How to get your partner to join you in couples counseling

Getting your partner to agree to couples counseling may not be as difficult as you think..

You have had that same issue for awhile between the two of you. The most trivial of issues can spin into an argument and take the same negative pattern that you have been battling for years. You have no idea how you might ever convince your partner to go to counseling with you, but you know it could help. This article shares some advice on how to get your partner to join you in couples counseling.

Even if you are sure your partner will say "no," ask.

Many people know they could benefit from couples counseling but hesitate to ask their partner to go because they are convinced that their partner would never set foot in a counselor's office. The first step to get your partner to go to therapy with you is to ask. Make a commitment to yourself and your relationship that you will ask your partner to go.

Pick a wise time to ask.

Now that you are not going to avoid bringing up what may be a difficult conversation, be mindful of when you ask your partner to go to couples counseling with you. The best time to ask is when you are getting along. Do not make the mistake of asking in the middle of a heated brawl because you are already disconnected. No matter what you say in the heat of an argument, your partner will likely disagree.

Make it about you and your desire for your relationship to be its best.

Bringing up the topic of couples counseling might automatically put your partner on the defensive. Make sure to indicate that you are suggesting it because of issues that you are experiencing in the relationship and that you wish to improve together. Let your partner know how committed you are and how you desire to be even stronger together.

Be clear that you are not bringing up couples therapy to get your partner to change, but so that you can create the best possible relationship together.

Be mindful of popular myths about couples counseling and be prepared to address them.

A great deal of misunderstanding and skepticism exists about couples counseling. Some common myths include the idea that people suggest couples counseling to break up with their partners. Others do not believe that couples counseling involves anything other than venting. Perhaps more commonly, people are hesitant to attend couples counseling out of the fear that the therapist will take their partners' sides. None of these myths are true. Be aware of them and be prepared to address them.

Ask your partner just to try going for one session.

Asking your partner to just attend one session as a trial to see what the experience of couples counseling is like may get you a more positive response than asking for a commitment for a longer period of ongoing counseling.

Many people are pleasantly surprised after they attend and realize that the experience can be helpful, sometimes enjoyable, and not nearly as painful as anticipated.

Choose a counselor together.

Some people may not want to have anything to do with selecting a counselor, but some partners may feel more included and better about the process if they are more involved with choosing the counselor. You can look through therapist directories together, such as,and get on a joint call to discuss with the counselor their approach and style to feel out whether they are a good match.

Speak to a couples counselor yourself.

If none of the above works and you simply cannot convince your partner to join you for a session, speak with a couples counselor yourself to get some specific advice about your relationship and how to get your partner to join you in counseling

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