Couples therapy (or “marriage counseling”) has a bad reputation. For many people, it marks the beginning of the end. There are dozens of myths and misconceptions surrounding couples therapy. The truth is that having a neutral third party mediate issues can be extremely beneficial. The reason people see it as the “kiss of death” is because they’re going too late. Here are 5 myths about couples therapy that we’ve debunked.
Myth 1: You Don’t Need It
Here’s a truth that we at Delray Beach Psychiatrist really believe: everyone can benefit from therapy. That same can be said for couples. Couples therapy isn’t just there to fix issues, it’s there to prevent them from becoming big problems. Attacking an issue head on prevents it from becoming something too big and unmanageable. Couples therapy is great for even the happiest and most functioning couples. There will always be problems and there will always be a way to do things better. Therapy can help with both of those things so that things keep moving smoothly.
Myth 2: It Marks The End of The Relationship
Often, couples therapy leads to the end of a relationship because it makes both parties realize they either can’t or won’t, work on the issues. If discussing your relationship causes it to fall apart, chances are it was going to without therapy anyways. Many couples come to couples therapy as a last resort. This can be too late. That’s why going to therapy consistently and early is the best bet.
Myth 3: Only Weak Couples Go
Ask any couple who’s been to therapy and they’ll tell you it’s not easy or for the weak. It takes hard work to open up, face problems, and work on a relationship. Think of a therapist like your marriage coach, someone to guide you through the game and give you advice. The same people that think therapy is for the weak are the same people that think that sunscreen isn’t necessary. In both cases, they’ll be the ones ending up burned.
Myth 4: The Therapist Will Just Meddle In The Relationship
A therapist isn’t a meddler; they’re a mediator. Very rarely will a couple’s therapist tell a couple what to do, and they’ll never side with one partner over the other. They provide exercises, tools, and guidance on how to communicate and deal with problems. Nothing happens in your relationship unless you want it to. A therapist might recommend an exercise but if you aren’t comfortable or willing just let them know. They might push a bit but a good marriage counselor will come up with an alternative. Most couple therapists simply work as a mediator, making sure you understand what one another are saying and feeling.
Myth 5: It Will Work Like Magic
Therapy can be great; it can really help both the individual and the relationship. However, it’s not a miracle worker. It’s important to go into it with realistic expectations. A therapist will give you tools but it’s ultimately up to you to use them. Don’t give up if one therapist doesn’t work for you either. Every person and couple need different things. Therapy isn’t magic, it’s not one-size fits all, and it ultimately comes down to you to do the work.
Contact us to set up a couple’s therapy appoint or if you have any questions. We look forward to hearing from you.