Did you know only about 19% of adults received mental health treatment in 2019?
Knowing this information might make you think it’s impossible to get your spouse to start therapy. While it might be a difficult process, you can help your spouse take the first steps.
This guide will discuss some ways you can convince your spouse to get the support they need for their mental health. Continue reading to learn more.
Be Clear in Your Explanation
Convincing your partner to start couples counseling might be a difficult conversation, but there are ways to make the process easier for you. One of the best ways to help your spouse understand why you need couples therapy is to explain your reasons clearly.
Try not to use vague statements when having this conversation. Instead of telling your spouse that you have relationship problems, you should make a list of specific issues you need to work through. If you’re having problems communicating, tell your spouse how that makes you feel.
Point out examples of how these issues are affecting your relationship to help your spouse understand why therapy is the right choice.
Have a Private Discussion
Every important conversation needs to be had at the right place and time. Discussing going to therapy isn’t something you should bring up out of the blue during an event or family gathering.
While there’s nothing inherently wrong with talking about therapy, your spouse has the right to privacy. They’ll feel more comfortable having this conversation one-on-one.
You should also avoid suggesting therapy during an argument. This might make it more difficult for your partner to agree to it.
Try Individual Counseling First
If your spouse isn’t used to having open discussions about mental health, they might be hesitant to go to therapy.
One way to ease their anxiety could include trying therapy on your own first. Individual talk therapy is one of the most common types of therapy, and you can get started right away.
If you take the initiative and show your spouse how much therapy has helped you as an individual, they might be more open to going as a couple later on. By sharing your experience, your spouse will realize it isn’t as scary as it seems.
Do Research Ahead of Time
Before you suggest therapy to your spouse, you need to be informed about the process. Do some research on the mental health issues they’re experiencing as an individual or some of the problems you’re facing as a couple.
Read about some techniques practiced in therapy. You can also come up with a list of therapists in your area and payment requirements. Many people avoid therapy because they think it’s impossible to find a quality therapist for an affordable price.
Show your spouse that they have options when it comes to therapy to help convince them it’s the right choice.
Lead With Empathy
How you talk to your spouse about therapy is just as important as what you say to them. If you want to start partner therapy, you have to approach the conversation with kindness and a lot of patience.
Use a gentle tone throughout the conversation. Some thoughtful language you can use includes telling your spouse how much you love and support them before suggesting seeing a therapist for a specific issue.
Another thing to keep in mind is that your partner might take some time to agree to therapy. You have to be patient throughout this process. This is a big step for any person and going at their pace is the best approach to take.
Explain That There’s No Shame in Getting Help
One of the biggest hurdles to starting therapy is the stigma many people feel about it. Many people might be afraid to go to therapy because they don’t know anyone who has.
Your partner might feel shame about struggling with their mental health. Encouraging them to get treatment for their mind as they would for a broken bone is one way to approach the conversation.
Getting help for a mental illness or relationship problems should be seen as an act of bravery rather than a sign of weakness. Talking to others who are willing to share their experience will help destigmatize counseling for your spouse.
Remind Them of the Hard Work They Have to Do
Therapy for spouses requires a lot of hard work. Keep this in mind when you start talking to your partner about going to therapy.
While you don’t want to overwhelm them with information during your first conversation, you need to be honest about how hard therapy can be. Transparency is key to working on your relationship issues.
Talk to your partner about the work they have to put in to reap the benefits of therapy. Knowing that things will change for the better will encourage them to give therapy a chance.
Suggest Some Trial Sessions
Another way to convince your partner to start therapy is by setting up a few sessions with different counselors. It’s important to find a counselor that you feel comfortable with.
Setting up appointments with different counselors can help your partner understand the therapy process and make them feel more comfortable opening up.
Once you find a good fit, you can start working through your issues. A good therapist will help you uncover whether you’re married to a narcissist or if there are other mental health issues your partner’s dealing with.
Convince Your Spouse to Start Therapy With These Tips
The tips in this guide should help you convince your spouse to start therapy or at least start the conversation. You should do some research before talking to your spouse about therapy. You should also try speaking with a few therapists to find the best fit.
Check out some of the other family and relationship blogs on our site for more helpful tips.