Marriage counseling is not just for couples who are near the end of their marriage. Counseling 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.
Marriage counseling is designed to help couples compromise in their conflicts or maintain a stable relationship. As such, a counselor may employ various techniques, such as:
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
With positive therapy, the couples can write down all the good times they shared and remind each other of why they got together in the first place. Then, they can learn how they can solve issues in a way that is positive and not negative.
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.
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 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.
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, where the two of you have a strong bond, is 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.
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. 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.
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.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
When should you seek marriage counseling?
Couples therapy isn’t just for a married couple on the fritz. If you and your partner are experiencing an unresolved conflict or marital difficulties, it’s time to find a marriage and family therapist. Even the best marriage could benefit from couples therapy at some point down the road, even after years of marriage. When couples experience conflict, taking action sooner than later could make all the difference. Even if the problem doesn’t seem that serious, the odds of marriage and family therapy resolving marital conflict improve when the couple finds a marriage counselor.
What's the success rate of marriage counseling?
The success rate of marriage counseling is 70-80%. The key to success in couples therapy is to find a marriage counselor sooner than later. When couples seek marriage therapy at the first sign of problems, the rate of success increases dramatically. The best marriage counselors have the highest success rates, so find a marriage counselor near you with a proven rate of success.
What is done in marriage counseling?
After you and your spouse find a marriage counselor and begin couples therapy, the real work of repairing your marriage begins. The counseling process varies by a counselor, so find a therapist who has the right plan for you and your partner. Your couples therapist should first get to the root of your problem, develop goals and a timeline, including homework assignments, and help you and your partner develop new skills to improve your relationship. If you find a marriage counselor who ends up not being the best fit for you and your spouse after a few sessions, it’s not too late to seek a different counselor and start fresh.
Do marriage counselors really work?
Yes. The best marriage counselors help couples experience newfound satisfaction in their marriage, improve intimacy, and help them develop healthy coping skills for when future problems arise. You may need to interview several counselors to find a marriage counselor that is right for you. The American Association for Marriage and Family represents over 50,000 licensed therapists across the United States and Canada and maybe a good starting place in your search to find a marriage therapist.
How do you know when your marriage is over?
Some signs your marriage is in crisis may include infidelity, thoughts of separating, little to non-existent communication, consistent arguing, an absence of sexual intimacy, and other reasons. But before you throw in the towel, find a marriage counselor who can walk you and your partner back from the brink of divorce through couples therapy. The best marriage counselors can save marriages even when they are just a signature away from dissolving.
Is my marriage worth saving?
Only you and your partner can determine if your marriage is worth saving. If both you and your partner respect one another and are willing to put in the hard work necessary to revive your marriage, it is worth saving. Find the best marriage counselors near you and seek counseling as soon as possible for the best outcome.
Do marriage counselors ever recommend divorce?
The best marriage therapists usually keep their personal opinion to themselves. Find a marriage counselor who draws the answers out of you, as opposed to voicing their opinion. A family therapist is a third-party confidant who is there to listen, ask questions, and equip you with healthy coping skills when there’s trouble in paradise-not make the decision for you.
Can couples therapy make things worse?
When done right, couples therapy improves marriages 70% of the time. It’s important to seek out the best marriage counselors near you by conducting interviews and reading online reviews. Find a marriage counselor who has proven results of success.