How to Get Your Partner to Go to Therapy

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Therapy is integral to nurturing and sustaining a thriving relationship. It provides a safe space for open dialogue, personal growth, and conflict resolution, helping couples navigate their way through the complexities of their relationship. 

However, persuading a partner to consider therapy can be challenging. It's not uncommon to encounter resistance due to misconceptions about therapy, fear of stigma, or simply reluctance to open up to a third party about personal issues. 

This article aims to provide practical advice on how to approach your partner about the possibility of therapy, underscoring the importance of patience, understanding, and supportive conversation in this process. 


Marriages & Couples Therapists in Colorado

Cheyenne Ainsworth, LSW

Cheyenne Ainsworth, LSW

Colorado Springs, Colorado
(719) 602-1342
Jennifer Luttman, LPC, ACS

Jennifer Luttman, LPC, ACS

Colorado
(719) 345-2424
Michele Stahle, LPC

Michele Stahle, LPC

Colorado
(719) 345-2424
Melanie Klinke, MA, MFTC, LPCC

Melanie Klinke, MA, MFTC, LPCC

Colorado
(719) 345-2424
Heather Comensky, LPC

Heather Comensky, LPC

Aurora, Colorado
(720) 449-4121
Donna Janiec, LPC, NCC

Donna Janiec, LPC, NCC

Colorado
(719) 345-2424
Kelsey Motley, LPCC

Kelsey Motley, LPCC

Colorado
(719) 345-2424
Shannon Matlock, LPC, NCC

Shannon Matlock, LPC, NCC

Colorado Springs, Colorado
(719) 203-7021
Margot Bean, LCSW

Margot Bean, LCSW

Colorado Springs, Colorado
(719) 345-2424
Jessica Gutierrez-Gaytan, SWC

Jessica Gutierrez-Gaytan, SWC

Colorado
(719) 345-2424


Choose the Right Timing and Approach

Choosing the right timing and setting for the conversation about therapy is crucial. It's important to select a calm and comfortable environment where both you and your partner can talk openly and without distraction. 

This should be a place where you both feel safe and at ease. The right timing also matters - choose a time when neither of you is stressed, tired, or preoccupied with other matters. 

These factors can significantly impact how receptive your partner will be to the idea of therapy.

When expressing your concerns and desires, it's essential to approach the conversation with care. Avoid blaming or criticizing your partner, as this can lead to defensiveness and shut down communication.

Instead, use "I" statements to express how you feel and what you hope to gain from therapy. To illustrate, instead of using a blaming statement like "You never listen to me," try expressing your feelings by saying "I feel unheard, and I believe therapy could improve our communication." 

This approach focuses on your emotions and suggests therapy as a means to enhance your relationship. 



Listen and Validate Your Partner's Concerns

Listening and validating your partner's concerns is a critical step in encouraging them to consider therapy. 

Open and honest communication is key here. Ask your partner what they think about therapy, and listen attentively to their responses. It's important to understand that they might have fears or reservations. 

They may be worried about being judged or not being understood, or they may simply be uncomfortable with the idea of sharing personal thoughts and feelings with a stranger.

Validate these concerns by acknowledging their feelings and reassuring them that it's natural to feel apprehensive about new experiences.

Addressing misconceptions or myths about therapy can also help your partner feel more comfortable with the idea. Some people may believe that therapy is only for people with severe mental health issues, or that it's a sign of weakness. 

Clarify that therapy is a tool for anyone who wants to improve their quality of life, and it's a sign of strength to seek help when needed.

Explain that a therapist's role is not to judge or dictate, but to provide guidance and support. 

By debunking these myths and providing accurate information, you can help alleviate your partner's concerns and foster a more positive perception of therapy. 


Offer Support and Encouragement

Support and encouragement can go a long way in helping your partner feel comfortable with the idea of therapy. Assure them that they won't have to navigate this journey alone - you will be there to support them every step of the way. 

This could mean providing emotional support, such as listening to their concerns or offering words of encouragement. 

Or it could mean practical support, like helping to manage appointments or taking care of other responsibilities to give them the time they need for therapy.

Offering to help find a suitable therapist is another way to provide support. This can be a daunting task, especially for someone new to therapy, so your assistance can be invaluable. 

You could research different therapists together, discuss what to look for in a therapist, and even attend initial appointments together if your partner is comfortable with that. 

Furthermore, discuss the possibility of attending therapy sessions together, especially if the issues at hand involve the relationship. 

Couples therapy can be a beneficial process where both partners work together with a therapist to improve their relationship. However, it's important to respect your partner's decision if they prefer individual therapy. 



Be Patient and Respectful

Patience and respect are essential when discussing the possibility of therapy with your partner. It's important to understand that change takes time and deciding to go to therapy is a significant step. 

Your partner may need time and space to process the idea, weigh the pros and cons, and come to their own decision. It's not a process that should be rushed. 

Even if you're certain that therapy is the right choice, you must respect your partner's pace and give them room to figure things out on their own.

Avoid pressuring or forcing your partner into therapy. This can lead to resentment and may even sabotage the therapeutic process.

Instead, express your thoughts and concerns calmly and respectfully, and let them know that it's ultimately their decision. If your partner is resistant to the idea, don't insist; it might be better to revisit the topic at a later time.

Therapy is most effective when the person is ready and willing to engage in the process. Your role is to provide support and encouragement, not to dictate their choices. 



Conclusion

Therapy plays an essential role in fostering a healthy and thriving relationship. It provides a safe space to express feelings, understand oneself and one's partner better, and learn effective strategies for handling conflicts and challenges. 

Encouraging your partner to consider therapy is not just about addressing problems; it's also about enhancing the quality of your relationship. It's crucial to approach this conversation with open-mindedness, respect, and patience. 

Be willing to explore the benefits of therapy together, and remember that it's a journey that requires time and commitment. 

Your support and encouragement can make a significant difference in your partner's willingness to embark on this therapeutic journey. 


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February 25th, 2024

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