Marriage Counseling

1 What is a Marriage Counseling?

A type of psychotherapy is called marriage counseling or couples therapy. In doing this, you and your partner can make thoughtful decisions about how to rebuild your relationship and can help in recognizing and resolving conflicts and to improve their relationship, even when you are both going your separate ways.

This is done by a licensed therapist known as marriage and family therapists and these therapists have a degree in this particular area. Most of them are credentialed by the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT).

Marriage counseling must include both partners but sometimes one partner chooses to work with a therapist alone, and this is often short time. Your therapist will evaluate the situation so he/she can give the specific treatment.

2 Reasons for Procedure

Here are the most common reasons to undergo a marriage counseling.

Marriage counseling can help couples in all types of intimate relationships such as married people or not, heterosexual or homosexual.

This counseling can help couples who plan to get married and also to strengthen their bonds and gain a better understanding of each other.

To achieve a deeper understanding of each other and to see the differences before marriage is the main goal of premarital counseling.

To improve a troubled relationship is another reason why people seek marriage counseling.

You can have a marriage counseling if:

  • You have sexual difficulties.
  • You have communication problems.
  • You have substance abuse.
  • You have conflicts child rearing or blended families.
  • Both of you have financial problems.
  • Infidelity of one or both partners.
  • Anger to each other.

This can be used for domestic abuse. Contact the police or crisis center or local shelter as soon as possible if the violence has escalated.

3 Potential Risks

The risks of marriage counseling include:

  • Issues about the therapist such as his/her experience, skill set, the belief system of that person and values.
  • Revelations about you and your partner, because both of you will learn things about yourselves, good or bad things, and this may reveal flaw or crack in the foundation of your marriage.

4 Preparing for your Procedure

There is no need to prepare for the marriage counseling. The first thing to do is find a licensed therapist.

You can ask your family doctor if he could refer someone to you and your partner.

You can also ask recommendations from your family, friends, employee assistance program, local or state mental health agencies or your clergy.

After finding the therapist, you must consider whether the therapist would be a good fit for you and your partner before scheduling sessions with the therapist.

Some of the questions that you can ask include:

  • What is your educational and training background?
  • Are you credentialed by the AAMFT?
  • Are you licensed by the state?
  • Do you have any experiences with my situation?
  • Where is your office located?
  • What are your working hours?
  • How many sessions should we have?
  • How long would each session have? 
  • Are your services covered by my insurance?

5 What to Expect

Here you can find out what to expect from your marriage counseling.

You will learn skills to solidify your relationship and it will bring couples or partners together for joint therapy sessions during marriage counseling.

These skills might include communicating openly, solving problems together and discussing differences rationally. As you pinpoint and better understand the sources of your conflicts, you will evaluate both the good and bad parts of your relationship.

Marriage counseling is not that easy because you are going to talk or discuss your problems. You and your partner might bring your fights with you, sometimes even arguing or yelling in front of the therapist or both of you might pass in silence as you and your partner see the over perceived wrongs.

To help you cope with the resulting emotions and turmoil, your therapist will act as mediator. Your therapist can also work with other health care providers to provide a complete spectrum of treatment if you or your partner is coping with substance abuse, mental illness or other issues.

It will be more challenging to mend a relationship when only one partner is willing to go to therapy because sometimes one refuses to attend marriage counseling sessions. Your situation will be the basis of your treatment plan. Mostly this is short term.

You may need marriage counseling for several months, particularly if your relationship has greatly deteriorated or you may only need a few sessions to help you weather a crisis.

In some cases, couples will end their relationship because they will discover their irreconcilable differences. Seeking help is more effective than ignoring your problems or hoping they get better on their own that is why you should opt for marriage counseling.

6 Procedure Results

If you do not understand your marriage counseling results, consult with your doctor.

Some of the benefits of marriage counseling include:

  • You will learn how to be assertive without being offensive.
  • You will learn how to state your needs openly and clearly without anger or resentment.
  • You will learn how to resolve problems in a healthy manner.
  • You will understand your spouse/partner more and also his/her needs.
  • You will learn that you have to work through hard times.