It’s one of the most common stereotypes of therapy – therapy that lasts forever. Yes, it’s true that back when psychology was a beginning field, therapists believed that psychotherapy was supposed to last a long time. In fact, people would spend years in therapy before they were “successfully treated”. So it makes sense that one of the most common questions people have about counseling is “How long does marriage counseling usually take?”.
How Long Does Marriage Counseling Usually take?
I understand why people have this question. When couples have difficulties you want them fixed fast.You don’t want to spend years and years trying to sort through marital problems before you can move forward in a happy relationship. So when couples ask me how long to expect marriage counseling to last, I usually hear a sigh of relief when I tell them “however long you need until you think your problems are fixed”.
You’re The One Who Decides When Counseling is Done
4 Key Signs of Successful Marriage Counseling
3) You’re Able to Let Go of Past Hurt. Every time a couple goes to therapy, they feel emotionally hurt by past damages. One of the tasks of therapy is to address these hurts and repair them. A lot of times couples stop creating new damages but don’t effectively heal the old ones. One key sign of being ready to terminate marriage counseling is when you no longer feel as resentful or angry about the past damages and are able to look forward to new things together.
4) You Feel Like Your Relationship is New. When couples have difficulties in their marriage, it’s usually because they’ve usually exposed a vulnerability in their relationship. A vulnerability is something about you, your partner or your relationship that makes your relationship weak. When couples fix this vulnerability in their relationship, a lot of them mention how their relationship feels new in a lot of ways. They’ve never had a relationship where this vulnerability didn’t exist. This is a great sign that your problem is fixed and you’re ready to successfully terminate marriage counseling.
Take as Long as You Need…But Not Too Long.
Couples should take as long as they feel comfortable in marriage counseling to get their difficulties fixed. But that doesn’t mean you should plan on it lasting forever. Every couple has problems and could spend a lifetime in therapy if they wanted to. But when couples have difficulties, they usually just need a little re-direction to get their marriage back on track. After that, most couples are resourceful enough (and have also learned enough new things in counseling ) to help them through the rest.