A few weeks ago I wrote a post entitled, “Kid Issues? Consider Marriage Counseling” which can be found here: https://indivisiblecouples.com/kid-issues-consider-marriage-counseling/
This week I would like to talk about why marriage counseling might be the answer if you are thinking about individual therapy.
People often consider individual therapy when they are feeling stressed, anxious, depressed, lonely, angry, unhappy, confused, and distressed in relationships. Individual therapy can be very helpful in such cases and I do not diminish its place on the menu of interventions that can help people when they are hurting in these, and other ways.
What people don’t often think about is that it is often in relationships that our hurts occurred and it is often in relationships that our hurts can be healed. Our hurts may be from our families of origin, from past love relationships, or they may be from a past time in your current relationship. No matter where or when the damage done it can be healed in the context of your marriage today.
The anxiety, depression, anger, or other thoughts, feelings, or behaviors that people make seek individual counseling for manifest themselves in the context of our most intimate relationships, that is, in our families and often primarily with our spouses. For example, if a wife is harboring shame about a traumatic experience that occurred in her family when she was a teenager it is her husband today who is living with the ghosts of that trauma and resulting shame. Furthermore, when her pain comes out in difficult ways it not only affects the marriage, but it pushes the emotional buttons that he has buried from a past love relationship. From the outside, or even from the inside, this may look or feel like a couple who cannot agree about anything from parenting to what to do on Saturday night, or it might look or feel like two lonely people living together as roommates who may or may not get along. The husband or wife may demand that the other go to therapy because of the other’s anger, sadness, or silence. The one being pushed into therapy may agree that he or she needs some help, they just don’t understand why they are feeling and behaving the way they are.
The individual therapist will likely welcome this person into therapy and therapy may very well be helpful. However if this couple goes to marriage therapy they will learn how to break their negative interactions with each other in the present, heal their old wounds together, and find new ways to love one another and thrive in their marriage.
If you are considering individual therapy I encourage you to consider how your problems or concerns are showing themselves or playing out in the context of your marriage, and what it might be like to heal those problems or concerns with your beloved so that you can lovebeing married.
If you would like to explore what it might be like to heal your anxiety, depression, unhappiness, or loneliness with your spouse, call me today, I can help.