Can You Do Relationship Therapy Without Your Partner?

Posted on: 17 May 2021

Most people think of relationship therapy as something both partners do together. And this makes sense. When both partners attend therapy together and work on their relationship together, they can make great progress. But what if your partner can't or won't attend relationship therapy with you for some reason? Is it still worth going? Absolutely. Working with a relationship counselor individually is still beneficial. Here are some ways that a therapist can help you improve your relationship through individual sessions.

Help you characterize the problems in your relationship.

So often, when someone steps into a therapy session, they start by telling the therapist that their relationship has problems and is not going well, but they have no idea why. Identifying the problem is the first step towards finding a solution. So, in your individual therapy sessions, your therapist can help you figure out what the root problems in your relationship really are. They may ask you to tell them some stories about things that have happened in your relationship. They may also present you with scenarios and ask how you and your partner would handle them. Over time, this will give your therapist insight into your relationship and help them better characterize the problems you're experiencing. And as long as you're honest, this can all be done without your partner.

Help you communicate more clearly.

You've probably heard that communication is the key to a good relationship. This is not just a pleasantry or trope — it's true. While it would be nice if your partner were willing to work on their communication with a therapist, too, you can still make plenty of progress by doing this yourself. Your therapist can give you strategies to better communicate your needs to your partner and also strategies to better understand what your partner is trying to say to you.

Help you talk to your partner about therapy.

When one partner — you — has decided that therapy would be beneficial, the other partner may take time to come around to the idea. Your therapist can give you some ways to gently present the benefits of therapy to your partner in ways that won't make them feel attacked or nervous. With these strategies, you may ultimately convince your partner to attend some relationship therapy sessions with you, which will allow you to make more progress.

If your partner won't go to relationship therapy with you, go anyways. You can still work towards a better understanding of the problems in your relationship, improve your communication, and find out how to make your partner more open to therapy in the future.

Reach out to a local individual therapy service to learn more.