Does Couple’s Therapy Work for Abusive Relationships?

Does Couple’s Therapy Work for Abusive Relationships? does couple’s therapy work for abusive relationships?
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Today, I’ll be addressing the question of whether couple therapy is effective for abusive relationships or just any relationship which is slightly unhealthy. This is a very interesting question. In fact, last month, I was talking to a friend who was contemplating couple’s therapy. Since he’s a close friend, I couldn’t help but share my perspective. I explained that while couple therapy can be beneficial, the most effective couple’s therapy or approach involves starting with individual therapy or growth before working on the conscious relationship goals together.

Here’s how it works: If the primary goal of couple therapy is to save the relationship, especially if it’s an abusive one or unhealthy, it may not succeed. Attempting couple therapy to salvage an abusive relationship essentially keeps you in that harmful dynamic. The best couple therapy focuses on personal growth or growing individuals in the couple, allowing each individual to develop independently. After this individual growth, the couple can then come together to set healthy relationship goals.

Let me elaborate on why this approach is crucial. If one person, let’s say you, seeks couple therapy to make the relationship work, but the other party, the abuser or even someone who you have an issue with, doesn’t acknowledge any issues because their needs are being met through manipulation and exploitation, the power dynamic remains imbalanced. Traditional couple therapy or interventions such as talking to a pastor or parents, might not be effective if the abusive party isn’t taking full responsibility for their actions.

The emphasis should be on personal growth and understanding what each individual truly wants. It’s not about saving the relationship from the start, as that could set you on the wrong path. The primary goal should be personal development, building self-esteem, and ensuring that you are not dependent on the relationship for your well-being.

For those who wish to keep the relationship despite its challenges, it’s more beneficial to focus on therapy that heals past damage, addresses traumas, and works on personal development. After a moment of breakthrough in individual sessions, the couple can then reassess the relationship. If the partner’s behavior remains unchanged, it becomes clear that genuine growth has not occurred.

In abusive relationships, therapy won’t be effective if one party refuses to be accountable for their actions. They might even manipulate the couple’s therapist, further complicating the situation. The best couple therapy for abusive relationships involves separate growth sessions, allowing individuals to heal and develop independently. Coming back together after these sessions allows for a clearer perspective on the relationship.

Sometimes, despite wanting to preserve a long-term relationship, the best couple therapy might include the option of walking away. Working on the relationship while still within its confines can be challenging. Stepping outside the problem can provide a different perspective and may be the necessary step toward positive change.

When considering couple therapy, ensure that it serves your personal well-being, not just the relationship. Focus on individual perspectives before setting conscious steps to improve the relationship. Remember, working on yourself first and then building the relationship yields more effective results than the other way around.

Note from the Author

If you’re ready and you’d like my help with healing, finding peace in life and breaking free from these toxic patterns, then you can book a FREE BREAKTHROUGH CALL with me HERE. Happy healing 💙💙. Feel free to share and comment! Use this information with caution, it comes from my own thoughts & bias, experiences and research😊.

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Edwin Bii
Edwin Bii

I'm Edwin Bii, a trained advanced conversational hypnotherapist (ACH) and Mind Shifting Coach from Kenya offering mental health support, and life coaching to help you crush your goalsand overcome your problems. Together, we'll navigate challenges, build self-awareness, and create a happier, healthier you. Let's unlock your potential.

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