Can marriage counselling help my relationship?
Couples are generally not that thrilled to pay a stranger to help them navigate the internal terrain of their most intimate relationship, so if you’re concerned about whether you need marriage counselling and if it actually works, these are good and valid questions to be asking. I want to help you gain some clarity about marriage counselling and the confidence to then make the decision if this will be helpful to you and your relationship.
It is possible that your next step is NOT marriage counselling and that’s ok too. It’s really not surprising that you’re confused because there is a lot of really bad and misleading advice online about marriage counselling. Most of it is designed to hype books and downloadable courses that are of little or no value, usually created by people who have no suitable qualifications or experience. The general theme is that marriage counselling does not work or that it will endanger your relationship. Nothing could be further from the truth!
Overwhelming evidence that marriage counselling helps
The evidence demonstrates that an overwhelming 97% of couples are helped by marriage counselling, provided, and this is a big provision, that the therapist they see is a qualified couple counsellor or family therapist. That means that they have undergone extensive post-graduate training in couples counselling and/or systemic family therapy. In addition to the academic training, they should also have thousands of hours of fully supervised experience working specifically with couples. The research tells us that the quality of the therapist, and their therapeutic relationship with you, is as important, if not more important than the therapy being provided.
Studies show that outcomes of marriage counselling result in about 60-70% of couples who enter therapy deciding to remain together in their relationship and about 30-40% deciding to either end the relationship or take time out to consider how best to proceed. Either way, 97% of couples who enter marriage counselling with a professionally trained couple counsellor or family therapist, regardless of their final choice, find it to be helpful. So despite the marketing nonsense online, that is the truth. Marriage counselling, or at least counselling with the right professional, has a remarkably high rate of success!
Not all therapists are ‘couple therapists’
Many couples have a bad experience and then conclude that marriage counselling will not work for them. Sadly they usually attribute this to themselves and not the therapist. However, often the fault lies with the professional. Not all therapists are ‘couple therapists’ and surprisingly, not all therapists are even therapists…read more about this in my article “How to Choose a Therapist – Who Can I Trust?”. If you’ve had a bad experience, I congratulate you for being open to trying again and finding your way to my website. I am a true professional in my field. I have both the academic qualifications and the years of experience. However, even more importantly, I have an excellent track record of helping couples. I’m passionate about it and I’m good at it, so please get in touch and we can explore if I am the right therapist for you.
You may also like to delve deeper and read my article “Concerns about marriage counselling?”