What Is Couples Counseling?
Whether you call it marriage counseling, couples therapy, or relationship counseling, it is a method of helping two people get back on the right track when things go wrong. Having an objective, third party whose expertise is working with couples can help identify unresolved issues and sources of tension and anger.
More often than not couples seek out counseling to see if issues can be resolved before they think about separating. If children are involved there is even more motivation to explore reasons for discontent in the relationship. You love your wife, but can't stand the nagging. You love your husband but hate that he doesn't open up to you. These are issues that should be resolved so that you can grow together as a couple.
For many people who want to improve their relationship instead of simply giving it up, counseling is a solution. For some people the thought of counseling is worrisome. Who wants to spill their life story to a stranger? But counseling has helped millions of people to get their relationship back together.
What Happens During Couples Counseling?
Sessions usually last 50 minutes to an hour, and are a time for two people to come together to talk about the conflicts they are facing in their everyday life. Sometimes it's nothing more than opening the lines of communication. Other times, it’s a tool that is used to help get to the heart of the problem between the two of you, so that you can continue to live a happy life. Not only does it allow for an opportunity to communicate, but it also provides individuals with the tools necessary to make it happen.
For example, it may be important for you both to learn how to negotiate differences together. No two people will ever agree on everything. Relationship counseling can help you to improve the way that you both work around these problems. Other times there are outside elements that come into play. It may be that you need help solving problems with money, work or other issues.
You can use marriage counseling to address many specific issues, including:
• Communication problems
• Sexual difficulties
• Substance abuse
• Financial problems
• Conflicts about child rearing or blended families
•At The Center for Change day and evening appointments are available Monday-Friday.
Many couples have found that working with two therapists (one for each partner) can be cost and time efficient. One partner works with one therapist while the other partner works with another therapist. Please see our Accelerated Couples Therapy (ACT) page
for more information.
As sessions progress there is the built-in possibility of all four of you working together. This method can help maximize and expedite treatment, giving each individual specialized focus on his or her issues.
Above all else, you and your partner need to feel comfortable with the therapist with whom you are considering. You should feel like you can tell them anything, although this type of relationship may take a few sessions to develop. If you don't like the therapist's personality or style, chances are good that you won’t be able to work with them easily. An experienced, professional person that you feel confident in is the best person from whom to seek marriage counseling.