There comes a time in everyone’s life and/or relationship where therapy is necessary. With our high-tech, information fueled, stressful world, eventually we need someone to put us back together again.
I think society teaches us to compartmentalize our problems. Our day to days are so busy that we take our stressors and traumatic experiences and put them away in a box for safe keeping. The problem is, those boxes often stay stored gathering dust in the back of our minds.
So what happens when you notice your partner going through a really tough time or life crisis? How do you encourage your partner to go see a therapist? How do you encourage your significant other to see a marriage or couples therapist?
For many individuals, therapy is still a taboo subject. No one wants to be seen as having problems or mental issues. While I think we’ve made strides against the stigma, the stigma is still there. You should take this into account when talking with your partner. Know their position on mental health and it would help to know how they view mental health resources. It may differ your approach when suggesting therapy.
Here are a few ways to approach the topic with your partner.
- If it is related to individual counseling. It is best to approach the conversation on a tension free day and from a place of love. “I notice you’ve been going through a lot lately, and I think it would be helpful if…” or “I love you very much, I think this may be really beneficial and I hate seeing you hurt this way..” – remember this may be a sensitive subject with your partner. You want to make sure you don’t come off like you are attacking them or their situation. Listen to their concerns with open ears and reassure them when needed. It also may be helpful to have a few recommendations or locations that they could check out. Often the biggest hurdle is finding a therapist.
- If you want to seek out couples therapy. Couples therapy becomes almost a necessity in every marriage. It is also highly encouraged in relationships that have experienced a breakdown of communication. If you feel like couples therapy may be for you, it is best to be honest. Approach the topic and explain how you feel it is something positive and you would love for your partner to give it a try. Typically, when one spouse is feeling lackluster in the relationship, the other likely notices. SO this may not be much of a shock. Perhaps, you can entice your spouse by doing one of their favorite activities, if they try this with you. The most important part is to not attack your partner about going to therapy. Both of you need to improve the relationship together. I would also encourage you to have resources. If you think it would be beneficial to see a therapist near your home or virtually; having a website or place your spouse can check out may ease their concerns.
Those are just a few ways to approach the topic of therapy. I would love to hear from others on how they approached their partner about therapy and the success or hurdles they experienced.
Regain.us sponsored this post on mental health. We are lucky to partner with an online couples counseling resource that encourages us to share resources with our community.