Why Couples’ Therapy Doesn’t Work

Common obstacles that can affect couples' therapy.

Therapy 21st May, 2021

Couples therapy can support relationships in a variety of ways. It can aid couples in resolving conflict, learning effective communication, better understanding each other, improving their emotional relations, and strengthening their bond. Couples can encounter roadblocks in therapy that halt their progress. They may have misconceptions about how counseling works, which may keep them stuck in the process. Alternatively, they can put off seeing a therapist altogether, which would only exacerbate their issues.

1. The Desire For The Other Partner To Change:

When people go to therapy, they are looking for a change. Sometimes what they want is for their partner’s actions to improve due to the counseling. They can, for example, request that the therapist alter their partner’s spending patterns. They, on the other hand, would like to keep it the same. In couples’ therapy, however, the partnership is the focus of change. To strengthen the relationship, all partners must make improvements. Both must alter their attitudes and behaviours.

2. You Are Not Taking Responsibility For Your Actions:

Another standard stumbling block is refusing to accept responsibility for your part in the relationship’s problems. For the therapist, couples’ therapy will sound like a courtroom. This is because both partners are attempting to share their perspectives to receive validation and input from the other. On the other hand, couples counseling is only successful if both parties recognize how they contribute to the conflict or problem and try to change their actions.

3. Too Many Secrets Not Being Shared:

Some couples enter couples’ therapy with secrets, which they hope to keep hidden. Couples who keep secrets from their spouse while in couple counseling are deceiving themselves and their loved ones. They are putting obstacles in the way of meaningful progress. Consider the consequences for your relationship if you’re keeping a secret from your partner. Marriages may suffer from a lack of confidence and life as a result of secrets. They have the potential to become thick barriers to interpersonal intimacy.

4. Failure To Follow Through:

Couples will agree on what needs to change in their relationship for it to improve. However, following through or using helpful tactics during a debate may be challenging. Couples must learn to be cooperative with one another and work as a team to solve this challenge.

5. Not Being Confident In The Process:

Couples may seek counseling in the hopes of receiving a fast fix or for the therapist to convince their partner that they need to improve. Couples must, however, trust the counseling process to strengthen their relationship. To fix your marital dispute and begin the healing process, you and your spouse will need to devote time and commitment to learning how to be open with one another. 

6. Waiting For Too Long Before Trying Therapy:

Many couples use couple counseling as a last resort before consulting with a divorce counselor or going to court. These couples, on the other hand, are less likely to change their relationship. If a dispute impacts your marriage and isn’t going anywhere, seek support as soon as possible. Waiting and wishing for it to go away isn’t a good idea. If you’re going to therapy as a last resort, you should know how important it is to have an open mind. Couples who seek counseling late in their relationship may use therapy to weigh their options. Then, they settle any problems or even schedule a formal breakup that keeps their relationship respectful and functional.

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