It used to be that having two therapists was a sign of a successful marriage. The idea was that each therapist would specialize in a particular aspect of the marriage, such as conflict resolution, or intimacy, or trust issues. Although this was somewhat helpful in the beginning, now it seems that therapists don’t necessarily specialize in everything. Many times they simply try to “fill in the blanks,” and although each of the couple may be grateful for their therapists, they are likely not receiving the very best from either one.
Some couples feel that they can tell which therapist is giving them the best advice. Others prefer not to speak with therapists that they haven’t met or that they simply do not get along with. However, some therapists have come under fire because they have been accused of never truly giving the couple time to work on their relationship. Sometimes this results in the couple feeling rejected by the other one. This leaves the question of whether it is good to have one therapist or two.
There is no right or wrong answer to this question. As a matter of fact, having multiple therapists will actually benefit the couple more in the long run. In fact, this is one of the best decisions that a couple could make. Here are some reasons why…
One reason is that some couples just don’t get along. In other words, there may be an underlying reason why the relationship isn’t working. For instance, maybe one of the partners has a lot of anger pent up inside. If the other partner is not skilled at communicating that anger, then having another person to work on that problem will only serve to make the problem worse, not better.
Another reason is that couples need a different style. There is nothing wrong with one dominant style. The problem comes in when the couple has differences over how to achieve their goals. Some couples go about their therapy in completely different ways. Then, there are the couples who work together and barely talk to each other. In either case, the two of them may not achieve the goals that they set out to achieve.
Of course, not every couple needs two therapists. Some couples can work well enough on their own. If you and your partner are working on your marriage or relationship and one of you is much more the “talkative” type and the other is more the “listener” type, then it is perfectly OK for the other partner to handle the communication aspects of therapy by talking directly to the therapist. However, if you are both more “dry,” or if one partner tends to listen more than the other, then it may not be a good idea to have two people talking to each other during sessions.
There are also some couples who find it helpful to have more than one therapist during therapy. If a couple has had a history of abusive relationships or are experiencing deep guilt issues, they may find it helpful to speak with a third person. Often, the guilt and need to connect with someone outside of themselves to help them deal with their negative emotions are distractions that can hinder couples from becoming truly effective at resolving their relationship problems. However, it does help to have someone on the outside of the relationship to keep the lines of communication open.
Two therapists is not necessarily bad as long as they are working in conjunction with each other. It is imperative that they both recognize and respect each other’s style of working. Both should be willing to communicate with the other in an honest and non-judgmental manner. This will ensure that the couple’s relationship is truly a partnership and not just two people working in therapy. If a couple wants to resolve their relationship problems, they should seek the advice of more than one therapist. This way, there is increased chance that the couples can both reach a state of harmony, instead of one working against the other.