Why There Is No Shame In Couple’s Therapy
Even though individual therapy has become widely accepted, with many friends and couples casually discussing what they learned in their recent session over coffee, couples therapy has not received quite as much public love. It seems like people are comfortable admitting that they may have lost control over their personal, individual behavior and need a little help in that department, but they aren’t comfortable admitting that they could use some assistance in their relationship. That almost sounds backward, when you think about it, since, isn’t it much easier to navigate one’s solo behavior than it is to navigate the needs and actions of two people? Nonetheless, many couples, on principle (which principle? Not sure) will not seek counseling, even if they’re struggling. It’s just silly. Here are reasons there is no shame in couples therapy.
You already turn to your friends
You already ask an outside party for their opinions and advice about your relationship. But the people you ask aren’t professionally trained in the matter. Why not turn to someone who is? Since, you clearly don’t mind speaking to somebody about it.
You believe in individual therapy
I’m going to assume that you believe in the merits of individual counseling. So, if you can see how therapy can help one person better understand their thinking, behavior, and consequences of their actions, can’t you see how it could help two people do that, together?
Prevention is always better than damage control
You don’t only have to go to therapy when you feel your problems have gotten out of hand. Many couples go to therapy when they sense the beginning of issues that might be too large for them to tackle on their own, and by doing so, they keep the issues form getting out of hand.
It’s like a checkup for your relationship
Your relationship, like your body, is ever-changing. It is getting older. It’s facing challenges. It’s going through rough patches and enduring fluctuating circumstances. And just how your body needs a checkup every so often, to see if you should turn to a new fitness regiment or diet to keep it in good shape, so too does your relationship.
Divorce rates are out of control
Divorce rates are honestly too out of control to stubbornly stand against couples’ therapy out of shame or embarrassment. I don’t believe there is shame in divorce, for the record, but if you are worried about shame, can’t we agree there is more of it in divorce than in therapy?
Being silent and miserable is worse
Do you want to be one of those couples who was too proud to go to therapy? So, instead, you held onto your feelings, let your issues fester and harden, and just settled into an unhappy relationship? The pride over not going to therapy won’t be much help then.
Outsiders can see things clearly
You know outsiders can see things you can’t. Distance from the situation gives clarity, and while your friends might not be in the relationship, they also aren’t distant, because they are loyal to you. A therapist can give an unbiased, outsider’s perspective. She has both of your best interests in mind.
The therapist has seen it all
Sure, your friend Rebecca has heard of a few couples who had issues like yours, but your therapist has literally seen and studied hundreds—if not more. So, like a doctor who has been in the field for a while, she just might know the cure.
It shows you care
Going to couples therapy is a way of showing your partner that you care about this relationship. It’s a way of saying, “I want both of us to be as happy as possible.” Simply making that first appointment can create an improvement in your dynamic.
You’ll get tools you can take home
You don’t have to stay in therapy for your entire life, but your therapist can give you tools that you can take home, and use long after your sessions have ended. You know—the way a doctor shows you how to check your pulse and skip this ingredient when your gas acts up.
It can save you time
This may sound bleak now, but if it turns out to be the truth, you’ll be glad you were bold enough to see it: this might be the wrong relationship for you. And you’ll find that out much quicker if you go to therapy than if you just stick it out for a few years.
Your therapist can see your chance of success
Your therapist is, well, experienced in recognizing couples who will make it and those who will break up. She probably won’t tell you when she meets you what she thinks, but she will steer you into noticing important dynamics at play. She’ll give you a lens you may not have had before—it could be good, and it could be bad, but it will probably be accurate.
Life is busy
Life is extremely busy. You know that if you do not set a time to sit down and discuss an issue, something will always get in the way. Having an appointment with your couples’ therapist gives you a guaranteed time and place to focus on your relationship.
It can minimize fights
If you know you have therapy coming up, you might actually let little disputes go for now, because you know you can hash them out in therapy.
It doesn’t mean you’re headed for failure
The mere fact that you care enough about the relationship to go to therapy says a lot about the chances of it succeeding. Oh, and by the way, there are plenty of couples who don’t go to therapy and fail so, there isn’t necessarily a correlation between the two.