Wright, H. N. (2002). How to counsel a couple in 6 sessions or less: Their marriage is meant to last forever, not their counseling. Ventura, CA: Regal.
Couples counseling, also referred to as marriage counseling or marriage and family therapy, is beneficial for both married and unmarried couples. Couples counseling teaches you how to communicate more effectively, improve your relationship, compromise and resolve conflicts. Marriage and family therapists typically provide couples counseling.
Couples counseling is considered short-term or brief therapy. It typically lasts between 2 and 10 sessions for approximately 60 minutes. It is important to note that although sessions can last up to 10 sessions, you may be able to complete therapy in 2 to 3 sessions. The length of treatment depends on your specific situation and your health insurance benefits. Moreover, you will more than likely see your marriage and family therapist once or twice a week. Furthermore, you may need to see him/her additional days if you have several complicated issues to work through
The main goal of counseling is to help you work through your issues as a couple so that you can rebuild your damaged relationship. It also helps you decide if you want to stay together or if you are better off a part. Regardless, couples counseling helps you see yourself, your significant other and your relationship in a new light.
What Causes Relationship Distress?
All couples experience conflict at some point in their relationship – this normal. Both you and your partner bring your own values, ideas, beliefs, childhood and relationship histories and opinions into the relationship. It is unrealistic to think that you will agree on everything. It is important to remember that just because you do not share the same view on everything does not mean that your relationship is doomed. In many cases, differences can actually make the relationship stronger because it forces you to communicate and compromise with one another, but in some cases, professional help is needed to resolve conflicts.
Sickness, infidelity, divorce, resentment, cultural clashes, parenting differences, blended families, substance abuse, same-sex issues, unemployment, poverty, financial problems, trust issues, childhood experiences, previous relationships issues and/or communication problems can contribute to discord in the relationship.
Relationship distress can lead to anxiety, stress, tension and/or depression so it is important to seek help if you feel that your relationship is in a state of decline. If you believe that your relationship issues will improve without help, you may be mistaken and end up losing your partner. Couples counseling can help resolve those issues, heal emotional and psychological wounds and repair your broken relationship.
What Does Couples Counseling Involve
Couples counseling is beneficial for all types of relationships from heterosexual and homosexual relationships to married and unmarried relationships. Marriage and family therapists typically counsel couples on a variety of issues. You may enter couples counseling because you want to strengthen your relationship or improve your communication or you may enter counseling because your partner is cheating on you or neglecting you. Couples counseling helps you gain a clearer perspective of your relationship and the situation so that you can work through it either together or a part.
In addition, couples counseling is beneficial for those who want to get married. This form of couple’s counseling is called pre-marital counseling. Pre-marital counseling helps you and your partner gain a deeper understanding of yourselves and your relationship. It also prepares you for married life by helping you iron out your issues before you get married.
Williams, M. I. (2012). Couples counseling: A step by step guide for therapists. Viale Publishing.