?
Tips for Going to Couples Therapy Solo
Focus on Yourself
One of the major issues in marriages is that when couples run into problems, they try to fix each other. They view the issue as entirely on the other side—the spouse just doesn’t get it, isn’t acting respectfully, or the like. However, the street goes both ways. While their spouse may be part of the problem, another part may be the disgruntled party’s perceptions.
Solo therapy can be a big help in gaining perspective on the issues you face. Couples therapy—even solo couples therapy—can help you to focus on the current issues, the patterns of communication and perception that may be a big part of the problem, and help the client to get a handle on how to best move forward.
If your spouse doesn’t want to attend therapy and you decide to go it alone, there are several things you should keep in mind to get the most out of the effort.
• Evidence-Based Therapy is a new and widely accepted means of therapy wherein your therapist will use tried and proven methods to help you focus on your relationship.
• Communication with your spouse is at the root of the problem, so find out why your spouse doesn’t want to participate. Don’t push, just seek reasons; this will help you on your own journey.
• Focus on Insight. Don’t look for ways to fix your spouse. You’re there to work on yourself—if
your spouse isn’t participating, you can’t work on him or her.
• Share, Don’t Force. Take what you’ve learned home with you and discuss it with your spouse, but don’t force it on them. Address misunderstanding with explanation and if you see curiosity building, try to foster that. You might find your spouse eventually decides to come along, if only to meet your therapist.
• Don’t Make It Worse! Never threaten to file for divorce in a situation like this. You’re trying to fix your marriage, and if you threaten divorce and your spouse calls your bluff, you could be in a lot of trouble. Divorce is not something to be used as an empty threat, especially if you’re trying to fix your marriage.
If you live in Greater Vancouver and think you may need couples therapy, I am available to help. I am happy to listen to any problems you might have, and I can help.