Does Marriage Counseling Really Work?

Every couple goes through rough patches in their relationship. And unfortunately too many couples try to struggle through these rough patches on their own without trying marriage counseling. And a lot of couples never try marriage counseling because they’re just not it will work any better than what they can do for themselves. So they never realize all the many ways that marriage counseling can help heal and transform their marriage.

How do I Know if Marriage Counseling Will Work?

Everyone knows there are no guarantees in counseling. Even if you’ve done all your research and found a good marriage counselor there’s still no way of knowing whether it’s going to help your marriage or not. This makes a lot of couples nervous because they don’t want to spend the time, energy, and cost on something that’s not guaranteed to help. And for a lot of couples if their relationship is doomed anyway, they’d like to just get it over with and not drag it out further through marriage counseling.

Yes, Marriage Counseling Works!

It’s unfortunate that more couples don’t try marriage counseling because the simple truth is, yes it does work! Many couples who began marriage counseling doubtful and even suspicious often find it warm and healing. In marriage counseling the counselor helps couples discuss things they’ve normally only argued about. The counselor helps couples to stop reacting to each other in anger and actually try to connect with each other on deeper levels of understanding and appreciation. And when there’s a third party watching you, couples tend to behave and mind their manners more. This is perhaps one of the biggest ways marriage counseling helps because it ensures both parties are being polite to each other and actually talking. Not arguing. And when couples do fight or say hurtful things or get off topic the counselor is there to interrupt and re-focus back on important things.

Marriage counselors also have the education and knowledge of what makes successful couples. So on top of helping you discuss your difficulties without arguing about it or getting off topic they also know what things you should be talking about that will help you recreate romance, passion and friendship. They can guide you into these conversations and help these conversations go successfully.

Marriage Counselors also know what it takes to heal past damages. Even after they stop arguing and start getting along better, a lot of couples still feel hurt by past damages. This usually results in couples who get along better but are still distant, not as trusting and not as passionate for each other. Marriage counseling not only helps you get along better but helps you heal past wounds, too, so you can feel closer, connected and like a couple again.

Marriage Counseling Is Helpful for You, Even if You Don’t Stay Married

 
What a lot of people don’t realize is that marriage counseling is helpful even if you don’t stay married. So the notion a lot of couples have that if your marriage ends in divorce then your money spent on marriage counseling is wasted, is false. Marriage counseling also helps you understand yourself and your thoughts and needs. It helps you to see your own contributions to the difficulties in your marriage. And if your marriage ultimately ends in divorce, this helps you create another, stronger relationship because you have successfully addressed the difficulties you contributed to the relationship.
Marriage counseling is also helpful for you in that it helps you heal from the past. There is a grieving process that goes along with ending any relationship. All of the old hurt and pain caused from the relationship needs to heal and marriage counseling helps you do that before the marriage even ends. Plus, you fell in love with your spouse for a reason and a lot of those reasons are still there when you divorce. This makes it a lot harder to cut ties with your spouse and makes it a lot harder to grieve. Marriage counseling can help you address all that so you can heal faster and get on with your new, healthier life.

4 Responses to Does Marriage Counseling Really Work?

  1. Not all marriage counselors are created equal. There are many who profess to do "marital counseling" who have not had any training it or took a weekend seminar on something. This does not a marriage counselor make. Please look for someone who has a marriage and family therapy license. Many times, those individuals have had extensive training in systems work and may even have an advanced degree in marriage and/or family therapy.
    Bill Dougherty has a great article discussing just this idea. Its probably why people think that marriage counseling doesn't work…because people who are untrained in it are attempting to do it. Here is a link to the article by Bill Doughtery. http://www.smartmarriages.com/hazardous.html

    If you are looking for someone in your area, feel free to look at aamft.org for a therapist.

  2. Thank you Jenn Van! Couldn't agree with you more. It's a dangerous thing to go a "marriage counselor" who has only had a weekend training on marriage counseling. All couples should do their homework before picking a marriage counselor and pick a licensed marriage and family therapist or someone with equivalent training.

    And thank you for the link to Doherty's article. He's right on!

    Aaron

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