Trying Couples Counseling Again: Why It Didn’t Work the First Time
Couples counseling is a choice, and while people may say they want help in their relationship, sometimes they fight against the process, which can lead to therapy feeling like a failure. However, was counseling the problem, or the lack of commitment? If you and your significant other are going to try counseling again, then it is necessary to reflect on the top five reasons therapy may not work.
- Openness Is Crucial
First, people have to be receptive to change and therapy for it to take hold and make a difference. After all, counseling is just communication and self-reflection. If you or your loved one are not willing to critique problematic behaviors and confront them, then therapy likely won’t work. Therefore, openness and vulnerability are crucial to the success of treatment.
- Self-Reflection Is a Must
Yes, self-reflection is not optional. Therapy is not about blame, regardless of the situation. True, one spouse may be abusive, and while that is clearly wrong, there is the question about why the other stays in the relationship. Understanding your own motivations and responses to triggers and stimuli is necessary to changing and creating healthier life choices.
- Homework Isn’t a Suggestion
Next, meeting with a counselor weekly, biweekly, or monthly is not enough time to make a real difference if the couple isn’t committed to practicing what is discussed in therapy. Most counselors will assign a couple homework dealing with the issues addressed in treatment. If you refuse to do that homework, then little progress will be made, and therapy will be futile.
- Relationships Are a Two-Party System
Next, many couples fail at therapy because they neglect their relationship instead of reaching outside of the two-party system for support and approval. Friends and family should not be a part of relationship decisions unless violence or harm is a concern. Instead, keep relationship decisions and matters between you and your loved one, choosing to discuss issues with your therapists, a licensed and certified relationship expert.
- Ultimatums Are Corrosive
Last, many couples fail because they want to live by ultimatums rather than through communication. Forcing therapy is never effective because it breeds an unwillingness to cooperate. Therefore, if you feel that counseling would be useful, then discuss the option with your significant other and stress its importance to you. Leave the decision to commit to therapy up to your spouse or loved one. If they don’t want to go, then you still can.
Essentially, counseling is only as effective as the level of commitment you and your loved one give to it. If you want to try therapy again, then contact a therapist in Palatine, IL and set up an appointment.
Thanks to Lotus Wellness Center for their insight into wellness and health.