Should I Ask My Partner About Their Therapy Sessions?

Should I Ask My Partner About Their Therapy Sessions?

Should I Ask My Partner About Their Therapy Sessions?_ichhori.webP

If your partner is in therapy, you may be wondering how their sessions are going, what they're talking about with their therapist, if they've talked about you, and how much progress they're making.

You may be concerned about whether your partner would appreciate your inquiry about their therapy sessions or think it is intrusive.

This article examines whether it's appropriate to inquire about your partner's therapy sessions, as well as some do's and don'ts to keep in mind when having this talk.

Should You Ask About Your Partner’s Therapy Sessions?

Ichhori asked Meghan Marcum, PsyD, chief psychologist at AMFM Healthcare if it's OK to inquire about one's partner's therapy sessions. "The answer depends on the characteristics of each relationship," Dr. Marcum says.

Some people may feel supported if their partner is interested in their treatment progress and what they are working on. Others, on the other hand, may not want to reveal their emotional issues or prior traumas outside of treatment.

According to Dr. Marcum, the following circumstances can influence whether or not it is appropriate to inquire about your partner's therapy sessions:

  • Relationship longevity: If you and your partner have been together for a long time, they may feel more at ease discussing their therapy sessions with you. If you and your partner have just started dating, it may be too soon to ask them about it.

  • Emotional closeness: If you and your partner are really close emotionally and discuss everything, it may be appropriate to inquire about their therapy sessions.

  • Participation in care: If your partner has a mental health illness and you have encouraged them to seek therapy or are actively involved in their care, they may want to discuss their progress with you.

  • Reciprocity: If you regularly discuss your therapy sessions with your spouse or if they have previously inquired about your sessions, it may imply that they would be open to discussing their therapy sessions with you.

Do’s and Don’ts to Keep in Mind

These are some do’s and don’ts that may come in handy while you have this conversation.

What to Do

Dr. Marcum offers some suggestions on how you might help your partner if they are in therapy:

  • Inquire about how you can assist: Inquire with your partner if they require anything following their session. For example, they may require some alone time to digest their ideas and feelings. Alternatively, they may require a distraction to make them feel better.

  • Establish protocols: It may be beneficial to ask your spouse if they are comfortable discussing their therapy sessions. If they are willing, you might inquire about their session each time they attend treatment. If they indicate that they might not be, don't press the issue. Respect their boundaries and allow them to decide what they want to share with you.

  • Please be patient: Accept that your spouse may not want to disclose information about their session straight immediately. Therapy can elicit a wide range of challenging feelings and emotions. Allow them the time and space they require to process their responses.

  • Let them know you're willing to listen: If your partner ever wants to share something, let them know you're willing to listen. Demonstrate your commitment to supporting their mental health.

  • Boost the process: Committing to therapy can be difficult, so do everything you can to help your loved one on their path to greater mental health. Inquire with your spouse whether there is anything you can do to assist them in meeting their treatment objectives.

  • Recognize their growth: If you observe improvements in your relationship, tell them about it and commend them on their progress. This can help to motivate them by rewarding their efforts and providing positive reinforcement.

  • Be open to going to therapy: Be willing to pursue your own counseling, attend your partner's therapy sessions, or engage in couples therapy if your partner's therapist suggests it.

What Not to Do

Dr. Marcum shares some strategies that may not be helpful:

  • Don't assume it's your right to know: Everyone, including your spouse, has the right to privacy. Don't expect them to share all of their treatment sessions with you. Even if they choose to share with you on occasion, this does not obligate them to do so on a regular basis.

  • Don't worry about if they talked about you: While it's natural to wonder whether your partner talked about you or your relationship with their therapist, it's not fair to pry. If you were discussing your partner with your therapist, you might not be willing to tell your partner all you discussed.

  • Don't be concerned about why they aren't sharing: Your partner may be going through painful emotions or unsolved issues in treatment and isn't ready to share them with you. It doesn't mean they don't care about you. Try not to reframe the problem so that it becomes about you or your relationship. Instead, concentrate on their mental health.

  • Avoid attempting to solve your partner's problems: Although you may only want to make your spouse feel better, they may require professional assistance. The fact that they require outside assistance does not imply that they are weak or that you have failed as a spouse. It simply indicates they are dealing with a situation that requires professional assistance. Recognize this and lend your support to their efforts to enhance their mental health.

  • Don't compete with their therapist: You may be frustrated that your spouse isn't discussing details of their therapy sessions with you, and you may wonder what they're sharing with their therapist. You may even resent your therapist for playing such an important role in your partner's life. However, keep in mind that your partner's therapist is a healthcare professional, and while they may discuss highly personal topics, the connection is still professional.

A Word From Ichhori 

While you're deciding whether or not to question your partner about their treatment sessions and how to demonstrate your support, consider the situation in reverse.

How would you like your partner to support you if you were the one going to therapy? How much do you want to share with your partner? These questions will help you identify the best strategy to tackle this scenario.

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