The 6 Aspects Of Marriage Counseling And Why They Work

Updated November 24, 2022 by BetterHelp Editorial Team

Marriage counseling is not just for couples who are near the end of their marriage. Counseling or couples therapy can help those who have minor troubles in their marriage or want to prevent miscommunications. This post will look at marriage counseling, why it works, and the different aspects.

You Deserve Someone Who Is Fully Committed To You

Seeing a marriage counselor is one of the best premarital counseling topics worthy of your time. Marriage counseling is designed to help couples compromise in their conflicts or maintain a stable relationship. As such, a counselor may employ various couples therapy techniques, such as:

  1. Narrative Therapy

For many couples, their life is a story, and narrative therapy gives each spouse a chance to tell their story. A counselor will tell you to list your problems as if they were a story. In other words, narrative form. Once you list your problems, the counselor will tell you to eliminate the story's negative aspects. Suddenly, the problem isn't from a bad person, but instead something a person possesses. You can control your story and look at your past to find negatives. This puts your problems into a new frame of reference, and thus you can find solutions to these issues.

  1. The Gottman Method

This method has been around for over three decades, and it's designed to make the couple come closer to each other. The Gottman Method does this by teaching you how to manage, not end, conflict. Conflict is normal and necessary in relationships, but what's not normal is antagonizing one another during the conflict. The Gottman method is designed to help couples discuss issues that involve wanting to reach a compromise instead of being right.

Also, there is more to the Gottman Method than just that. It teaches couples about love maps. This is where you try to map your partner's joys, dreams, hopes, history, worries, and more. Once the two of you realize each other's perspective, you can express your needs more.

  1. Emotionally Focused Couple's Therapy

This form of therapy can be used for couples, families, and anyone else in a relationship. First developed by Dr. Susan Johnson, this method is used in many types of practices and clinics. It's said that emotionally focused couple's therapy can work in almost any situation, and it works wonders if depression is the cause of the couple's relationship problems.

Emotionally focused couple's therapy is a short-term solution that is divided into three goals in mind these goals are:

  • Expanding and reorganizing emotional responses. Many couples respond to emotions in the wrong way, making their relationship worse. Emotionally focused couples' therapy teaches couples the best way to respond to their various issues.
  • Assuring a better bond. The two of you need to have an unbreakable bond, but many couples do not have that. So a counselor may work with the couple to find the solutions they need to fix their bonds.
  • Improving interactions. When the two of you have interactions, you already have a set stance that can affect the outcome. This form of couple's therapy fixes the problem by changing stances to be less hostile.

Emotionally focused couple's therapy is quite effective when it comes to improving the relationship between couples. Even couples who don't fight that often can improve their relationships.

  1. Positive Psychology

One way you can improve your life, regardless of your issues, is thinking and acting more positively. However, we know that it is sometimes harder to think positively, especially in a relationship when emotions are high. Positive psychology looks at the positive side of a relationship. It talks about the positive emotions many feel whenever they are with their partner. The couple looks at each other's strengths rather than their weaknesses. The couple can look at all the positive moments in their life rather than the times they fought and argued.

Then, they can learn how they can solve issues in a way that is positive and not negative.

  1. Imago Relationship Therapy

This form of therapy combines the east and the west and reveals why you picked the partner you did. This can help you and your partner relate more, and you can take a different approach to therapy. Instead of looking at conflict as a dilemma, the conflict should be a way to find the solution that benefits you and allows you to continue forward.

Imago relationship therapy also deals with how we cope with comfort whenever we have problems in a relationship. Some people may turn to a person outside the relationship or vent online. By figuring out how the two of you deal with your issues, you can learn how you and your partner can improve yourselves. One way to do this is by looking at how the two of you communicate. As couples, many would like to believe that they are on the same wavelength. However, this is usually not the case. As it turns out, everyone communicates a little bit differently, and it's up to you to find how you communicate.

  1. Communication Analysis

Even before you become husband and wife, pre marriage counseling emphasizes the value of communication. Let's continue with the theme of miscommunication. When you cannot communicate with your partner, you may make the problem a lot worse. You may think you explained everything to your partner, but then you didn't, and a fight arises because of that. Miscommunications are perhaps the biggest reason why people in a relationship fight. Body language, the tone of voice, and even the words can all be misinterpreted. A counselor can look at how the two communicate and figure out why the communication breakdown is happening. You can learn how to communicate in a way where both parties understand and can find solutions with this new, unique way of communicating.

Finding The Root Of A Problem

Often, there is a reason for the problem that is buried deep in the unconscious. There are feelings, emotions, and motivations that aren't noticeable to the conscious, yet they control everything we do. It's like an iceberg, where the biggest part is what you can't see. A counselor can help you dive into the unconscious and find the root of the problem.

When there is a pattern happening, and it's irrational, there may be an unconscious reason. The biggest culprit seems to happen in childhood. How you were treated as a child can shape how you behave like an adult, even if you don't realize it. For example, if your parent was strict and had unreasonable expectations, you may project that onto your partner.

Sometimes, the unconscious reason can be in the present. For example, your partner did something to you that made you mad, but instead of handling it, you decided to forget about it. Instead of forgetting, it slipped into the unconscious and is controlling how you feel.

A couples therapist can help you dive into your past and find the unconscious motivations. Once they are found, you can learn how to cope with them and handle problems with a clearer head, instead of someone who is motivated by what they can't see.

Intimacy Enhancement

Sometimes, couples end their relationship because of distance. There are many reasons for this. Jobs that make the couples go distant. A lack of communication. Changes in personalities. There are many reasons you can grow distant, but it doesn't need to be that way. One way you can improve intimacy issues where the two of you have a strong bond is by talking to a counselor. Intimacy therapy helps by giving a couple of activities that combine the best of both worlds to build intimacy and prove that the intimate bond is still there.

Intimacy enhancement can work for any couple, regardless of their issues. Some couples feel close but would like to be even closer, and they may seek therapy to improve themselves. You don't need to be far apart to want to be closer, nor should you wait until you do drift apart.

You Deserve Someone Who Is Fully Committed To You

Individual Vs. Couple

When you think of relationship counseling, you imagine the couple together. But sometimes, only one person in the relationship may be in therapy. This can be because one person doesn't want to go to couples counseling. Or... you may not be finding ways to answer the question, "Is there marriage counseling near me?" If both parties aren't willing, then the couple's counseling may not be successful. You shouldn't counsel someone who doesn't want to listen.

Even if both are going, individual therapy may be a good solution if both people want to process the relationship individually. Talking about secrets, venting about the other partner, and so on. Of course, it works best if both parties are in it together.

Seek Help!

If you're having marital difficulties, don't wait until the divorce papers are nearly signed. Seek help now and see how your relationship can improve. You may find that the answer is right in front of you.

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