If I had five dollars every time I have heard some variation of this comment, I would be rich! It is far too common for a couple to call a therapist, only to decide that they would try harder to solve the problem themselves. From my experience, when someone has a sexual and relationship problem, and they call for help, and then decline help, they are in denial that the problem is beyond their expertise to solve.

Some do not want to spend money, even though this would be an investment in their relationship. Others do not want to spend the time to go to therapy. Either way, the question is do they value their relationship enough to fix it or not?

My therapy is usually short-term. We are talking weeks to months, not years. Most who seek my therapy are glad that they did. Spending money on a valued relationship is well worth the investment. I have had feedback that some who said they would try to fix their relationship themselves eventually broke up. In some cases, this may have been unnecessary.

The same people who do not blink an eye if they purchase expensive sports tickets are aghast at having to spend money to fix a relationship. Where are their values?

Those who value their marriage or other intimate relationship do not hesitate to get into therapy. They are the smart ones. Similarly, some couples quit therapy when they make some progress, falsely believing they will fix the rest themselves. If they value their relationship, they will complete the treatment plan.

There is a lot of irrational thinking when couples either do not commit to therapy, or they quit before they are done. I am a cognitive behavioral therapist, so I know irrational thinking when I hear it.

Sometimes one person in the relationship desperately wants to commit to therapy, while the other resists, stating that they should be able to solve the problem themselves! In many of these cases, the person resisting starting or continuing therapy is the one who controls the relationship, and they fear relinquishing control. The person who has the least interest in the relationship controls the relationship. This is called the principle of least interest. Sometimes I start with the person wanting to seek help, and often the resistant partner eventually comes in too.

It is commonsense to seek an appropriate therapist when there are relationship problems. The same is true for individuals who need to solve a personal problem. Some people resist because they have had a bad experience with another therapist. This does not mean that all therapists are incompetent.

As an AASECT certified sex therapist and a couple’s counselor, I know that those who seek help for sexual problems from a marriage counselor without certification as a sex therapist are not using common sense. Rather than spinning your wheels, seek a real sex therapist. Many call themselves sex therapists when they have little or no training. All you have to do is look at those calling themselves sex therapists in the Psychology Today listings to realize that at least half of the listings are totally bogus in this regard.

In conclusion, seek therapy from someone who is qualified to solve the problem you have. If that problem is sexual, seek an AASECT certified sex therapist. Remember that waiting to solve a problem takes longer to solve the problem, and in some cases, there is too much water under the bridge to ever solve the problem! So do not wait, and do not try to solve the problem yourself.