Betsy Ellis, LCMHC | (802) 999-9026
Betsy Ellis, LCMHC | (802) 999-9026

Couples Counseling: Roadblocks to Making the First Call for Help

Reaching out for help when you’re struggling in your relationship with your partner takes courage. If you’re considering therapy, you’re likely confused and unhappy with the state of your relationship.

Though, you may be filled with questions and doubts about whether or not therapy is the right choice. Perhaps you wonder if it will even help or is worth trying.

After all, therapy involves having honest conversations about painful, uncomfortable topics. It may be inconvenient in more than one way. And so, it’s normal to feel apprehension about making the first call to a therapist.

But as many will tell you, overcoming any initial discomfort and feelings of inconvenience about couples counseling can be well worth it in the end.

Here are a few roadblocks that could keep you from moving ahead.

Session Fees

While many insurance plans have started to offer generous mental health benefits, not all of them do. You likely have questions about the costs of therapy.

By researching your insurance coverage before you start contacting therapists, you’ll be a step ahead. Also, identify a list of which providers are covered and which are not. Plus, you can ask potential therapists if they offer payment plans, cash pay discounts, or sliding fees. Some therapists will file your insurance for you, while others will provide statements for you to file directly.

Everyday Challenges

There are also practical day-to-day hurdles to starting counseling. Many couples are caught in the whirlwind of work, child-rearing and all it entails, household obligations, and community involvement.

Finding time to squeeze in yet another commitment can be challenging. It’s even more complicated when you have to juggle two work schedules and try to arrange for childcare or babysitters. With enough research into options, though, it is possible to work around these issues.

Partner’s Resistance

It’s often the case that one partner is not thrilled about the idea of going to couples counseling. They may put up great resistance or make excuses about why they can’t or won’t go.

So, being patient and kind with your partner during initial discussions about therapy is important. Approach the topic gently and in a non-judgmental manner. Help your partner understand that they and your relationship are of great value to you. And therapy can help both of you re-establish emotional bonds and attachments that will make your partnership better than ever.

Starting therapy sooner rather than later can pay big dividends. The longer problems and issues are allowed to grow, the longer it can take to find healing and establish new patterns. If your partner isn’t willing to go with you, consider meeting with a therapist on your own, to begin with.

Again, no matter how frustrated you may be with the situation, remember to be gentle with yourself and with your partner. Anger and blame will not make it any easier to convince them to try therapy.

Overwhelming Number of Issues

The issues you’re struggling within your relationship may seem numerous. You might not even know where you’d begin in therapy.

If you’re overwhelmed, consider writing down the topics you’d like to cover in sessions. Putting your goals and questions on paper is a good way to help calm your nervous thoughts. As with many things in life, starting with one issue at a time is a wise approach to take. And your therapist can help you identify where to begin.

Persistence When Calling

Making initial contact with a therapist may require persistence. Calls often roll to voicemail because the therapists are in session with other clients. You may have to play phone tag. Finding appointment times that match their schedule, your schedule, your partner’s schedule, and possibly the babysitter’s schedule may also take some patience.

Don’t give up, though. Any slight inconveniences will be worth it to obtain help for the most important relationship in your life.

Despite these initial roadblocks to reaching out for couples counseling, it is an investment that is well worth the time, money, and effort. I’d like to encourage you to please contact my office if you would like to learn more about how counseling can help your relationship.

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