“You need therapy,” is a sentence our society has weaponized in a way. When someone says it to you, they’re usually very upset with you – in fact, you could be in a serious conflict. It feels like such an insult when somebody says such a thing. Even though therapy can be a positive and beautiful practice, when someone says we need it, it certainly doesn’t feel as if they wish for positivity and beauty in our lives. It’s somewhat like a condemnation, but it shouldn’t be seen that way.
Superdrug Online Doctor surveyed couples and individuals to learn about the impact that therapy – both individual and couples – can have on a relationship. Some of their findings confirmed the stigma around therapy, with 20 percent of women waiting up to half a year before telling a partner they were in therapy. The survey also found a good amount of concern that one’s partner would judge them for being in therapy. But ultimately, the study found that therapy is beneficial to a relationship. We also consulted individual, couples, and family therapist Latasha Matthews (pictured below) on the subject, and she expanded on some of the ways individual and couples therapy can benefit relationships.
Individual therapy can open dialogue
Finding a natural opening in the conversation to bring up complex or deeply personal topics isn’t always easy. When you’re in a relationship, and especially a long-term one that involves cohabitation, you can fall into the rhythm of only talking about groceries or work or weekend plans. When are you supposed to mention you recently had a troubling memory about your childhood or realized that you have self-esteem issues when it comes to your career? It’s tough to work it into the conversation. But the SuperDrug study found that as much as 51.7 percent of individuals in therapy sometimes tell their partner what is discussed in their therapy sessions. Just having that opening of, “How was therapy today?” can provide a safe space to bring up deeper topics.