Couple Therapy & Individual Therapy – Differences to Know!
I’m often asked about the difference between couple therapy and individual therapy so I thought I would spend time on this relationship blog post discussing some common therapy questions.
But, if you have any additional questions, please reach out and let me know.
What’s the difference?
The main difference is that there are more people in the room. Meaning, in couple therapy, I see both you and your partner at the same time. For individual therapy, I am working with just one person.
In couple therapy, I have the unique opportunity to meet with both partners at the same time and learn from both what is happening between and within them.
Working with both partners together offers me the opportunity to help couples and observe first hand what happens when certain patterns or cycles come up between them. This often happens in real time during our sessions. When certain feelings or emotions come up, we can address them in the moment when it’s happening so that when they get home, they will have more understanding and tools between them that they can use.
The relationship is my main focus during couple therapy. All of the work we do together is focused around what’s happening between them and also within each person.
Example of what’s happening between a couple in a couple therapy session:
For example, during a couple therapy session, are they talking over each other so neither one is heard, is one partner avoiding and the other is trying to talk, are they blaming and criticizing each other.
Example of what’s happening within a person during a couple therapy session:
The focus during couple therapy is also around what is happening individually for each person when patterns surface between them.
For example, is one partner beginning to get tears in their eyes, is one partner grinding their teeth.
Together, I help couples through these patterns toward a more bonded and secure relationship.
Do you ever see one partner at a time when doing couple therapy?
At times it might be necessary to break up the sessions. Meaning, I might need to see partners individually.
Generally speaking though, I typically see partners together during couple therapy. And if an individual session is needed, I discuss this during a couple session with both partners together.
Is the professional training different?
I am trained as both a Licensed Professional Counselor and a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. During my training as a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, there are specific areas of study and specific hours of face to face couple work that I had to master before getting licensed as a marriage counselor/couple therapist.
Reaching out for help…
If you’ve been wanting to start couple therapy, please don’t wait any longer. Together, we can get to the heart of what’s been happening in your relationship and work toward solutions to a happier relationship, better communication, and better intimacy between you.
If you have any questions or are ready to set up an appointment, contacting me is easy. Just complete this form and I’ll get back to you as soon as I can.
*Blog intended for educational and informational purposes only.