Typical mental health symptoms addressed in individual sessions are anxiety or depression. Many clients I have seen deal with excessive worries about their careers, partners, or life in general. Others may have depressive symptoms like sleeplessness or oversleeping, getting tired easily, loss of interest in their hobbies they used to enjoy, or general sadness. It is quite common to have both depressive and anxiety symptoms together. Although individual therapy is in general focusing on one’s mental health issues, it is also used to address or provide effective solutions/skills to improve couples’ or familial relationships.
Instead of focusing on individual’s mental health symptoms, such as depression or anxiety, couples’ sessions are scheduled when both partners are ready to commit to attending sessions together to discuss about their relational concerns to improve their relationship. Therefore, when there is an individual mental health symptom, it is usually recommended for the partner to start individual therapy to help manage his or her own mood symptoms which will not likely be addressed as in depth or effectively in Couples’ Therapy. It is customary that individuals’ mental health symptoms are not exclusively treated as Couples’ Therapy is to focus on the two partners’ relationship rather than individual’s clinical mental health diagnosis. Therefore, starting a Couples Therapy requires commitment from both partners as the session will not be held without the both partners being present in the session.