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What should you do if only one of you wants to go to couples therapy?

Couples therapy has become more popular over the last decade, and for good reason. It's an effective tool when it comes to improving - even saving - a relationship.

But what happens when only one member of a relationship wants to go to couples therapy? Navigating this situation is challenging. Here are several steps that can be taken to address it most effectively.

First … it's essential for the partner interested in therapy to express their concerns to their partner in an open and honest manner, using “I” statements.  Try to communicate the expected benefits of couples therapy and emphasize that the goal is to strengthen the relationship for both of you. Try to focus the discussion on your feelings, without attacking or invalidating your partner. 

It is very important for the interested partner to actively listen, acknowledge, and validate any concerns or hesitations their partner may be having. Sincerely learn about your partner's perspective can improve understanding and create a more open dialogue about the topic.

Sometimes, a hesitant partner may be more open to meeting with a therapist once or twice to discuss hesitation to engage in couples therapy. 

Individual therapy is always an option. If a reluctant partner still refuses to engage in couples therapy, perhaps individual therapy can help improve a relationship. Individual therapy can provide valuable insights and coping strategies for managing relationship challenges, even when both partners aren’t there to actively participating.


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