SO…YOU’RE THINKING OF TRYING COUPLES COUNSELING?
By Michael G. Webb, LMFT
“What happened?” This is what couples are often wondering when they come to couples counseling because of a problem in their relationship or marriage. “At one point, we seemed to have it all!” a couple will often share. As I hear their unique story, I am often struck by what was once a wonderful relationship. But somewhere along the way, something went wrong. Many wonder if their relationship will survive. By entering into couples counseling, a couple takes a healthy first step toward getting their relationship or marriage to the place they desire.
My aim as a couples counselor is to first help you deal effectively with your immediate problems. My second goal is to provide you with insight and tools to improve the overall quality of your relationship. Couples counseling is very useful in helping couples that are experiencing difficulties such as repetitive arguments, feelings of distance/emptiness, pervasive feelings of anger, resentment, and/or dissatisfaction, or a lack of interest in affection or sex. Research on couple’s counseling is encouraging.
According to the research:
- At the end of couple’s therapy, 75% of couples receiving therapy are better off than similar couples that did not receive therapy
- Sixty five percent of couples report “significant” improvement based on averaged scores of marital “satisfaction.”
- Most couples will benefit from therapy, but each person/spouse will not necessarily experience the same outcome or benefits.
Counseling approaches that produce the greatest gains, and maintain those gains over a long period of time, have two key components. First, the therapy positively affects the couple’s emotional bond. Secondly, counseling helps the couple to work together to achieve greater levels of emotional maturity. In order to effectively help your relationship, I may access one or more therapeutic approaches such as “psychodynamic”, “family systems”, “cognitive behavioral”, or “emotionally focused” therapy. Some couples experience the changes they desire quickly while others find that change is slow and difficult.
While there is reason to be encouraged about the positive results that couples counseling can provide, there are no guarantees. Every relationship is unique and unfortunately not every relationship benefits from counseling. The most important thing is to help the couple achieve their goals.
When I work with a couple, I see the couple’s relationship as the “client”. As a result, it is my goal to bring the relationship to optimal health. Some therapists may encourage a couple to end their relationship or may side with one individual in the relationship. As a therapist treating the relationship, I do not do this. When a couple comes to me to receive help for their relationship, this is what I do!
Call or contact us today for an appointment.