Should You Go To Individual Therapy Before Trying Couples Therapy?

Seeking therapy is a great way to improve your relationship. Therapy provides a safe space to work on your emotional struggles and discuss relationship difficulties with your partner. Both couple and individual therapy can help you get to the root of your issues and allow you and your partner to collaborate on finding practical solutions. 

What Is Individual Therapy?

This type of therapy involves one-on-one sessions with a therapist and a single individual. The form of therapy allows therapists to tailor therapeutic approaches to meet the specific needs of their clients. It’s ideal for individuals seeking help with issues like anxiety, depression, addictions, mood disorders, or eating disorders. Individual therapy can also help you work on personal problems that may prevent you from achieving results in couples therapy. 

How Can Individual Therapy Help Your Relationship?

This form of therapy can help your relationship by:

Helping You Deal with Past Trauma 

People who experience trauma may struggle to learn and maintain the boundaries and behaviors others take for granted. Some people who were abandoned as children develop a fear of abandonment — they get scared when their partners go out alone, especially after an argument. This may make them prevent their partners from leaving, causing more issues that might negatively impact their relationships. 

Therapy can help you identify the root cause of your trauma and help you develop positive coping mechanisms whenever triggered. Dealing with past trauma can improve your chances of a healthy relationship. 

Helping You Find Yourself If You Feel Lost 

Relationships cause changes, as they involve bringing another person into your life. These changes may result in feelings of identity loss, especially among people who work hard to appease their partners. 

Individual therapy allows you to identify these changes without your partner and explore how they make you feel. Through therapy, you can learn how to feel heard and set boundaries if you need to find yourself. 

Helping You Deal with Significant Life Transitions 

Significant life events like getting married or having a baby can impact your relationship if you don’t have enough time to process them. Therapy can help you navigate such events and learn how to accommodate them. It can also give you clarity and instill confidence, allowing you to share your struggles with your partner in a caring manner. 

What Is Couples Therapy?

This is a form of therapy involving a therapist and partners. To get started, schedule your appointment, it focuses on issues facing both parties, like expectations for the future, fidelity, and shared responsibilities.

How Can Couples Therapy Help Your Relationship?

Couples therapy can improve your relationship by helping you and your partner:

Learn How to Communicate Your Feelings 

Relationships can suffer if partners don’t know how to express their emotions — failure to communicate can build up resentment, causing breakups. Couples therapy can help you and your partner communicate better. A therapist acts as a mediator, providing a safe environment and offering encouragement so you can express your emotions. 

Work On Your Differences 

You’re bound to have differences with your partner since people think differently — these differences can cause a rift between you if you don’t cope with them appropriately. Couples therapy can help you deal with these differences by allowing you and your partner to talk through them in a mediated environment. It can also help you negotiate changes if you think the differences may cause trouble for your relationship. 

Manage Future Issues 

Couples therapy focuses on helping you solve current problems and prevent those that might occur in the future. Your therapist teaches you and your partner how to communicate concerns about the future in a caring and constructive way and how to deal with them.

Which Form of Therapy Should You Start With?

Since every person’s situation is different, there’s no definite answer on which form of therapy you should choose first. Individual therapy may be ideal if you need to work on some personal issues before you can be actively involved in couples therapy. Couples therapy may be suitable if you want to work on your struggles together with your partner. 

A Therapist Can Help You Decide 

You should talk to a therapist before deciding whether to start with couples or individual therapy. Your therapist can advise you on the best starting point based on your unique situation. Individual therapy can help you deal with personal issues that impact your relationships, like past trauma, anxiety, and depression. It can also help you navigate significant transitions to help foster a healthier relationship with your loved one. 

Couples therapy can help you deal with issues that affect you and your partner. It can also prepare you for future conflicts by teaching you proper communication and conflict-resolution skills.