No, not usually.
Going alone is not helpful for several reasons. First, the therapist needs to have both of you in the room to really counsel you both. Also there is the danger that the absent person will feel alienated or unfairly treated by the counselor if she is not there. An alliance with the therapist may be created that will then harm the counseling process when your wife or husband does attend.
But there are times when individual therapy is appropriate and a few sessions by yourself with the counselor may be necessary. For instance, you may want to discuss a painful childhood incident that no one knows about, which may be relevant to your current relationship problems. Or you need to disclose an infidelity incident to a neutral party and you need help planning how to tell your partner. This is best done alone. Maybe you are at the “point of no return” and have decided to file for divorce. Therapy will help you navigate this painful processes.
Maybe your partner is ambivalent about coming to counseling. The counselor can work with you to help her see the benefit of coming in. The counselor can also reach out to your partner on your behalf to convince him or her that therapy is needed. Possibly, your spouse has a drug or alcohol problem and you need help getting her into treatment before marriage therapy can begin. Therapists can typically help you with this. Your partner may be physically abusive to you or your kids. Again, treatment for them is necessary as soon as possible. Marriage therapy must wait until all parties in your family are safe.
Therapy, in general, can be beneficial for lots of people and lots of situations. However, when it comes to working on your marriage, it is best to work on it TOGETHER. We can help. Call us today at 732.406.4422