Marriage Counseling, or Couples Counseling, is a service offered to people in a committed relationship who may be considering separation or are just looking for a way to enhance their intimacy. During the counseling process the relationship is what is addressed and enhanced through each partner’s focus on personal improvement and self awareness.
There are many reasons that a couple would seek out qualified counselling. In cases of infidelity and sexual dissatisfaction as well as strained communications or power struggles. Although it is always best to address any signs of discontentment early on, it is a statistical fact that most couples don’t seek counsel until they dissatisfaction has run for over six years, more’s the pity.
After dissatisfaction has become the norm, it is very difficult to resolve the issues that initially brought about the dissatisfaction. In many cases couples seek marriage counselling in order to end the relationship as amicably and respectfully as possible.
An effective course of therapy will specifically address many different aspects of the relationship, although the communications department will come under the greatest focus; Ö from whence come warsÖ, and all that. After a few years (or months) of committing to conflict avoidance or worse yet heated debates and desperate power struggles, the diplomatic process begins to crumble and once communications have ceased the only thing left is to stockpile resentment and bitterness.
Many experts in the field of relationships, social sciences and couples counseling claim that it is that inability to make up and resolve issues that is the largest opposing factor to happiness and marital success.
By the same measure, the vital first steps toward a happy relationship are learning how to control emotional states, keep cool and build productive communication skills that engender clarity and confidence. Counselling is often the catalyst that renews the diplomatic process and reminds couples just how in love with each other they really are.
What Can We Expect From Marriage Counselling?
The success and failure of counseling depends largely on the commitment of those involved to the process of rebuilding and dedicating themselves. Couples will learn how they can better communicate and that begins with learning to listen and find ways to support their partner. Each person involved will take a deeper look into their own role in the relationship.
Marriage counselling can also be looked at as an upgrade; a way to enhance a relationship in a particular way that you and your partner feel may be lacking in your relationship.
There are often conflicts in counseling sessions as many opinions, facts and perspectives may be revealed that can be a shock to preconceived ideas, but an ethical counselor will be there to keep the conflict goal oriented and not add to the drama by taking sides.
How Long Does Counseling Last?
Marriage counseling is often conducted in a once-a-week session. Of course, this is subject to change according to specific goals and needs of each couple or if the sessions are individual or group therapy sessions. Other therapists may suggest individual counseling sessions to either partner or provide individual sessions on request.
Although the healing and rebuilding process does take time, counseling itself is not necessarily that time-consuming and usually continues as long as the couple feels that it is a benefit to their relationship or until a resolution is reached.
Studies on the changes in satisfaction levels in couples who have undergone therapy indicate that 48% reported vast improvement or even complete reconciliation five years after therapy. 38% of couples reported a deterioration in their relationship and 14% say their relationship has neither improved nor gotten worse.
What Should I Look For In A Therapist?
Finding a qualified therapist that makes a vital connection with the couple gaining their trust and providing productive insights into the relationship is one of the key factors to the success of the the therapy. This can be a tough decision as there is a plethora of therapists with very high qualifications. Check your local listings for therapists who may specialize or have extensive experience in the particular issues your relationship may be suffering, such as overbearing relatives, co-dependency or sexual inhibitions.
Counselors who specialize in relationships and couples counseling will probably have a MFT license (Marriage and Family Therapist License).