Sometimes, when couples enter counseling to deal with relationships issues, it becomes apparent that one or both partners need additional support. Seeking individual counseling while doing couples work not only okay, it is very normal.

When you are working in couples therapy and individual counseling at the same it can be very beneficial for you and your relationship. Sometimes in couples therapy partners will explore a variety of things that could be triggering your relationship distress. We often end up exploring things in the past that are impacting connection and success in your relationship.

When we make sense of why each person does and says what he/she/they do it helps uncover what’s contributing to the negative cycles or patterns in the relationship. This means we can end up discussing possible unresolved family-of-origin issues, past relationship and childhood trauma or past family attachment dynamics. These issues are likely affecting your current relationship and causing the conflict or disconnection. When we do our own exploration in individual therapy this allows the couples therapist to help you learn to recognize and support each others needs and better understand each other. This creates more connection.

Sometimes you are your partner may be struggling with other mental health concerns that are brought up in couples therapy. Individual therapy can be the best fit for working through these concerns. Mental health struggles can be hard for you and your partner to navigate and can leave you both emotionally drained. Ideally, couples therapy is a time to discuss both partner’s needs. It is not the time or the place to work on healing one partner’s individual mental health concerns. But, getting individual counseling at the same time, allows the partner who is struggling to get the focused support they need so they can be fully present to work on their relationship in couples therapy.

Can I just see my couples therapist for individual therapy?

The answer to this depends on the therapist and the rules that govern their counseling practice. Most therapists will see this as a conflict of interest because it’s hard to prioritize the needs of both the couple and each individual separately. The role of the couple’s therapist in session is to remain neutral and offer support to the couple as a whole.

Our agency offers a variety of individual therapy services that complement couples therapy making sure you are supported holistically.