The page title is a bit of an oxymoron. Couples and relationships are a system and are usually best treated as a system together rather than in isolation. That said, not every member of some couples is interested in couples counseling. Some couples’ relationships are ironically in bad enough shape that they are not ready to be seen together. Some couples can’t be in the same room for an hour. Some individuals realize that they need to focus on their problems related to the relationship before starting couples therapy. Individual therapy for relationship issues may be best suited for some married couples or other couples until or if they are in a place where meeting as a couple makes the most sense. Many men are more comfortable with a male marriage counselor. Many women say their partner won’t go with them to marriage therapy but can still benefit from working on the relationship and themselves on their own. Individual relationship therapy is NOT for bashing your partner. It is for working on parts of the relationship that you can change yourself. When clients go to individual therapy to talk about their partner, they are actually more likely to get divorced or break up. This is because the therapist only hears one side of the story and typically naturally sides with the only perspective they hear.
Some individuals may have decided the relationship is over, do not want to talk about trying to save it, and instead, want to talk about the most painless way to end things. Individuals may want guidance in finding a divorce attorney or figuring out the best way to split assets without an attorney. Individuals may wish to discuss concerns over the custody of their kids. Legal matters are not discussed in therapy, as that is best left to attorneys, but counseling can help you understand your options for getting additional help.
While secrets are not encouraged to create healthy relationships, maybe you want to discuss how to disclose and repair an affair but aren’t quite ready to have your partner present. You may want marriage or couples therapy, but just not yet.
But You May Have Questions
Those having relationship issues often suffer from a combination of anxiety or depression. These conditions can be discussed in the context of your relationship. If you want individual counseling for possible personality disorders impacting your relationship, we can likely help. Suppose you want individual counseling for ADHD, PTSD, a focus on addiction, or other conditions. In that case, we may recommend a therapist with more experience in these areas or only touch on them briefly. We could refer you if you need more specialized care.
Absolutely. No matter the length or extent of your relationship, if you know it’s over you are likely to be down for a while. Individual relationship therapy can help you to recover. You can get individual therapy for relationship issues of all types.
For more couples counseling questions, please see the main frequently asked questions page.
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