Signs that couples’ counselling may not work for you and your partner

The Asian Age.

Life, Relationship

Sometimes, not even the help of a licensed therapist can revive the lost spark in a relationship.

Couples therapy tends to be the most successful with couples who are committed to staying together, but recognise that they can benefit from a third party helping them. (Photo: Representational/Pexels)

If you and your partner have gone through a rough patch, couples’ counselling is an option. While it is not a bad idea to give it a shot, there are certain things even couples’ counselling cannot help with.

"Couples therapy tends to be the most successful with couples who are committed to staying together, but recognise that they can benefit from a third party helping them," Dr. Alyssa Austern,  clinical psychologist with a specialty in couples and family therapy, told Bustle. Before going for counselling, figure out if you can benefit from it.

You may need individual therapy instead

If you are having issues with your partner, it could also because you are having internal struggles. Instead of opting for a couples’ therapy, maybe try to seek counselling for yourself. Counsellers usually suggest individual therapy if they feel that the person has to work on their own issues first. Resolve conflict from childhood or past relationships first.

You think showing up to sessions is the only work you'll have to put in

A therapist can only mediate and suggest strategies to help the relationship. After that, you have to in effort yourself to work on the problems. It is foolish to assume that just attending therapy session can help your relationship. In fact, both partners should be willing to put in effort.

Your therapist isn't a good match for you and your partner  

It is essential to make sure that your therapist is a good match for you and your partner. If they don’t feel right find someone else. You don’t want to waste your time and money on someone who isn’t helping you with your problems.

You think counseling will change your partner

If you think that counselling can change your partner, then don’t even opt for therapy. Most people enter counselling to know how they can change their partner. But you can only help yourself. Don’t go with such a mindset to the therapist, you will surely be disappointed.

You have different agendas  

"In my experience couples therapy hasn’t worked when there are different agendas from therapy for each individual," said Kelley Kitley, a therapist. If your partner is hiding something and being dishonest, then therapy cannot help you. Go to therapy with an open mind and a willingness to make things work.

You're only there to air out your feelings

Therapy is a safe space to talk about your feelings but it has o be a two-way street. "If you're not there to listen to your partner’s point of view, their thoughts, feelings, fears, and concerns, then you may not get into the mindset of finding ways to improve the relationship," said a therapist. Be open to listening to your partner’s point of view and changing your mistakes too.

There's simply no more love between you

"When there is no love left, it's hard for any couples counsellor to rekindle that spark," said Ashley Chambrello, licensed marriage and family therapist. Sometimes people just grow apart or the feelings fade away. If this is the case, then one should just accept it and move on instead of holding on to the already-over relationship.