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How to Convince Your Partner to Attend Couples Therapy

You may be in a place in life where you know that you need couples therapy. You know that in life, sometimes you just need an outside perspective in order to push through a hard time in life. This is a healthy mindset! Although I don’t have official research on this, I’m pretty sure that 100% of couples have had conflict, and almost all of them have felt stuck at one time or another. 

So you may be ready, but what do you do when your spouse or partner is not? This can be a tough thing to work through. Although no one can “force” their partner to attend therapy, you can plant seeds, you can nudge, you can move the needle so that he/she is closer to being ready. 

Reasons people are resistant to couples therapy

Marriage therapy

Understanding is really the first step here. It’s really important to understand why your partner is not feeling ready to visit a therapist. If you do not know the reasons why they are resistant, it will be hard to work with them to move forward. Mentioned here are some of the reasons why people might be resistant to couples therapy.

  • Social Stigma: A lot of people think that being in therapy means that they are weak and have failed.  They may feel that their relationship is a failure.
  • Misconceptions About Therapy: Many people have this misconception that couples therapy is only for people who are on the verge of a breakup or divorce and hence do not step forward thinking they are not in that particular situation.
  • Personal Judgment: People also fear the personal judgment that the therapist may have about their relationship.
  • Partner’s Judgment: One might feel worried about showing up at therapy because a partner might think they are to blame for what is happening.
  • Unawareness or Denial: Many people are in denial about their ongoing situations in the relationship and are unaware of the extent of the issues.
  • Fear of Confrontation: Therapy often requires facing uncomfortable truths and confronting deep-seated issues, for which not everyone may be comfortable.
  • Cost of Therapy: Cost of couples therapy in Bay Area or San Jose can also be a big issue for many people and hence they might not be interested in the same. 

Understanding and addressing these common reasons for resistance with empathy and respect helps to create a supportive environment that makes your partner more open to considering couples therapy in San Jose.

So what next? How to convince your partner? 

everything-you-need-to-know-about-couples-therapy

Convincing your partner doesn’t mean you keep on poking them for a visit again and again. It requires time, patience, and communication for such things to get on track. To help you out here are some key points to consider:

  • Addressing Stigma and Misconceptions

Have a discussion about common reasons that you feel might be responsible for your partner not attending couples therapy, such as social stigma, fear of judgment, denial of issues, fear of change, financial concerns, and time commitment. 

  • Choosing the Right Time and Setting

Look for a time when your partner is relaxed and has a good time for a discussion. Approach the topic without blaming or having any criticism of your partner and make sure to focus on common relationship goals. 

  • Highlighting the Positive Outcomes

Shed some light on how couples therapy in San Jose, Mipitas and the Bay Area can make things better between you too such as improved communication, fewer conflicts, and better strength in the relationship. You can also share some success stories around you be it of friends or colleagues at the office. 

  • Offering Practical Solutions

List responses to frequent objections such as cost, time, and necessity. Give practical suggestions such as finding ways by which the expenses can be reduced or recommending virtual/holographic therapy to handle and reduce these concerns.

  • Using Non-confrontational Language

Encourage expressing personal feelings and reasons for wanting therapy using “I” statements to avoid making the partner feel attacked. For example, say, “I feel like we’re not communicating as well as we used to,” to keep the conversation more personal. 

  • Emphasizing Therapy as a Safe Space

Often people think it’s not good to share your personal matters with a third person. Reassure your partner that therapy is a safe and good environment. Explain that seeking help is a sign of strength and a commitment to the relationship, and not of failure.

  • Proposing a Limited Commitment

If your partner is not ready you can propose going on a trial session or less number of sessions and then let’s see how things go. Make sure you highlight it’s a mutual decision and not just because of your partner you are taking this decision for fewer sessions. 

  • Allowing Time for Acceptance

Be fine with the fact that it might take some time for your partner to get convinced of this idea of couples therapy. Do not force them to do so and be respectful about the fact that they need some time. Let them have their own space and think about the situation. 

The Bottom Line 

In a nutshell, the very first step tends to be having the right understanding of why your partner is not ready because you can only have a solution when you understand the problem in the right way. The mentioned tips can help you to a great extent in convincing your partner to attend couples therapy in the Bay Area, San Jose, Milpitas and beyond. But if not be patient and do not make them feel guilty for not attending one. 

People need time and after you have done your part let them have good space to think of the same. And once they are convinced and you people are ready to step ahead for couples therapy in San Jose we are always here to help you out with whatever problem you may be going through. 

About the author: Lia Huynh is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist serving San Jose, Milpitas, and online. She specializes in couples therapy, marriage therapy, and pre-marital counseling. You can learn more about her here. 

Lia Huynh San Jose and Milpitas

About

My life’s work is helping individuals and couples get better. I help couples restore their sense of togetherness by rediscovering their strengths as individuals, and their collective strength as a duo. And I help my individual clients to negotiate the sources of depression and anxiety, while moving them gently toward feeling a deeper sense of connection with their world. This is all done through our counseling and therapy together. 

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