I hear it all. “I will see an individual therapist. I do not need a couples’ counselor.” Or, “My therapist says I do not need a couples’ counselor to solve our relationship issues.”

None of this is accurate. A relationship is a system, and no amount of individual counseling will solve a relationship problem. Sometimes both people are seeing individual therapists to solve a relationship dilemma. Again, this is not enough.

There is nothing wrong with individual counseling, and sometimes such work complements couples’ counseling. The problem is that unless both see a couples’ counselor, a relationship issue is unlikely to get solved. This is because both partners need to make coordinated adjustments, which requires a couples’ counselor.

If there are sexual problems, individual therapy is again not enough.  Even a couples’ counselor is not adequate to solve sexual problems unless the counselor is also an AASECT certified sex therapist.

I am a one-stop shop. No one should need two therapists to solve sexual and marital issues simultaneously.  Or even worse, they should not need individual and couples’ counselors and a sex therapist!

I do not lead clients on about what I can do for them. I have a proven track record and reviews to show that my approach works. I have a thorough website which explains how I work and why I do things the way that I do. These are ethical and practical issues.

I also see some clients individually, but I recommend that these clients seek couples’ work separately with someone else. I do see each person alone before I see them together. This gives me the information I need to develop a workable treatment plan with homework and home-play.

I hear about individual counselors who claim they can solve a couple’s issues by seeing one person alone. This is not at all likely. Some individual therapists realize all of this, and they coordinate with me as the couple’s counselor. This all makes sense. Otherwise, the head does not know what the tail is doing.

Sometimes couples cancel and say they will first see individual therapists. This makes no sense. There is no coordination this way, and the couple’s issues are less likely to be solved. No problem is one person’s issue in a relationship.

The combination of couples’ counseling and individual therapy with another therapist can make good sense. The worst scenario is when a couple has severe problems and they refuse couples’ counseling, or they decide to “solve it ourselves.” This rarely happens. I get lots of clients who were going to see me a year or more prior to seeing me, and they waited, thinking they could fix it themselves. Bad idea. It usually takes longer to solve a problem if you wait to solve it.

Clear and critical thinking and good communication between spouses is essential to solving a marital or other relationship conflict. I offer this to those who wish my help.

Click here for more information on couples counseling.