Does Couples Therapy Work?
Research shows that couples who are most satisfied with the results of couples therapy are those who did not put off getting help from a qualified professional. However, even couples who have been struggling for a long time can turn things around when both are interested in making the relationship better and avoid a painful breakup. So, does couples therapy work?
First, why do couples put off couples counseling?
There can be many reasons for couples to put off counseling. Here are some of the most common reasons:
- Some couples know there is a problem, but are worried about risking time and money on relationship help
- Achieving and maintaining a satisfactory relationship is harder now that in used to be in previous generations. Sometimes couples think that good relationships occur “naturally”
- People may fear that a couples therapy counselor will take sides or have a blaming attitude. However, a good couples counselor strives to understand both partners and help you understand each other
- A challenging life transition is taking a toll on an otherwise great relationship. While some couples can get back on track on their own, many need help and either a) struggle to recognize that or b) can’t decide whether to work on the relationship or end it
- Some people view talking to a counselor as a sign of weakness, failure, or mental health problems. However, going to see a counselor isn’t an admission of defeat, it just means that you want to have a better relationship
Keep in mind that 80% of therapists in private practice work with couples, but only a handful have the appropriate training and experience for helping distressed couples. So, when it comes to professional help, be sure to choose a well-trained expert.
How do we do couples therapy at Couples Counseling Associates?
Most couples go through difficulties in their relationships and they need a coach or a guide to help move thing along and get back on track. Our work with couples is based on solid research on what makes a relationship successful. We can help you identify your strengths and learn proven skills to help turn things around. So, when does couples counseling work?
When couples counseling works best:
- The counselor has training and expertise in helping distressed couples
- The expectations are clear to both parties (even when each member of the couple has different expectations)
- Both members of the couple are motivated to change
- There is/was a foundation of friendship and/or love
When couples counseling is less optimal:
- Couples use the counseling process as a last resort or as a threat
- The couples counselor does not have expertise in working with couples in distress
- One or both members are only motivated to blame the other
- There is little or no prior foundation of friendship and/or love
It might surprise you to hear that even if your spouse doesn’t want to attend counseling at this time, you can benefit from seeing a couples therapist alone.
Watch a quick video about couples counseling
Why it’s important not to wait if you’re considering couples counseling
A relationship can quickly spiral downward, and you may end up doing or saying things that are hard to repair. Putting off relationship repair can affect your physical and emotional health. Talking to a couples counselor or seeking marriage therapy can help you to see the situation in a new way, reduce tensions, and help you reconnect with your partner.
More Resources for You and Your Partner
In our efforts to bring value to your life, or if you are not in the Chicago area, Couples Counseling Associates has developed a series of lessons that could have a major impact on effectively improving your relationship. We encourage you to dive into the series and discover how these resources can benefit you and your partner.
Remember, it’s the positive habits we develop that guarantee us success in all areas of our lives. Discover the seven healthy habits that improve relationships or get in touch with us to learn more about Couples Counseling Associates.
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