Navigating Couples Therapy When Your Partner Isn’t on the Same Page

Deciding to seek couples psychotherapy can be a significant step toward improving your relationship. When you opt for the modality of Transactional Analysis (TA), it demonstrates your commitment to understanding and resolving issues in a healthy and constructive manner. However, what happens when you’re all in, but your partner isn’t on the same page? Challenges in couples therapy like this can be overcome and could be the start of sorting things out.

Open Communication

Start by having an open and honest conversation with your partner about your desire to pursue TA couples psychotherapy. Clearly express your reasons for wanting to do so and listen to their concerns and reservations. Encourage your partner to share their perspective, and try to empathise with their feelings.

Education and Information

Share information about TA therapy and what to expect with your partner. Provide resources, books, or articles that explain what TA is and how it can benefit couples. This knowledge might help alleviate some of their concerns or misconceptions about the therapy.

Respect Their Decision

It’s essential to respect your partner’s choice if they are not willing to engage in TA couples therapy at this time. Understand that therapy should be a mutual decision, and pushing your partner into it may lead to resistance and resentment.


While you may have initially sought therapy as a couple, you can still embark on individual therapy in the modality of TA. Working on your own issues can have a positive impact on your relationship, and your partner may eventually be inspired to join you.

Patience and Understanding

Remember that everyone progresses at their own pace. Be patient with your partner and try to understand their concerns. Encourage open dialogue and revisit the topic periodically, as their perspective may evolve over time.

Setting Boundaries

If your partner’s unwillingness to participate in TA therapy is causing significant strain on your relationship, it may be helpful to establish clear boundaries and expectations about how you’ll navigate these differences.

Seek Mediation

If your relationship issues are severe, consider seeking the assistance of a professional mediator or relationship coach. They can help facilitate communication between you and your partner and guide you toward mutually beneficial solutions.


While you’re waiting for your partner’s decision or working through your own issues, don’t neglect self-care. Maintaining your emotional and mental well-being is essential, regardless of your partner’s choices.

Ultimately, the decision to pursue couples psychotherapy in the modality of Transactional Analysis should be a joint one. If your partner is not initially open to the idea, it’s important to respect their boundaries and proceed with understanding and patience. Over time, with open communication and the right approach, they may come to see the benefits of TA therapy for your relationship. In the meantime, remember that self-work and self-care can still bring about positive changes within your partnership.


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What To Expect in Couples Therapy

Couples psychotherapy can be a transformative journey, offering couples a chance to address their challenges, enhance communication, and foster a healthier, more fulfilling relationship. When it comes to the modality of transactional analysis, expect a unique and insightful approach that delves into the dynamics of your relationship. If you are considering couples therapy, the following information will tell you a bit more about what to expect in couples therapy in the framework of transactional analysis.

Understanding Transactional Analysis

Transactional analysis is a psychotherapy approach that focuses on interpersonal interactions and communication patterns within relationships. TA was developed by Eric Berne and is based on the idea that individuals engage in transactions, or social exchanges, which can be analysed to better understand behaviour and relationships. When applied to couples therapy, it helps partners recognise and change unproductive patterns of interaction.

The Initial Assessment

Your journey in couples therapy begins with an initial assessment. The therapist will meet with you both to gather information about your relationship history, concerns, and goals. This stage is crucial to establish trust and a therapeutic alliance between the couple and the therapist.

Exploring Life Scripts

In transactional analysis, life scripts are ingrained beliefs and patterns of behaviour that we develop early in life. During therapy, you and your partner will explore your individual life scripts and how they impact your relationship. This deep introspection can be eye-opening and help you gain insight into your dynamics.

Analysing Ego States

Transactional analysis identifies three ego states: Parent, Adult, and Child. Understanding these ego states in both yourself and your partner is a fundamental aspect of couples therapy in this modality. It allows you to recognise when you and your partner are operating from different states and how this influences your interactions.

Transactional Patterns

A core focus in transactional analysis couples therapy is analysing the transactions between you and your partner. Are you engaging in complementary transactions, where you reinforce each other’s ego states, or are you caught in crossed transactions, leading to miscommunication and conflict? Identifying these patterns is essential for facilitating change.

Contracting for Change

Once the therapist and the couple have a comprehensive understanding of the relationship dynamics, they work together to create a contract for change. This contract outlines the specific goals and objectives of therapy, as well as the commitments both partners are willing to make to achieve these goals.

Ongoing Work

Couples therapy using transactional analysis is not a quick fix but a process that requires ongoing effort and commitment. Expect to engage in exercises and discussions that challenge your existing communication patterns and encourage healthier interactions.

In summary, couples psychotherapy in the modality of transactional analysis provides an opportunity for couples to gain a deeper understanding of their relationship dynamics, change unproductive patterns, and ultimately enhance their connection. It’s a journey of self-discovery and improved communication that can lead to a more fulfilling and harmonious partnership. If you and your partner are considering couples therapy, transactional analysis may be the transformative approach you’ve been searching for.

How To Spot Emotional Abuse

Never feeling good enough. Doubting yourself and wondering where you have gone wrong. Walking on eggshells. Watching what you say and changing your behaviour to avoid being reprimanded. If any of these sounds familiar, you may be experiencing emotional abuse.

Emotional abuse, also known as psychological abuse can cover any type of non-physical abuse including control, manipulation, bullying or verbal abuse. It is a way of psychologically manipulating a victim and in a relationship it can be like a slow drip feed, incessant and insidious and has the aim of wearing you down, stripping away your personality and everything you thought you knew about yourself, leaving behind a shell of a person. It is not limited to romantic relationships either, any relationship can be affected including friendships, family or professional relationships.

While there may often be visible signs of physical abuse, emotional abuse is more subtle and often harder to identify. It is nonetheless as devastating in a relationship as other forms of abuse. Many victims report not really understanding or appreciating that they have been a victim of emotional abuse until after the fact. It may take time to sufficiently recognise the abuse you have felt subjected to. A key aspect to consider is how you feel in the relationship. Red flags to look out for are if you feel like you are being manipulated, you don’t feel able to speak your mind or you modify your actions to accommodate someone else. Ask yourself whether you feel like you are being yourself when you are with this person? If you feel in some way out of sync and wondering about your own sanity, there might be something more serious to look in to.

“But it’s for your own good”

Abusers often blame their victims and act as if they have no idea why you are upset. You may be convinced that what you are experiencing is for your own good, that you perhaps don’t know what is good enough for yourself and need someone else to help you figure this out. You may feel guilty, ashamed and silenced by the feeling of having gotten something wrong, or missed something that was supposedly very good for you.

A victim may also experience a loving side to their partner amongst episodes of emotional abuse and they may forget or deny the abusive behaviours. The ‘bad stuff’ can sometimes be rationalised in distorted ways to justify what is going on. You start to question yourself and wonder whether you can trust your own judgement or perceptions. Your self-esteem starts to chip away and the lines between what feels like reality and doubt are blurred. Before long you feel you are losing your mind.

Get the support you need

In recent years there has been a massive shift in the way we talk about emotional abuse. Terms such as “coercive control” and “gaslighting” are more widely used and and are taken more seriously. Coercive control was also recognised as a criminal offence in 2015. People are talking about it more and there is help and support on offer.

If any of the above resonates in any way or you want to talk through your experiences, contact a professional. Get the support you need to make sense of what you are going through. You may have slowly lost sight of who you are but there’s always scope to turn it around. You can regain control over your own life.


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