Often prospective clients call to say that their partner refuses to come to couples therapy and want advice about what to do. I suggest that they start the process of therapy individually. The first stage of therapy is assessment. So, you would come in and present the current problems in the relationship, then describe how you met. We will spend some time talking about your personal history in order to get to know you well. You will fill out a questionnaire that assesses the degree of happiness or unhappiness you feel in the relationship. Then you take a “Divorce Predictor” test. The next series of questionnaires identify couples problems and how well you both are doing in solving them. Finally, the next group of questionnaires assess the foundation of the relationship, the problem-solving skills, difficulties, and their consequences. The last group questionnaires identify the couples shared meanings and symbolic path they may have taken together. The assessment provides you with an understanding of your strengths as a couple and the areas that need improvement. Without your partner present to mend what has become broken, you may suggest to your partner that they also just go through an assessment so that they can be heard and to learn a few immediate helpful techniques in managing negativity.
I hope you find this helpful.