Some people view couples counseling as a tool to work on a relationship, but others may see it as an uncomfortable idea or a precursor to a breakup. If you’re looking for a Vermont couples counseling option but are feeling some resistance from your spouse or partner, here are some ways to approach the conversation.
Talk About Their View
Find out how the idea of couples counseling looks from their end. Maybe there is a fear or an assumption you haven’t thought about. Maybe they would like to be part of the process of finding a couples counselor so they have agency during the process. Hearing their viewpoint is a good place to start.
Approaching counseling with a plan may help. Studies show that men can be more motivated to try therapy if the idea is presented in a results-oriented way. Instead of starting the conversation with the solution–in this case couples counseling–the conversation could begin with, ‘We’ve been having this argument a lot recently. Maybe we need some help finding a solution.’
Having a goal in mind when you’re thinking about couples counseling can help everyone, including your therapist. As a group you can focus on where the session is headed and what the end goal is.
Create a Plan
If you have an issue that has been a recurring source of conflict, create a plan for handling that issue, both in your couples counseling sessions and outside of them. Leave open the possibility that each of you will need to make changes or try something new to reach a compromise.
Too often couples counseling is seen as the option of last resort. If one person is told, ‘Either we try couples counseling or we’re splitting up’ they enter the process with the goal of simply avoiding a breakup rather than working to improve the long term relationship.
They may become passive in therapy or resist the process altogether. Neither scenario is ideal and an attitude other than one of genuine engagement can negatively impact the process. Each person should be entering the sessions ready to discuss the issues they have with the current state of the relationship.
Couples counseling can only work if you’re both there to identify problems and look for solutions. Sometimes the way you enter couples counseling sets the positive tone you need to find solutions. If you’re ready to get in touch with a Vermont couples counseling professional, please give us a call.