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Can Couples Therapy Fix What Ails You


Couples therapy can be enormously helpful to partners stuck in unhealthy patterns, including dysregulated eating. It improves communication, enhances insight, reduces tension, and deepens intimacy. I’ve done a substantial amount of it over the decades and sing its praises. It may be just what you need to heal your eating problems.

Couples come to therapy at different stages of their relationship and for various reasons. The initial stages of marriage or living together can bring up all sorts of major issues about dependence and boundaries. It can rekindle fears of abandonment and rejection as well as trigger traumatic memories. Having and raising children might also create tensions, especially about what it means to be a great parent and keeping intimacy alive within the couple. The later years of coupledom are full of transitions like children moving away from home and retirement or how to have a full, meaningful life without them—not to mention illness, death, other losses, and health changes that affect the relationship. Have no fear, therapy can help with whatever is ailing a couple.

Here are myths about couples’ therapy which may prevent you or your partner from viewing it as effective and considering its benefits: 

  • Myth: The therapist will be biased toward your partner and against you if they’re the same gender as your partner. The two of them may even gang up on you. 

Truth: The therapist’s job is to listen to and advocate for both partners no matter what their gender.

  • Myth: If you do couples therapy with your partner’s therapist, they’ll be biased toward your partner and against you. 

Truth: This is not what typically happens except if you’re abusing your partner, as therapists are trained to listen to both parties which is the point of couples therapy. Therapists work very hard at being neutral and unbiased in order to help you both.

  • Myth: Therapists tell you what to do.

Truth: The goal of therapy is helping partners make their own decisions, except in cases of abuse. Effective therapists can help you see problems and solutions differently, including ones that you wouldn’t have recognized on your own.

  • Myth: If you go to couples therapy with serious problems, the therapist will steer you toward divorce.

Truth: The job of the therapist is to help the couple improve their relationship and, if they can’t, to decide what they want to do about it. Therapy focuses on the strengths and weakness of the relationship and what’s best for you both.