Divorce is a tremendous transition that has repercussions for years on both parents and kids. If you can avoid it, why wouldn’t you? — Susan Pease Gadoua L.C.S.W.
When there are problems in your relationship people generally think of couples counseling. They think that they need to start working on their problems as a couple and try to work through things that way, but the truth is couples counseling isn’t always the answer. What you need to do is discover what type of problem you’re really dealing with and then you’ll be able to decide if it’s a ‘you’ problem (something that you want to improve within yourself) or a ‘relationship’ problem (something that needs to be improved between the two of you). Then you can better assess what type of online therapy will suit your situation best.
Why You Need Your Own Sessions
If you struggle to express yourself in front of your partner it may be a good idea for you to speak to someone yourself first. This can help you get more comfortable with how you’re feeling and can even help you understand what it is that you’re feeling before you bring your partner into it. Gaining confidence is important and being able to tell your partner exactly what you feel is crucial to strengthening your relationship when it needs help. If you don’t believe you’ll be able to do that in couples counseling, it may help to work on it yourself first.
If you’re struggling with depression or anxiety you may want to have individual sessions to work through some of the problems you’re having, but this is one area where your partner could actually be an asset to you by helping you along. They’re a huge part of your life, after all, so getting them involved can be a great idea. Still, you may not want or need them along at every session, so you may want to look at a mix of couples and individual counseling to help you through.
If you aren’t sure the relationship is right for you or if you are being abused in any way, individual sessions can help you to come to terms with your decisions and to feel more confident about what you need to do about them. You’ll be able to gain the strength you need to leave the situation or to understand that you can’t be happy with what is happening in the relationship. If you do not want to work on the relationship but you do want to improve yourself, individual sessions can definitely help you.
Sometimes, those closest to you might notice that things are not right before you do. — Karen Kleiman MSW, LCSW
Why You Need Couples Counseling
Most problems that are affecting you while you’re in the relationship are also going to affect your partner. A friend of yours that passes away may not seem like they have anything to do with your partner, but your partner can actually be an important tool for you. They can help you get through the depression and sadness that you’re feeling over the loss of a friend, even if they never knew your friend. They can help you through just about anything you’re experiencing and be an important ally, if you only let them understand what’s going on.
If you have a problem directly in the relationship such as trouble with trust or communication between you and your partner it’s important to work through that problem as a couple. You can’t improve the communication between the two of you entirely on your own. It requires their assistance in order to be successful. So make sure you’re working with them in sessions to build a strong foundation. Working through couples sessions will help you open up to each other more and express exactly what you’re feeling about the relationship and about your communication. In individual sessions you just can’t do that and get a full picture.
Fidelity is a choice that you must negotiate regularly to protect your most intimate bond while you both continue to grow as individuals. — Catherine Aponte Psy.D.