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What if My Partner Is Apprehensive about Couples Therapy?

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There’s no doubt about it – couples therapy works a whole lot better when you’re both on board. So, if your partner is apprehensive about therapy, getting on the same page could prove difficult. But that doesn’t mean you should give up. There’s still hope, especially if you can get to the heart of the matter. Wondering just how to proceed in alleviating their fears and concerns? Here’s how to help your partner accept the power of couples therapy, so you can move forward together.

Ask Why They are Nervous About Couples Therapy

Fears often get in the way of people opening up their hearts and minds to couples therapy. Oftentimes, it’s hard to pinpoint the exact fears, especially if they’re rooted in past trauma.

So, try to unwind why your partner feels apprehensive about couples therapy by inquiring about any fears, worries, or concerns that come up when they think about it. But be understanding if they’re not entirely sure why they feel stressed about the idea.

If they are able to communicate their fears, some things that might come up include:

  • Worries about carrying the bulk of the blame for your relationship problems
  • Fear of having to discuss traumatic experiences in their life with a stranger
  • Dread about the status of the relationship and ability to solve the underlying issues

By getting the main concerns out in the open, it’s easier to address them together and move forward on your shared journey toward healing the relationship.

Share What You Hope to Get Out of Therapy Sessions

If your partner’s unsure exactly why you even want to go to therapy, try sharing what you hope to get out of the therapy sessions. Focus on using ‘I’ statements to share your thoughts and feelings on the state of the relationship and your role in its deterioration.

It takes two to tango, after all, so both partners have to shoulder the problems, face them head-on, and commit to personal growth. Otherwise, it’s practically impossible to truly resolve all the issues keeping you from seeing eye to eye and working as a team.

To properly address your role, share what the relationship means to you – and where you feel like you’ve failed to uphold your end of the bargain. Then, talk about the skills and tools you hope to gain by bringing in a relationship coach to help you through the rocky times. Hopefully, your partner will join in on the conversation, helping you both team up in solving major to minor issues affecting your relationship.

Make It an Easier “Yes”

If exploring hopes and fears doesn’t help get past your partner’s apprehension, suggest the following:

Trying Just One Individual Session Each

Suggest to your partner the option to commit to just one solo session with the coach to determine if it feels like a good fit, and with no commitment to continue if it isn’t. This is where the coach meets with each partner separately for an hour and provides a safe space for the partners to be fully honest about their perspective about the relationship, pain points they have been feeling, and patterns in the relationship they have noticed over time. 

Towards the end of the sessions, your coach will also go over his philosophy and approach so you get a good sense of what to expect during couples therapy. If both partners feel good about the meetings, the coach can go over next steps on how to move forward.

This format works well, because

  • It allows each person to safely voice their concerns openly and honestly without having to censor themselves for fear of devolving into an ugly fight. 
  • It also helps build trust and rapport between the coach and each partner before moving straightaway into couples therapy. 
  • And like the five-minute rule for hard work, this tactic relieves apprehension, anxiety, and even dread about the task ahead. 

By the end of the individual meetings, most couples feel much more positive about moving forward than they had at first.  

Take a Couples Therapy Masterclass

If you’re not ready for the full couples therapy experience, try a masterclass instead. You can take the online course in the comfort of your own home, which allows you to ease into the healing mindset.

The class will help you learn how to dig deep to find the root of your conflicts and communicate with each other effectively. You’ll also get to work out problems on a personal level by identifying personality differences, managing emotions, and learning listening skills.

Try Their Solutions

Perhaps your partner has their own solutions in mind, making them resistant to diving into couples therapy. You could agree to try their solutions for a set period of time, and then give therapy a shot to see what works best.

When you agree to compromise, everybody wins. Just be ready to change things up if you hit a brick wall in repairing your relationship, so you can keep moving forward together.

Focus on Personal Growth Through Individual Coaching

If you cannot get your partner on board, then it’s best to focus on your own personal growth instead. With help from a coach, you can break out of old habits that are holding you back and become the person you’ve always wanted to be. The coaching process will help you heal past wounds, learn new skills, and build up confidence about how to move forward with next steps.

Ready to Get the Dedicated Support You Need and Deserve?

Whether you want to start couples therapy or decide it’s time to focus on personal growth, our team at Kairos is here to help. To get started, simply text or give us a call at 253-441-0351 or use our online form to set up a free consultation.

At that first visit, we’ll go over your needs and preferences to find the right level of support for you – and your partner if they’re ready to get started as well. We look forward to helping you repair your relationship while growing and thriving as individuals. So, please get in touch whenever you’re ready to begin this amazing journey.