If you’re thinking of giving relationship/marriage therapy a try to address your relationship concerns, you’re likely wondering whether it’s worth the bother. That’s understandable; most people don’t want to waste time, money, and effort on something that is probably not going to help the situation.
Is marriage counselling really worth it?
Does marriage counselling work? Like many things, it works for some but not for others. If you’re adamant about saving your marriage, however, you would be glad to note that statistics show high rates of client satisfaction.
The odds of this option working are increased by certain conditions. For instance, chances of success may be dictated by the depth and gravity of marital problems and the couple’s response to the relationship counsellor’s techniques and approach.
If you and your partner want to go down this route, one of the most important marriage counselling tips you can apply is for both of you to be open to change. You can ensure that the odds are in your favour by not being defensive and, instead, being truly willing to explore solutions to your marital woes.
And since the Covid-19 pandemic, online relationship counselling has become the norm across the world for couples accessing couples counselling.
If you’re still on the fence on whether to attend counselling to fix your relationship issues, the following points may just finally convince you to go for it.
Common relationship issues
There are many reasons you may seek counselling services for your marriage but some of the most common ones include:
- communication skills training because you have vastly different communication styles
- grief and loss that has not been resolved by one or both partners
- physical intimacy and sexual problems
- mental illness in one partner affecting the other partner
- same-sex couples who may be dealing with sexuality and coming out issues
When family issues are impacting your marriage, couples therapy can help but family counselling may be the better option if you want to resolve family challenges and improve your family relationship with different family members.
When you work with an experienced relationship counsellor, it's likely they have encountered a broad range of relationship issues throughout their work with couples. Relationship therapists with extensive experience have helped hundreds of couples and are rarely surprised by the very issues you may feel embarrassed or ashamed of.
Couples therapy is a unique and specific way of working with couples who are experiencing relationship issues. If you've experienced individual psychology sessions (where most commonly Cognitive Behavioural Therapy is practiced by a psychologist and member of the Australian Psychological Society), couples therapy will be a very different experience because you will be working collaboratively with your partner to achieve your relationship goals.
Also, remember that couples therapy is about receiving therapeutic support in a confidential space where you and your partner can talk honestly and openly about your issues, feel heard, and find solutions and develop new ways of relating, bringing about positive change in your marriage.
Encouraging reported results
In a study conducted on couples who attended couples therapy sessions, findings state that 98% feel that they received good therapy and got the help they needed. 93% say that they were equipped with effective tools for dealing with problems. Resulting in better physical health and work performance have also been reported.
A little-known fact is that couples therapy also helps your personal growth within the couple. So many personal issues are resolved through working together in couples therapy.
Therapy is cheaper than going to a divorce lawyer
If you're headed for the divorce courts, get ready for the massive fees and costs involved in separating, dividing assets and potentially paying lawyers. Many couples underestimate the huge cost and emotional impact of divorce on themselves and their family.
Relationship therapy can help you avoid the law courts and save huge amounts of money and expenditure in the long run.
Your children will thank you
The truth is the majority of couple problems are fixable and if you have children, there will only be positive benefits for them if you can resolve your issues and continue your marriage.
Your children may be too young to give you feedback right now, but later in life, they will benefit if you can restore your love, create a rewarding relationship, and maintain your loving family.
The sooner you start, the better
Stop vacillating because studies show that for most couples, counselling works better the earlier you seek it. Therapy can prevent hurts from being magnified and multiplied to the point that problems become too far advanced that one party may have already given up.
It’s important to keep in mind that the preservation of a marriage is not always the right solution. In some cases, divorce is the best resort, especially when two people are really better off apart than staying together and destroying each other and their children.
Even when divorce is becoming a reality, marriage counselling can help you find a way to separate without damaging each other or your children's future.
And don't forget that even if you're not yet married, pre-marriage counselling is a great way to future-proof your relationship success and ensure you create a healthy relationship.
Do you need relationship help?
If you're considering relationship counselling services, Clinton Power has extensive experience helping people create better relationships through his counselling process of using evidence-based therapeutic approaches based on the science of healthy relationships.
Since 2003, Clinton Power has helped thousands of couples and individuals as a counsellor and psychotherapist in private practice in Sydney and online in Australia. Clinton regularly comments in the media on issues of relationships and has appeared on Channel 7, The Sydney Morning Herald, and ABC Radio. Clinton’s eBook, 31 Days to Build a Better Relationship is available through his website or Amazon. Click here to take Clinton’s relationship checkup quiz to find out how well you know your partner.