Couples Counseling for One

What is it?

Are you ready for marriage counseling but your spouse isn’t? Is your partner anxious about opening up to a “stranger" or fearful of being blamed for all the problems in your relationship? Waiting too long to get help creates even more strain on a troubled relationship.

Couples counseling for one is a proven alternative for couples who won’t go to counseling together. By focusing on the relationship rather than the individual, it adapts traditional couples counseling techniques for use with one partner only. You’ll learn new relationship skills that you can use in daily interactions with your partner. Through this role modeling, your partner will experience new behaviors that may create an eagerness to move forward with you.

Unlike individual counseling, couples counseling for one is decidedly marriage friendly. You’ll become aware of your own part in perpetuating negative patterns and how different approaches to partner interactions affect your marriage. You’ll learn to identify what you want and need from your partner and how to ask for it in a productive way. This not only exhibits self-love and self-respect, it demonstrates how you want to be treated.

The emphasis is on you.

Couples counseling for one is an opportunity for you to feel profoundly seen and heard.  Without your partner present, you may be emboldened and more open about sharing deep feelings and emotions that you might not otherwise express. Sometimes, reports of physical, emotional, or sexual abuse come to light, and these must be addressed before counseling can progress. The same holds true for alcohol or substance abuse or addiction.

The one-to-one relationship in couples counseling for one allows us to work from a different perspective than if your partner were present. In traditional couples counseling, it’s important for the therapist to remain neutral and not “take sides” with either partner.  (When this happens, one spouse feels “ganged up on” and likely stops coming to counseling.) With just you in session, I can challenge, as well as support you in ways I couldn’t in couples counseling. My focus is on you, without fear of being viewed as aligned with you—or not—by your partner.

Does couples counseling for one work?

Yes. Howard Markman, PhD and professor of psychology at the University of Denver, recruited 300 married and unmarried couples to participate in relationship skills training, either individually or as a couple. He found that individuals who attended individual therapy focused on their relationship saw just as much improvement in their relationships as persons who engaged in couples therapy together.


A relationship starts with one person.

Creating change is like a domino effect. When one partner takes responsibility for positive change in the relationship, the other partner naturally responds. It’s always important to remember, though, whether in couples counseling for one or with your partner, you can’t change anyone but yourself. Addressing your part in the dysfunctional pattern opens the door to change.

The best therapy involves both partners working together to confront their relationship struggles. When that’s not possible, couples counseling for one is an excellent alternative for creating lasting positive change in your relationship.

Don't wait. Call me today.


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1850 Lee Road Suite #103
Winter Park, FL 32789
(407) 701-6441

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