Is Marriage Counseling Effective?
Published on April 2nd, 2015
Updated on January 2nd, 2024
Marriage counseling can help to prevent a costly and devastating divorce. It can help promote a healthy and trusting relationship in your marriage. This could benefit not only you and your spouse, but also your children and family as well. Marriage counseling could be just what you need. It can help you regain the happiness you and your partner once shared when you first fell in love. In fact, it may be the solution you are looking for.
Is your marriage on the rocks? Are you struggling to see eye to eye with your spouse? Are you thinking about separating from your partner but are struggling to decide if it is a good idea? If you answer yes to any of these questions, marriage counseling is a viable option to consider.
Effectiveness Of Marriage Counseling
Is marriage counseling effective? This is one of the most important questions that couples have. The answer is, it can be. With proper expectations and commitment to the process, marriage counseling can be effective.
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Keep in mind that ‘effective’ counseling does not always mean that it will save your marriage. Marriage counseling can help you to be sure that you try all options to keep your marriage healthy. It can also help to determine when a marriage is no longer healthy. In such situations, marriage counseling can help with your decision to separate. It can also give you and your spouse skills to separate amicably.
The efficacy of marriage counseling will depend on the length of time the couple has had problems before they seek help. The earlier that intervention is sought, the better the chances that the couple will mend their relationship. Early intervention therapy will allow the couple to develop new communication skills. These new communication skills will help them rebuild their relationship and start anew.
The longer a married couple waits before seeking therapy, the more challenging the experience will feel. This is because one or both parties may have already given up on the marriage. They may have also developed bad habits that will be challenging to reverse.
Types Of Marriage Counseling
Marriage counselors may use different techniques when working with couples. They will use methods that cater to the couple’s unique needs. Some marriage counselors may specialize in a specific type of couples therapy. Others may pull from different methods and therapeutic approaches.
Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT)
One effective form of couples therapy is emotionally focused therapy (EFT). This form of therapy has a high success rate. It is effective in helping couples who are suffering from marital discord.
EFT allows partners to work on their emotional response to challenges. They learn how to create different forms of communication to use with each other. This process helps to improve empathy and communication in a relationship.
EFT aids the partners in a marriage in understanding that their responses to issues may set the stage for their disagreements. It shows them that their reactivity instigates their fights. Bringing this pattern to light motivates the couple to learn methods of responding in more constructive ways. These constructive forms of communication foster a healthier and more positive relationship.
Another form of marriage counseling that has risen in popularity is the Gottman method. The Gottman method focuses on struggles in a relationship that stem from issues with:
Oftentimes a married couple will struggle with communicating effectively. Arguments and disagreements turn into fights against each other. This causes the couple to ignore the problem at hand and instead focus on being right or winning the fight. A kind of pattern like this can cause partners in a relationship to become defensive. As a result, they react by being critical, resentful and emotionally closed off.
The Gottman method can be useful for couples who resonate with this kind of experience. It takes a step by step process of promoting positive values in the relationship. It also teaches skills to strengthen communication and trust. This in turn, helps the couple work as a team against the issue they face.
When Couples Counseling Leads To Separation
It is important to keep in mind that not all experiences with marriage counseling end with a happy couple. Sometimes in marriage counseling a couple realizes they are not compatible.
Marriage counseling can lead a couple to see that their relationship is unhealthy. When the relationship is not sustainable, it is best for the couple to separate. While upsetting, this does not mean that anyone has failed.
Marriage counseling does not guarantee a healed partnership. Even though a happy ending is not guaranteed, marriage counseling can help a couple come to terms with a reality they struggle to face. A marriage counselor can be helpful even in the event that a relationship is deemed unhealthy or unsustainable. In such situations, a marriage counselor can provide coaching through the separation process.