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Individual Counseling Vs Couples Counseling: What Do I Choose?

couples counseling

The decision to take up counseling can be confusing. Choosing the right therapist can be difficult, as there are different forms of therapy available around us.

In general, all forms of counselling focus on working with personal and emotional concerns, with a counselor, or therapist. Counseling is a process that can be used by everyone, from children, couples, teens, to young and older adults.

Since counseling caters to a wide range of people, it can be tough to choose a type of counseling that is structured according to your needs. Therefore, it is important to understand what each type of counseling is. This awareness can help your decision-making process smoother. 

In this article, we will be looking at two common types of counseling —  Couples Counseling Vs Individual Counseling, and what makes them different from each other. 

What is Couples Counseling?

Couples Therapy is known by many names. It is also known as couples counselling, premarital counseling, or marriage counselling. Couples therapy can be used by both married and unmarried partners. At Innerspace we offer Pre-marital, and Marriage Counseling for couples. 

While being in a relationship, couples are bound to go through numerous difficulties. Couples counseling helps in resolving such issues between partners. Couples Counselors tackle issues between couples such as: 

  • Trouble getting along with your partner
  • Communication Problems
  • Intimacy Issues
  • Financial Issues
  • Managing needs and expectations in relationships

The main goals of couples therapy are to:

  • Improve the quality of the relationship
  • Work on current and future issues
  • Learn healthy communication patterns
  • Become closer and learn more about each other

Couples therapy usually involves two phases. Initially, the partners meet the therapist individually and then, together. Individual sessions help the therapist understand each partner’s concerns better. If you would like to learn more about how couples therapy works and its process, click here.

Counseling is a process that equips you with skills to tackle certain difficult areas of life. Similarly, for couples counseling, you and your partner will learn certain skills to collaboratively manage your issues. Some Important skills you will be learning from Couples Counseling are:

  • Improve how you communicate with your partner
  • Get a better understanding of your partner’s needs
  • Learn ways to manage conflicts
  • Have a positive mindset about the relationship
  • Relationship counselors use a variety of techniques for you to build a stronger relationship with your partner

At Inner Space, we help couples with their issues using different techniques, like Cognitive Behavior Therapy, Mindfulness, and others. If you would like to learn more Couples Counseling at Inner Space, please click on the following links:

individual counseling

Contact Us

Counseling is a process that can help you learn more about yourself and your relationships.

Our Counselors are trained to help you with a wide range of concerns.

If you are interested to schedule an appointment with us, please click the link below.

What is Individual Counseling?

While couple counseling focuses on difficulties between partners, Individual Therapy involves meeting a therapist to discuss your personal issues. In Individual Counseling, the main goal is to help you manage emotional issues, relationships, life changes, stress, and anxiety

The counseling sessions occur weekly or as often as needed. Each session can be 50-60 minutes long. Counselors practicing individual therapy pays attention to your patterns and less on others. Their primary focus is understanding your patterns, thoughts, feelings, and needs, and collaboratively working on it to resolve your concerns. 

Our therapists at Inner Space are trained in a wide range of therapies. Some of the many techniques we use in our practice are Mindfulness Based Therapy, Somatic Therapy, Client Centered Therapy and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy. 

If you would like to learn more about Online Counseling at Inner Space

Key Differences Between Individual Counseling Vs Couples Counseling

There are large differences between Individual Counseling vs Couples Counseling. Here are some of the main differences between them:

Individual Counseling:

  • Includes sessions with the client alone 
  • Focuses on emotional issues, unhelpful patterns of thinking and feeling, underlying unhelpful patterns of thinking and feeling, stress, major life changes, relationships and other concerns
  • Understands the past and present patterns of the client.
  • Helps clients manage issues by themselves 

Couples Counseling:

  • Includes sessions with the couple together and separately with each partner
  • Focuses on improving the relationship and reducing conflicts
  • Works on the issues between the partners, and less on the individual
  • Helps partners become closer, and better at communicating with each other 

Should I Choose Individual or Couples Therapy?

If you are in a relationship, and confused about choosing which type of counseling to choose, try to look into what you expect from your counseling. For instance, if you want to focus on improving your relationship by addressing your individual patterns, behaviors, and emotions, you can opt for individual counseling. 

However, if your main aim is to work on patterns within your relationship and its dynamics, and if you are interested to work on improving the relationship collaboratively, you can opt for couples counselling. 

If you are still unsure of which counseling you should go for, it can also be a good idea to consult with your counselor. By understanding what you are seeking help for, they can help you guide what type of counseling would be more appropriate for you and your goals. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Psychological Counseling encourages open and honest dialogue about issues that cause you distress. Through your relationship with your therapist, you’ll work to identify and understand how these stressors are impacting your life, and learn ways to cope with them.

To choose the right form of therapy, you must first understand what you want help for. If you have personal concerns like:

You should think of choosing individual counseling. 

If your concern involves improving your relationship with your partner, then Couples Therapy is a better fit for you. 

Couples Therapy needs both the partners to be involved to work on the issues together. Relationship Counseling can be a great opportunity to bring you closer to your partner. 

Both forms of counseling (Individual and Couples) are great ways to get help from a Professional on your issues. Couples Counseling can improve your relationship and Individual Counseling is a way to work on yourself.

Psychological counseling is needed if you’re experiencing distress, struggling with a mental health condition, having difficulty coping with life changes or stressors, or struggling in relationships.

About the Author

This article was written by Parvathi Ganesan, Counselor at Inner Space. This article was consulted & approved by professional therapists practicing online therapy and counseling. 

Learn More

Are you interested to read more about our Individual, Premarital, and Marriage Counseling services? Click below to know more.

couples vs individual counseling

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