Have you been thinking about marriage counseling? Maybe you have heard that it is fantastic, perhaps you have friends that didn’t benefit from it at all, or maybe you have heard both things. It’s hard to figure out if it is going to help you by listening to a couple of people who have mixed reviews on the practice.
If the question of how effective is marriage counseling is keeping you from taking the next step and actually attending a session, I have put together some questions and answers that may help you make the decision.
What to Expect From Marriage Counseling
To get a real idea of how effective marriage counseling will be for you, let’s talk a look at the questions that couples usually ask before deciding to begin counseling. Do note though that some of these questions are directed to the couples themselves.
How does marriage counseling work?
Marriage counseling, or couples therapy, is a type of therapy that is provided by a licensed therapist. This therapy is typically short term, but not always.
Many people choose to have counseling during times of conflict. However, many people also attend counseling sessions at the beginning of a marriage to prevent future conflicts.
Marriage counseling most often includes both partners. However, one partner may choose to do counseling on their own.
This therapy is to help couples learn to recognize conflicts or concerns and also helps them learn to resolve said conflicts. Through counseling, couples can learn how to take the right steps together when it comes to strengthening or rebuilding their relationship.
Marriage counseling is also a tool that helps couples go about separating healthily if separation is in the best interest of the couple.
Why are people skeptical about counseling?
Marriage counseling success rates today are at about 70%, which is excellent! However, it is understandable to expect complaints and skepticism from those that it doesn’t end up helping. Hearing from these people how marriage counseling didn’t help them often leads others to be fearful of the same thing.
Additionally, there are still a good number of people in this world who are uncomfortable with the idea of counseling. That means that these people either remain skeptical of it and don’t go, or they go, but without opening themselves up to the point that would be therapeutically beneficial.
Who won’t benefit from marriage counseling?
There are several situations in which you can expect marriage counseling not to be effective.
- Those who are not willing to work on their marriage will likely not find success with counseling. Marriage is a commitment, which requires work. If you are not willing to put in the work, there is no reason to attempt counseling.
- Those in abusive relationships. Someone who is emotionally or physically abusive to their partner needs to recognize their behavior and be willing to change it for counseling to be of any use to them.
What will strengthen my chances for counseling success?
Be willing to learn and change if necessary. Attending counseling is a crucial step in your willingness to learn new skills as it relates to your relationship. You need to continue with that willingness to receive the most success in marriage counseling.
Recognize that your spouse is a partner and not an opponent. It is not “you vs. them”, it is “how can we work together to fix this?”
Forget being offended. Counseling is real, and it is often raw. You have to be willing to listen to your spouse share and not take offense to the things that are said.
Instead, you need to be ready to acknowledge what they are saying and work together to find a solution. It’s not about being the battle, but the team. Similarly, you need to be willing to accept responsibility for conflicts when they arise.
The reality is that no, marriage counseling won’t help everyone, but there is an excellent chance that it can help you. You just have to know the right questions and be prepared to answer them the right way before you begin your therapy.
Are you ready to see what marriage counseling can do for you?