In This Article
In This Article
Life is full of challenges we need to overcome.
Relationships we have in our lives can make those challenges seem easy to overcome or overwhelming depending on what we receive in them.
Relationships can add to the existing stress in one’s life or become a source of comfort, joy, and inspiration. However, just like many things in life, they require constant investments and improvements.
Even when people are a great match and they get along pretty well, stress and everyday hardships can cause conflicts that may look impossible to resolve.
Couples counseling is there to help address and resolve relationship issues and improve the quality of the relationship and life.
It is a type of talk psychotherapy in which a counselor works with a couple on relationship challenges and conflicts to improve relationship satisfaction.
Through many therapeutic interventions, the counselor helps the couple get to the root cause of the issues and learn to communicate more effectively.
The theoretical orientation of the counselor can vary, but all types of couples therapy usually incorporate key elements like:
Types of couples counseling and their applications are not mutually exclusive, so your counselor will advise and practice a mix of any type and technique, which will suit you and your partner the most.
The counseling focuses on:
Couples counseling helps you thrive individually and as a couple to improve quality of life.
Couples who attend counseling before getting married have a higher rate of marital success. This has increased the number of couples going into pre-marital counseling.
How many couples go to marriage counseling? Statistics show that about 44 percent of engaged couples go to marriage therapy before getting married.
If you are wondering, when should you consider couples counseling, rest assured - anytime is an appropriate time.
Overall, the sooner you turn to therapy when the issues surface, the lower the stress and damage on the relationship will be. Sadly, many couples consider counseling when a substantial amount of damage is already done, and salvaging the relationship becomes quite a complex task.
When to seek couples counseling? Anytime is an adequate time to work on improving your relationship.
The critical question is does couples counseling work?
Statistics from the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapists reported that 98% were happy with the results. This doesn’t mean they resolved issues entirely, but 93% of them felt they obtained the tools to work on the relationship problems.
In general, there’s a little risk associated, but only for a short while.
It may be unpleasant at times, but it is nothing that can’t be overcome with the help of a professional.
Like many psychological processes, it has ups and downs you can experience. For therapy to be successful:
Unrealistic expectations can lead to impatience and premature abandonment of the process so couples should try to avoid them at any cost.
Finding the proper therapist can decrease all these risks.
An experienced therapist will lead the process to prevent burn-out and help you take on the right amount of challenge you can handle at the moment.
The initial sessions are routinely used for assessment and establishment of goals. For this, the therapists
Even though there might be individual work, the focus is on the couple as an entity.
After defining the problem that will represent the focus of the work, the therapist will encourage both partners to understand each of their roles in the dysfunctional interactions.
The therapist will give homework activities focused on behavior change.
The activity chosen must be something the couple can do together fairly regularly, and that encourages productive communication. These activities inspire intimacy and invite the couple to rediscover the happiness they enjoyed before.
Most couples stay in therapy for about a year, but there is no prescribed amount. Each couple will stay as long as they need to accomplish the goals they defined.
Here are the key takeaways:
There is a lot to gain from couples therapy.
However, it isn’t an easy process and being ready can increase the positive outcomes. So what can you do to prepare for couples counseling?
There are a few recommendations to consider:
We aren’t taught how to be in and work on our relationships.
We never opt to go for any special classes to work on relationship conflicts. So why couples counseling is a good idea? It’s because of the goals of couples therapy:
This is what counseling offers:
Couple counseling aids the couple to look at their problems from a different perspective.
A new perspective usually brings with it new solutions and options. Since therapy provides an environment in which there is no blame, the baggage from past conflicts becomes useful information for the prevention of future conflicts.
Counseling also allows couples to share their vulnerabilities and regain trust in each other’s capacity to support and console one another.
Past interactions may have eroded trust and reliance on one another.
During the counseling, the couple can have time and place dedicated to themselves and their relationship, in which they can reflect on their feelings and thoughts.
Finally, counseling helps the couple decides to continue investing in the relationship or clarify the reasons for separation. Either way, it helps the couple move from a standstill point.
One of the factors to consider and plan for is the price of the sessions.
Depending on the state, the average is $75 to $150 per hour for in-person sessions, while online couples counseling starts at around $50 per hour.
You can try searching for “free couples counseling near me.” You might be surprised by the options offered.
Ordinarily, free sessions would be offered by professionals under supervision searching for clients.
Also, Christian couples counseling may be offered by your local church for free. Inquire on the options possible before making the final decision.
A study showed that both husbands and wives placed money conflicts as having higher current and long-term importance to their relationship, in comparison to problems not related to money.
Therefore, consider the free assistance as an option to reduce further straining of the relationship bonds due to money problems.