Why won't my partner go to therapy with me?
Fear is often the reason behind someone not wanting to go to therapy:
- fear of being ganged up on
- fear of being blamed
- fear or not being good enough
- fear of being asked to change
- fear around their belief in their inability to change.
The beauty of Imago Relationships Therapy is that the therapist holds a safe space for both partners, and teaches each partner how to hold a safe space for the other, thus diminishing the fear from the very first session.
Often times, simply saying, "How about we go once, and if you don't like it, I won't mention it again," is enough to reduce the fear sufficiently to make that first appointment possible. Of course, if your partner refuses to do anything different to work on your relationship (yes, healthy relationships definitely require work), that is also very important information for you to have.
Laura S. Weissman, MS, MFT
It's often the case that one partner in a relationship is more comfortable with the idea of therapy than the other. This person is perhaps more extroverted or they may be the person who is more likely to express their needs more loudly and be more frustrated when these same needs aren't met.
The other partner is often afraid that they are going to be singled out as "the" problem, and their anxiety about sitting down with a stranger to discuss issues that are personal and intimate may be both foreign and frightening.
Many of us come from families and cultures which tell us to be quiet and keep our problems to ourselves. Therapy inherently breaks this loyalty "rule". One of the amazing things about IMAGO therapy is that the therapist is trained to be neutral.
Think of the IMAGO therapist more as a "conductor" or "facilitator" than someone who is going to take sides and assign blame. As a couple learns to deepen their communication they can each see that they hold some responsibility for the challenges with which they are faced, and therefore working together they can positively affect change!