In addition to marriage counseling, I've started getting therapy for myself too. I've been in and out over the years, mostly when I've needed the extra support to deal with difficult family issues.
But every time I go back, I wonder why I ever stopped because I find the sounding board and guidance of a neutral party to be so helpful in every aspect of my life, whether it's parenting, my relationship, or my own personal goals and needs.
If you're wondering why you might need to go to individual therapy to help your marriage, here's why I decided to take the plunge alone.
As much as it feels great to be able to talk to a friend or confidante about your issues, they will probably always have some level of bias towards you. And if they don't, it could hurt your friendship. Having a therapist who has no actual investment in your situation can help take the burden off your friendships and your marriage partner, especially if you have other stresses and issues outside of your relationship.
Since I don't have a lot of friends nearby and my familial relationships are a little strained, I can't tell you how wonderful it is to be able to hear positive things from someone on a weekly basis. Just hearing, "Wow, it sounds like you have a lot on your plate" can help immensely. I don't just go to hear that I'm right, because that's not always the case, but having someone give you a bit of reassurance can make a huge difference.
3. Reality Check
It's easy to get caught up in the stress, the crap, and yes, the dysfunction of your own life, and it's incredibly helpful to have someone to call you on it, whether it's something you're doing that you need to stop, or something that you're putting up with that you need to make a choice about. And while therapists aren't known for calling you out on your bullshit, they have a pretty amazing way of getting you to that place, which can be a big breakthrough.
Now even though most insurances cover some level of mental health care, and pretty much everyone I know goes to a therapist (even celebrities!), counseling still gets a pretty bad rap because people still often seem to think that you have to be very troubled to need someone else's help.
On the contrary, going to see a therapist on a regular basis, whether it's for a major issue or just due to "stress," which is usually what brings me, is one of the smartest things you can do for yourself and your relationship.
Do you see a therapist, and if so, why do you go?
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