How to Survive Couples Therapy

Couples therapy is often a last-ditch attempt to save a faltering relationship. Navigating the potential obstacles that arise in therapy can be the difference between "let's stay together" and "let's break up."

A lot of people go into couples therapy armed with attitudes that are not conducive to success. Either they're dragged into the room by their significant other and just want to be elsewhere or they assume the sessions are going to be a whole lot easier than they actually are. Over at PsychCentral, Dr. Margarita Tartakovsky, M.S. has authored a post detailing the most common behavioral obstacles that arise in therapy. Identifying them ahead of time can be the difference between "let's stay together" and "let's break up."


Tartakovsky lists six troublesome obstacles:

1. Wanting the other person to change

2. Not acknowledging your role

3. Keeping secrets

4. Not following through

5. Not trusting the process

6. Waiting too long

As you can see, some of these problems overlap. Numbers 2 and 4 reflect a subpar commitment to the relationship. Numbers 1 and 3 are interpersonal issues stemming from personal dissatisfaction. Tartakovsky notes that waiting too long to acknowledge a problem will have ripple effects that bolster the other five common problems. In order to have a reasonable hope that therapy will work, these six issues need to be addressed and quashed early.

Take a look at the article (linked again below) for more information about each obstacle and Tartakovsky's advice for approaching the uncomfortable realities of couples therapy.

Read more at PsychCentral

Photo credit: Olimpik / Shutterstock

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