Does marriage counseling work? Is it worth it? What to expect from marriage counseling? When to seek marriage counseling? What are the benefits of marriage counseling? If you are wondering about any of these questions and what marriage counseling is all about, you are not alone.
While the answer may not be black and white, we can tell you how it works and why it has helped many couples. To further help you understand how couples therapy works or how does couples counseling work, let’s first establish what constitutes marriage counseling.
What is marriage counseling?
Marriage counseling, which is also often called couples therapy, is a specialty within psychotherapy. Through couples therapy, marriage and family therapists help couples understand conflicts and issues in marriage so that they can improve their relationships.
During counseling, you and your spouse would learn to resolve your conflicts, communicate better, understand your differences, negotiate your expectations, and improve your relationship.
Though both spouses usually work with the therapist, some may have to go individually (if your partner does not want to attend). That is okay, and therapists are trained to be able to help the relationship even though both partners are not present.
The marriage counselors or the marriage therapist’s recommendations for resolving the issues in marriage depend on the specific situation because no two couples or relationships are alike, even though there are common issues that a lot of couples face.
Marriage counseling is often not a lengthy process, however, the length and frequency of treatment would be contingent upon the status of your relationship.
Why consider marriage counseling?
It may seem silly or embarrassing to ask for outside help in dealing with issues in your marriage. Not everyone is comfortable discussing their private affairs with a stranger and some even worry that couples counseling means that they’ve failed in their marriage. This is not at all the case.
A trained professional can offer objective insight into your relationship issues and see things that a couple may be having trouble seeing on their own.
Many times a couple will keep having the same arguments over and over without knowing how to get to the root of what’s causing the argument in the first place.
The following are a few reasons to consider marriage counseling although this is not an exhaustive list:
You keep having the same argument over again
Your spouse has cheated on you
You’ve had an affair or are considering having one
Check out this video of certified relationship expert Mary Kay Cocharo talking about tackling a relationship problem:
Does marriage counseling work
For the most part, yes, marriage counseling does work. If both of you want the marriage and love each other, then marriage counseling can be successful. A willingness to work at your marriage and open up to a professional is a big part of successful counseling.lem
The great thing about marital counseling is that it can help you whether you’re dealing with a major hurdle or mundane issues.
It also doesn’t have to be a last resort or something you turn to only when one of you is ready to call it quits; it can help a newly married couple that’s just looking for tools for a good marriage or a couple that’s been together a while and wants to stay that way.
Marriage counseling works because it offers couples:
An opportunity to discuss your issues free of judgment
The treatment used by marriage therapists and counselors is often evidence-based, meaning that it has been tested and proven to be beneficial. So does this mean that you’ll have a perfect marriage after counseling?
No, since there is no such thing as a perfect marriage no matter how compatible two people may be.
Marriage counseling doesn’t guarantee that you will learn to trust your spouse again after infidelity or that you’ll be able to compromise on a major issue in the relationship.
What it will do is give you the best opportunity possible for the best resolution, which for some couples, unfortunately, may be parting ways. The silver lining for these couples is knowing that they did all they could so they can move on to a happier and healthier place.
For others it can mean a stronger and more loving relationship, knowing how to argue in a healthier and more productive way, and having the tools to manage recurring issues.
Choosing a marriage counselor
The marriage counseling success rate is partially dependent on the degree of commitment from each partner and finding & choosing a compatible marriage counselor.
Finding the right marriage counselor might appear to be a daunting task, however, following these simple steps can help you:
Search for marriage counselors near you, either through recommendations, searching credible directories, or through the internet.
Make sure to check every counselor’s credentials and certificates.
Discuss, schedules, expectations, and therapy fees before opting for a particular therapist.
Compare treatment strategies, qualifications, and counseling costs of different therapists.
Finally, trust your instincts! A counselor with whom you feel the most at ease is usually the right choice.
Remember that marriage counseling is not only meant for couples who have a troubled marriage, it is a tool that can help any married couple, be it new or old.
Marriage counseling is no different than going for your regular doctor’s appointment, cause every marriage or relationship needs a check-up every now and then.
If you feel disconnected or frustrated about the state of your marriage but want to avoid separation and/or divorce, the marriage.com course meant for married couples is an excellent resource to help you overcome the most challenging aspects of being married.
Sylvia Smith loves to share insights on how couples can revitalize their love lives in and out of the bedroom. As a writer at Marriage.com, she is a big believer in living consciously and encourages couples to adopt this principle in their lives too. Sylvia believes that every couple can transform their relationship into a happier, healthier one by taking purposeful and wholehearted action.