What is marriage counseling therapy?

Marriage counseling helps couples of all types recognize and resolve conflicts and improve their relationships. Through marriage counseling, you can make thoughtful decisions about rebuilding and strengthening your relationship or going your separate ways.

The therapist will want to know the main problems you are experiencing, and what causes most of your stress within the relationship. Some aspects of relationship stress that may be discussed include parenting conflicts, intimacy issues, and communication issues (or other types of distress)

 

What percentage of marriage counseling is successful?

 

The American Association of Marriage and Family Therapists reports an overall success rate of 98%. The success of couples therapy and other factors contributes to a decreasing divorce rate in the United States.

What makes marriage counseling sessions useful?

 

Couples seek counseling when they want to improve their relationship or have become unhappy in their marriage. They may feel that their needs are not being heard or met or they might be stuck in unresolved conflicts. Many times, it feels like the relationship is stuck and they are repeating the same conversation and the same conflict over and over again. Couple’s therapy is useful in helping the couple move from a conflict situation to a more emotionally and intimately connected situation where needs are being met and problems are collaboratively and constructively solved. Even if the relationship is relatively good couples therapy be enormously beneficial in improving intimacy and connection and creating a more satisfying and fulfilling relationship in general.

Couples therapy creates a safe and neutral space for you and your partner to explore your relationship. Having a third party who is objective can help you say things to your spouse that you could not do just on your own. Even more important, an experienced couples therapist has worked with many couples like you so they can tell you what to expect from your marriage and what needs to change in order for you to have a different and better experience than you have at home. We know wondering what to expect from marriage counseling on your own can be daunting!

 

Process of couples Therapy

 

Couples therapists often employ an integrated approach to treatment, borrowing techniques from different forms of therapy, depending on your needs.

These are some of the strategies a couples therapist might employ:

  • Getting to know you - The therapist creates a sense of trust and safety by getting to know you and your partner. They work actively and collaboratively with you to help you understand yourself and your partner better

  • Identifying feelings - The therapist helps you and your partner identify different feelings and express them into better verbal communication to one another

  • Exploring the past - Couples therapy can involve exploring your past, since that can help you better understand your fears, motivations, and behaviors in a relationship. It can also help address unresolved conflicts that affect your present

  • Focusing on solutions - Your therapist will work with you and your partner to resolve issues, correct negative behavior patterns, and focus on positive aspects of the relationship. 

  • Teaching skills - Couples therapy can help teach you and your partner anger management, problem solving, and conflict resolution skills. The aim is to equip you and your partner with tools to help you deal with issues as they crop up

 

What Couples Therapy Can Help With

 

Couples therapy can give you and your partner the opportunity to discuss and resolve issues related to several aspects of your relationship, which can include:

  • Roles in the relationship - Couples therapy can help you examine the roles you and your partner play in the relationship and identify unhealthy dynamics. It can also help address differences in expectations.

  • Beliefs and values - Couples therapy can help you and your partner discuss your beliefs, values, and religious sentiments and the implications of these aspects on your daily lives.

  • Finances: Finances can be a major source of conflict in relationships. Couples therapy can help promote open dialogue and transparency around income and spending habits.

  • Time spent together - You and your partner can address issues that have been sabotaging your time together. You can discuss activities that you enjoy doing together and how to make time spent together more enjoyable.

  • Children - If you and your partner are not on the same page about whether or not you want to have children or how you would like to raise them, couples therapy can help you communicate these concerns. It can also help with stressors like difficulty conceiving or adopting children.

  • Familial relationships - Couples therapy can help you and your partner work out issues stemming from conflicts with other family members, like parents, children, and siblings.

  • Sex and intimacy: If you and your partner are having issues related to sex and intimacy, or infidelity, couples therapy can offer a safe space for you to share your feelings and needs.

  • Health issues - Physical or mental health illnesses can be hard on you and your partner. Couples therapy can help you deal with the stress it puts on your relationship.

  • External stressors - Therapy can also help you and your partner deal with conflicts caused by external factors, like work for instance, that can put stress on your relationship. (Verywellmind 2021)

 

Benefits of Couples Therapy 

Couples reported having more connection to their partner and their own feelings, as well as more secure, spontaneous, and playful in the relationship which helped to reconnect with their partner in a new way. When people in general feel secure in their relationships, they tend to venture about in different areas in their life and be more firm in their foundation.

Benefits of couples therapy include decrease in relationship distress and increased relationship satisfaction.

These are some of the benefits couples therapy can offer:

  • Understand each other better: Couples therapy can help you understand yourself and your partner better. It can help both of you express your feelings, hopes, fears, priorities, values, and beliefs.

  • Identify relationship issues: Your therapist can help you and your partner identify issues that are leading to recurring conflicts, lack of trust, and feelings of disconnection, says Mueller.

  • Improve communication skills: Therapy can help you and your partner communicate with each other. It can help you express yourself and ask for what you need without attacking or blaming your partner.

  • Resolve conflicts: Your therapist can help you and your partner work through your issues and resolve them.

  • Strengthen friendship and attachment: Couples therapy can help strengthen the friendship, attachment, bonding, and intimacy between you and your partner.

  • Terminate dysfunctional behavior: Your therapist can identify dysfunctional behaviors and help eliminate them.

  • Learn skills: Couples therapy is not a long-term form of therapy. Instead, it is a short-term therapy that aims to equip you and your partner with skills to help you prevent and manage conflicts that arise down the road.

 

Improve relationship satisfaction: Couples therapy can help improve the overall quality of your relationship, so that you and your partner are happier together. (Verywellmind 2021)

Virtual Marriage Counseling Available

Many online counseling platforms offer support to individuals and also couples who might actually prefer online-counseling rather than going into a counseling facility. Couples can benefit many ways from online therapy. In fact, many couples do find the idea of online therapy more appealing than sitting in an office. Especially with busy schedules during the week for couples, it will definitely save time and less hassle to drive to a counseling center. Since feeling more comfortable with the therapy format can make it easier to open up, they might get more out of therapy. Just like an in-person therapy, online therapists can discuss issues that couples might be going through.