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  • Ally Monarch

Couple Therapy: Is It Important?

Blogging is still a new experience for me and I often feel stumped by what to say and what others are seeking to hear. As most bloggers do, I draw on my own life experiences to write. I recently wrote about parenting young children and the various dilemmas of being a foster parent, as both of those are near and dear to me and also a part of my everyday life. As a marriage and family therapist I also work with many couples, couples who are married, dating, engaged, or in long-term relationships. Any form of partnership can feel isolating and draining at times. When many couples turn to therapy, they often share how lonely they feel and unsure of who to talk to.

Now, I do not want to this post to negate the joys and happiness a partnership can bring, but man it can be really hard sometimes…am I right?!? When we struggle in our relationship, especially when it is with our intimate partner, it is often not something we share with those around us. Our families and friends are invited to see our strengths, but when weaknesses occur, we tend to hide it. That is when the isolation and loneliness can creep in and start to feel overwhelming.

We may not have trusted friends, mentors, or family that we can share our burdens with, but for a partnership to thrive when challenges arise, therapy can be a helpful place to start. Couples that come to therapy often reach out when they have avoided the challenges too long and/or have exhausted every other option they have thought of. Why is therapy the last option for many couples and individuals? (Maybe that can be another topic I address in a following blog post!) I guess what I want to urge you to do is reach out when you first notice challenges that arise without an effective resolution.

For a couple, having a space where a neutral third party can be present and aid them in navigating the obstacles of communication, family history, and one other’s nuances of individuality. It can be hard to see your role and responsibility in fostering the ongoing unhealthy pattern, but in therapy these can be discovered and explored in a safe and secure manner. A therapist can also aid in keeping the couple on track and slowing down to truly process the hurt that may have been caused within the relationship.

I could go on and on about the benefits of therapy, but I may be biased. There is so much more I can say about couple therapy and the benefits it can provide, but the last thing I want to note here in this post is to shop around. I have engaged with several clients who have written off therapy because of poor experiences with previous therapists and years later tried again. As in every profession, each therapist is unique and has their own approach and personality. We are not a one size fits all. Schedule a consultation with a few therapists and come with questions about what you would like to know about them and their theoretical approaches. It is okay to try a couple of sessions and decide they are not a good fit and schedule with someone else. When I hear my new clients say they believe that therapy may not be for them, my first thought is that they have not found a therapist that they have connected with, which in turn does not allow for vulnerability to share your inner thoughts and feelings. Keep looking! There is a therapist out there for you!

Please schedule a free consultation if you have further questions or want to schedule a couple session to create space for you and your partner to begin to heal. This takes time and vulnerability, but it is worth it! You and your partner are worth it! Partnerships have many complexities, but that’s what makes them so amazing!

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