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When is couples therapy not appropriate?

Mar 3

couples therapy

It can be challenging to decide whether or not to seek couples therapy. After all, it's a big step to take - and requires much trust. But there are also times when couples therapy isn't the right choice. Here are a few signs you may need to look elsewhere for help.

If your partner is unwilling to participate in therapy, it will not be effective.

The absence of support and participation from both partners can make couples therapy ineffective. It is helpful to put effort into couples counseling as this can be a beneficial step to improving the relationship. When one of the parties is not present or unwilling to voice their opinion, it could block progress within couples therapy as there may be unresolved issues between the two people in the relationship. It's important to understand that couples counseling requires an investment of both time, energy, and a willingness to try new things for it to bring positive change. A qualified relationship therapist can help guide you through the process so that couples therapy is effective for your partnership.

If you're only going to therapy to please your partner or because they threatened to leave, it will not work.

If your relationship has reached the point where one partner feels the need to pressure or threaten the other into going to therapy, it is unlikely to be beneficial and could even worsen things. Seeking relationship counseling or marriage counseling should be a joint decision made out of care for each other and an understanding that it can take time and effort to reach positive solutions for any relationship struggles. Genuinely engaging in relationship counseling takes courage, a willingness to be honest with each other, and a commitment from both individuals to work together.

If you're not both committed to the process, it's a waste of time and money.

Investing in couples counseling or marriage therapy is an essential step for couples to take when their relationship has hit a rough patch. Still, both partners must be committed to the process. Without full engagement from both sides, all the time and money put into couples counseling will be for naught. It takes two people to form a strong bond, and it needs two people both willing to change for that bond to grow stronger. If you're considering couples counseling, ensure you're both ready and willing to do what it takes to improve your relationship.

If you're using therapy as a way to vent all of your pent-up anger, it's not going to be helpful.

Family and marriage counseling can be enormously helpful whenever someone feels overwhelmed with angry and negative emotions. Relationship therapists are trained to help people explore their feelings, work through complex family dynamics, and ultimately reconnect with themselves and their loved ones. Venting your negative emotions might feel like a relief in the short term, but it can ultimately prevent one from getting to the root of the problem. Taking a proactive approach and seeking family and marriage counseling might feel daunting at first, but it could be precisely what you need to move forward in your life.

Finally, therapy is only for you if you're ready to face the hard truths about your relationship.

Couples therapy can be complex, but it is enriching if you're prepared to face some hard truths. Face-to-face counseling allows couples to express their differences openly and honestly while working together to develop resolution strategies. Teams unwilling to accept the realities of their relationship may find couples therapy unhelpful or even damaging, as it could reinforce resentments and prevent couples from effectively addressing problems in the future. If this is the case, couples should consider other forms of communication before committing to couples therapy.


Remember that therapy isn't a one-size-fits-all solution. While it can offer much-needed insight and clarity, it only works when both partners are willing to participate fully and honestly. If you're considering couples therapy, evaluate if you and your partner meet the criteria first. Are you both committed to making this work? Do you want to use therapy as a platform for growth rather than a way for someone to vent their anger? Or is a therapy being used as an ultimatum or to please a partner who's already given up? Lastly, are you ready to face the brutal truths about your relationship? If so, these sessions can be incredibly beneficial in helping you take an honest look at your relationship and develop healthier skills or understanding of each other. Consider all these factors before taking a step toward couples therapy—if everything lines up, schedule a consultation today!