There is no right or wrong time in seeking help from a therapist but the sooner the better it is. Some people seek therapy only when things have gone out of their hand, when the pain and hurt is too much and mostly when they have already lost all the hope in a relationship. They seek therapy as the last resort. It is wiser to seek therapy when you recognise repetitive negative patterns in your relation. In spite of your and your partner’s best effort, when you are not able to reach a solution or goal which you set in the relation, one must seek professional guidance from a therapist.
I don’t think that my partner/spouse will agree for couple therapy.
This is true most of the times that one partner is very eager to take therapy while the other wants to avoid it. An open and positive communication between the partners can help solve this conflict. Instead of blaming everything on the on the other partner the responsibility of the problem should be shared. (“You are responsible for our troubles……” “I know we both have done some mistakes but they can be resolved if we make an effort”). If the partner is communicated of a positive future, hope for a better life, with the help of a third professional perspective then the conflict can be resolved. It is of vital importance once both partners have agreed for therapy, they mutually decide on a therapist.
What’s the difference between couple/marriage counselling and marriage/couple therapy?
In marriage counselling the job of the counsellor is to facilitate a smoother conversation between the partners. The counsellor works as a mediator and addresses the current issues which the couple is facing. He focuses more on the “how” aspect of issue. The counsellor and couple can mutually decide on some rules which will result in facilitating communication and understanding between the partners. Whereas, couple/marriage therapy is conducted by a licensed professional, where he focuses on the “why” of the issue. He goes till the roots of the problem, discusses early childhood, parenting, mental health, personality of both the partners and figures out from where the difficulty is arising which effects the other partner. Instead of a random approach, therapist in couple therapy have a very organised treatment plan. After taking the entire case history an objective is set and then mutually a treatment plan is decided on which will help change particular behaviours there after improving the relation.
Is my therapist right for me?
There are few questions you can ask for example: do you feel comfortable and safe with the therapist? Do you feel your therapist understand you well? Do you feel your therapist is unbiased and handles everything professionally? Has the therapy so far been helpful for your relationship? Can you trust your therapist with all the details of your marriage or relation?