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Marriage Counseling: How It works, Who Is It For, When To Consider

marriage counseling

Marriage counseling, also known as couples therapy, is a type of counseling that helps couples deal with issues in their relationship. It can be very helpful for couples who are struggling. And who wants to work through their problems.

In this blog post, we will discuss what marriage counseling is, who it is for, when to consider it, how it works. And how effective it is. We will also hear from experts and learn about some movies and books that feature marriage counseling.

Understanding Marriage Counseling

marriage counseling

Marriage counseling is a type of therapy that helps couples work through issues in their relationship. It can be very helpful for couples who are struggling and want to improve their relationship.

Counselors who specialize in marriage counseling help couples understand each other better, communicate more effectively, and resolve conflicts. They may also help couples explore different ways to improve their relationship.

Who Is It For

Marriage counseling is for couples who are struggling in their relationship. It can be helpful for couples who want to improve their communication and resolve conflicts.

Couples who are considering marriage counseling should have a strong, healthy relationship. If one or both of the couple is not interested in working on the relationship, then marriage counseling may not be helpful.

NOTE: It is generally not meant for couples who are happily married and have no issues in their relationship.

When To Consider It

Couples should consider marriage counseling if they are experiencing any of the following problems:

  • Emotional abuse: If one or both partners are emotionally abusive, marriage counseling can help the couple get help and stop the abuse.
  • Conflict: If couples are constantly arguing and cannot resolve their conflicts, marriage counseling can help them learn how to communicate better and resolve conflicts.
  • Infidelity: If one or both partners have been unfaithful, marriage counseling can help the couple work through the betrayal and rebuild trust.
  • Communication problems: If couples are having difficulty communicating with each other, marriage counseling can help them learn how to communicate more effectively.
  • Financial problems: If couples are having financial difficulties, marriage counseling can help them find ways to manage their money more effectively.
  • Parenting issues: If couples are having difficulty raising their children, marriage counseling can help them learn how to communicate better and resolve conflicts.

Types of Marriage Counseling

There are different types of marriage counseling, and each one is tailored to meet the needs of the couple. However, the most common types of marriage counseling are:

  • Behavioral couples therapy: This type of counseling helps couples change problematic behaviors that contribute to their conflicts.
  • Interpersonal couples therapy: This type of counseling helps couples understand how their relationship affects them individually.
  • Emotion-focused couples therapy: This type of counseling helps couples deal with the emotions that contribute to their conflicts.
  • Structural couples therapy: This type of counseling helps couples resolve conflicts by changing the structure of their relationship.
  • Systemic couples therapy: This type of counseling helps couples understand how their relationship interacts with their family and social systems.

History, And Development

Marriage counseling has a long history. And it has been practiced in many different cultures. In the United States, this counseling began in the early 1900s. It was first used to help couples who were experiencing marital problems.

In the:

  • 1950s, marriage counseling became more popular. And it began to be used as a way to resolve conflicts and improve relationships.
  • 1970s, marriage counseling began to be used as a way to help couples who were experiencing marital problems caused by infidelity.
  • 1980s, marriage counseling began to be used as a way to help couples who were experiencing marital problems caused by addiction.

Today, marriage counseling is used to help couples who are experiencing a variety of marital problems.

Attending Marriage Counseling Session

couple counseling

When couples attend their first couple counseling session, they will usually meet with the counselor for an assessment. The counselor will ask them a variety of questions about their relationship. And he/she will ask you to complete a couple of questionnaires.

The purpose of this assessment is to get a better understanding of the couple’s problems and to develop a treatment plan. The treatment plan may include individual counseling, couples counseling, or a combination of both.

How It Works

During a typical couple counseling session, the counselor will meet with the couple for 50 minutes. The couple will sit in separate chairs and will talk about their relationship. The counselor will listen to both partners and will provide feedback.

The counselor may also provide exercises for the couple to do outside of the counseling session. These exercises can help the couple learn more about themselves and their relationship.

Exercises Counselors Provide

Some of the exercises that counselors provide include:

  • The couple’s story: This exercise helps couples understand how they got to where they are today.
  • The positive and negative cycles: This exercise helps couples identify the negative patterns in their relationship and find ways to break them.
  • The four horsemen of the apocalypse: This exercise helps couples identify the four behaviors that can destroy a relationship.
  • The emotional bank account: This exercise helps couples understand how they feel about each other and how they give and receive love.

How Effective Is It

Studies have shown that such counseling is effective in helping couples resolve their conflicts and improve their relationship. In fact, the divorce rate for couples who attend marriage counseling is about 50 percent lower than the divorce rate for couples who do not attend counseling.

Risks of Marriage Counseling

There are some risks associated with marriage counseling. These risks include, the couple may not be/:

  • ready to commit to the counseling process.
  • able to resolve their conflicts.
  • Become more resentful of each other.

Finding a Marriage Counselor

marriage counseling

If you have an interest in finding a marriage counselor, there are a few things that you should keep in mind.

  • First, you should make sure that the counselor is licensed and certified.
  • Second, you should make sure that the counselor has experience working with couples.
  • Third, you should make sure that the counselor is a good fit for you and your partner. You should feel comfortable communicating with the counselor. And feel like they understand your relationship.
  • Fourth, you should ask the counselor about their approach to counseling. Make sure that their approach is compatible with your beliefs and values.

Types of Marriage Counselors

There are a variety of different types of marriage counselors.

  • Some counselors specialize in working with couples who have experienced infidelity.
  • Other counselors specialize in working with couples who have experienced addiction.
  • Still, other counselors specialize in working with couples who have experienced abuse.

NOTE: When considering a marriage counselor, it is important to make sure that they specialize in the type of counseling that you need.

Terminating Marriage Counseling

marriage counseling

Couples usually attend marriage counseling for a period of time. And then they terminate their sessions. However, some couples continue to attend this counseling even after their problem is not anymore.

If you are considering terminating your counseling; it is important to talk to your counselor about your decision. Your counselor can help you determine if your problem is now no more. And if you are ready to terminate it.

If one or both partners decide that they no longer want to participate in counseling. Then the counselor will help them terminate the counseling. This process usually includes completing a termination questionnaire. It then follows a meeting with the counselor to discuss the decision.

NOTE: The length of time that couples spend in counseling varies. Some couples attend a few sessions, while others attend counseling for several months.

Hearing From Experts

To get a better understanding of marriage counseling, we quote here two experts: Dr. Fran Walfish and Dr. John Gottman.

  • Dr. Fran Walfish is a psychotherapist who has been working with couples for more than 30 years.
  • Dr. John Gottman is a psychologist who has been working with couples for more than 40 years.

Here’s what they had to say about marriage counseling:

“Couples come into therapy to learn how to communicate better, understand each other’s needs and feelings, set appropriate limits and boundaries, and resolve conflict in a healthy way.” -Dr. Fran Walfish

“Couples come to therapy for many reasons. Some couples are struggling with communication and need help learning how to talk to each other about difficult topics. Other couples may be dealing with infidelity, trust issues, or different levels of commitment.” -Dr. John Gottman

Movies And Books

If you have an interest in learning more about this counseling, there are a few movies and books that you can watch or read.

  • The movie “The Break-Up” is a great example of how couples can struggle to communicate with each other.
  • The book “Getting the Love You Want” is a great resource for couples who want to learn how to communicate better.

Conclusion

Marriage counseling is a process that can help couples resolve their problems and improve their relationship. If you are considering this counseling, it is important to make sure that the counselor is licensed and certified.

You should also make sure that the counselor has experience working with couples. And you should make sure that the counselor is a good fit for you and your partner.

A Word From Therapy Mantra

Your mental health — Your psychological, emotional, and social well-being — has an impact on every aspect of your life. Positive mental health essentially allows you to effectively deal with life’s everyday challenges.

At TherapyMantra, we have a team of therapists who provide affordable online therapy to assist you with issues such as depression, anxiety, stress, workplace Issues, addiction, relationship, OCD, LGBTQ, and PTSD. You can book a free therapy or download our free Android or iOS app.