How to Invite Your Partner to Couples Counseling

Feeling like you could benefit from couples counseling? If so, you may fear that your partner won’t want to participate.

That’s a common concern. You obviously can’t physically force your partner to go. Still, there are some things you can do to increase the likelihood they’ll oblige.

What exactly is the best way to invite them? Here are some ideas.

If You Blame, You Lose

Maybe, first, we should look at how not to invite your partner.

This is important to bring up because it’s likely the number-one thing that’ll make your partner shut down, resist and run for cover.

Here’s some dialogue to illustrate the point.

Imagine if your partner requested that you go to couples counseling like this:

Your Partner:

“(your name), I’m really concerned about your anger outbursts lately. You don’t help out around the house like you used to. Worse yet, you don’t engage with our family in a meaningful way.”

You:

“Ok.”

Your Partner:

“I think we should go to counseling to work through these issues.”

How do you think you would respond to that scenario? Would you want to go to counseling?

Probably not.

Why?

Because you feel attacked. You feel singled out.

This “invitation” can feel more like an ultimatum (do this or else). Human nature is to rebel.

By zooming in on the shortcomings of your partner, be very surprised if you get what you want.

Be Transparent About Your Own Struggles, Too

Even if you feel that most of your relationship problems are because of your partner, there’s something important to remember.

You both still have challenges you could use help with. Everyone in the world can say that much.

Approach your partner about some of your failures and weaknesses. Ask if they would be willing to help you work through them. If you hurt your partner, admit it, apologize and share how you want to do better.

The truth is that we can only change ourselves so this is a valid way to go about things.

A bit of caution, though. This will backfire and badly if this strategy is used as a manipulation technique.

If you focus on your challenges to get your partner through the “counseling door” and then dump out all the reasons your partner is the problem while in session, that won’t go well for obvious reasons!

Let your partner’s problems come out in the session naturally.

Focus on the Good with the Goal of Better

Focus on the positive and inviting your partner to counseling will be way easier.

Instead of zooming in on all the flaws of your relationship, talk about what’s good already.

Focus on the prospect of counseling as a way to go from good to better instead of a way to fix a relationship “on the edge of the abyss.”

One great way to set this tone is to plan something fun to do after your counseling session to build your relationship. Find something out of the norm from what you do that you’ll both look forward to.

Just have fun. After all, it’s pretty hard to fight when you’re having fun!

If it is time for you to schedule your couples counseling appointment online using our online scheduling tool, call us at (949) 220-3211, or text us.

What Depression in Women Looks Like (and What to Do)

What does depression look like in women?

First, let’s acknowledge that it’s twice as likely to happen to women as compared with men.

Women, by and large, are “feelers.” They’re generally in better touch with their emotions and the emotions of others.

This gives them a greater capacity to be caring and nurturing. There’s one challenge, though.

Having a front seat to all those emotions and feelings can weigh a person down and become overwhelming.

One of a woman’s most endearing qualities can also add to her suffering.

Common Symptoms of Depressed Women

  • Fatigue
  • Difficulty concentrating and a foggy mind
  • Difficulty with memory
  • Consistent feelings of sadness, crying, loss of hope and despair
  • Loss of interest in activities you used to enjoy, including sex
  • Consistently negative feelings and comments
  • Withdrawal from friends and family
  • High levels of anxiety
  • Difficulty sleeping or staying asleep/sleeping too much
  • Loss of appetite or increase in appetite
  • Ongoing physical problems that can’t be diagnosed (stomach, headache and pain)
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Suicide attempts

What Makes Women Susceptible to Depression

A number of factors can increase the likelihood that women will experience depression.

Many experts think the periodic hormonal changes caused by menstruation and pregnancy make women more susceptible.

Therefore, it has nothing to do with women being weak. Women must be innately strong to manage the multitasking of being a mom, often juggling a career and much more.

Other factors that increase chances of depression include environmental and hereditary considerations.

Uncommonly stressful events such as experiencing the death of a loved one as a child, pregnancy, job loss and sexual abuse only add to the likelihood depression will present itself.

Depression in Women: What to Do

There is a long list of things that can help women with depression. What treatment is right for you will depend on the reason for your depression (if you can identify one), the severity of your symptoms and how long you have suffered.

Some women are able to manage their depression with lifestyle changes such as leaving a stressful job, simplifying their schedule, improving their support systems, eating healthy, exercising and getting proper sleep.

Some women also respond well to an antidepressant.

Something else can’t be stressed enough:

Most women are people of words. Most women are drastically more verbal than the typical man. They have an innate need to express themselves.

It should come as no surprise, then, that getting those words out is an extremely therapeutic process.

For some, that involves journaling, talking with caring friends/family and visiting a therapist.

A combination of these can help dramatically with feelings of guilt, shame and low self-esteem. This helps women to realize they’re not alone in their suffering and that they don’t need to silently feel misunderstood. If it is time for you to schedule your couples counseling appointment online using our online scheduling tool, call us at (949) 220-3211, or text us.