How Couples Therapy Can Help You Understand Yourself

Updated April 8, 2024by MyTherapist Editorial Team

Research shows that couples therapy can be beneficial in overcoming issues and improving communication in a relationship, but it can also affect you as an individual. Couples therapy is about more than understanding your partner. It’s also a time to evaluate yourself, both in and out of your relationship.

Many of the lessons learned in couples therapy echo the things you might address in individual therapy, but the added element of having your partner there with you can affect you in many ways. If you are willing to look inward and figure out how your thoughts and actions contribute to your relationship, couples therapy can also be an excellent way to understand yourself.

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Couples therapy can change you and your relationship

Benefits of couples therapy for individuals

Couples therapy or marriage counseling is meant to help couples communicate and understand each other so that they can effectively handle conflicts in their relationship. Partners learn how to handle problems in a healthy way so that they can nurture their relationship together. Couples therapy is a valid option for people who have been in long-term relationships for decades, but it is also a good choice for people who are just starting to get serious and want to learn how to nurture their relationship and help it grow stronger.

By working with your partner, you may look inward and discover things about yourself that you never knew and may not have discovered otherwise, even working one-on-one with a therapist. Doing this type of work forces you to look at your strengths and weaknesses. While you may explore these things in individual therapy, couples therapy is a different approach as both your therapist and partner work with you, helping you identify how you communicate, pointing out your strengths, and figuring out what you need to work on. 

Here are some specific areas where couples therapy can help you get to know yourself better. 

Anger management

Everyone gets angry every now and then, but some people anger more quickly than others. In individual therapy, you may learn more about your anger, where it stems from, and how to manage it. But when you talk about it in couples therapy, you may start to understand how your anger is affecting your partner and, by extension, your relationship. 

Research shows that it is true what they say: we are more likely to take our anger out on those who are closest to us. Whether we do this because we spend the most time with them or because they mean more to us is unknown. This same research also determined that many aggressive people may not understand what is behind their aggression and anger. So, not only are we more likely to take out our anger on our partner, but it’s possible that we don’t even realize we’re doing it. By addressing this in couples therapy, you have a chance to see how your actions directly affect your relationship and learn how to manage your anger. 

Managing self-doubt and self-esteem

Many people deal with low self-esteem, and it’s something that might come up in one-on-one therapy, but you can gain better insights about where you really stand when you address it in the context of couples therapy. If you have low self-esteem, you may feel like you don’t contribute enough to the relationship or that you don’t deserve your partner. By talking about these issues in couples therapy, you can learn where you really stand with them. It is easy to just assume that you are doing something wrong, and while a therapist can help you deal with those insecurities one-on-one, including your partner in the discussion can help you understand how much you contribute to the relationship or if you need to dig deep and give more.

Applying what you learn to the real world

When you do individual therapy, your therapist might give you homework to help you apply what you’re working on together or to learn something new. You spend a lot of time thinking about how you relate to others and deal with challenges in the real world, but it’s not always easy to apply the things you’re learning; this isn’t the case in couple’s therapy. 

When you attend therapy sessions with your partner, you’re learning alongside someone who you spend a lot of time with, someone who can help you identify challenges and apply what you are learning together in real time as various situations arise. For example, maybe your partner will point out a pattern that you’re exhibiting that came up during a session so you can apply what you’re learning in the moment (and you can do the same for your partner).

Learning how to keep yourself accountable

When you’re in therapy by yourself, it can be challenging to say your problems out loud; but when you’re in couples therapy, you might have to hear things that are unflattering about yourself from your partner. Hearing another person speak about your shortcomings can be hard, but it helps you take accountability for your actions which, in turn, can strengthen your relationship. Couples therapy can help you learn things about yourself that you may not have uncovered in individual therapy. Working to change things for the positive can help you not only improve your relationship but also your everyday life. 

Consider online couples therapy

Online therapy is an available and convenient way to get the help you need to strengthen your relationship. Whether you have been married for decades or are just getting into a serious relationship, online couples therapy can help you communicate better so you can effectively work through issues as they arise. 

With online therapy, you don’t have to worry about commuting to an office or being on a waiting list for an available appointment. When you sign up, you can be matched with a qualified professional in as little as 48 hours so you can get started as soon as possible. You and your partner can attend sessions from anywhere you have an internet connection, making it easier to coordinate your schedules so you can make time to go together. Research shows that couples find they are able to connect with their therapist through online sessions and find the experience “beneficial and positive.” If you and your partner are ready to take the next step, sign up with Regain to get started.

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Couples therapy can change you and your relationship


Couples therapy can help you and your partner strengthen your relationship and learn how to communicate more effectively, but it can also help you learn more about yourself. Online therapy is a convenient and effective way to begin working with your partner. Reach out to a Regain therapist for more information.

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