How Effective is Counseling For Marriages? 5 Insights

by Marie-Claire Smith - Date: 2010-10-29 - Word Count: 533 Share This!

When a couple faces marital troubles, there are a number of things they can do to try to work things out between themselves. Sometimes, all it takes is having a little bit extra patience as you both work through the tough time together. At other times, it can feel like nothing in the world can get the two of you to see eye-to-eye.

When looking to outside the marriage for a little help, some couples turn to self-help books, audio recordings, or seminars. Others enlist a counselor to help get them through the tough times.

However, when the idea of counseling first comes up, it is common for one or both members of the couple to question whether counseling is really an effective solution for making improvements in the marriage.

If you are wondering, "How effective is counseling for marriages?", here are 5 insights that can help you make the right decision about counseling:

1. Many couples never consider counseling as a way to work on their marital problems:
There are a lot of married couples who would never in a million years consider seeking marriage counseling. After all, counseling can feel a bit threatening. It can be uncomfortable to allow a complete stranger into the very personal issues associated with your marriage.

2. Once the idea comes up, usually one spouse wants to try it more than the other one does:
However, once the couple explores the idea a bit more, usually one of the two will take an interest in counseling before the other one does. Once that spouse is convinced that counseling is the answer, sometimes they will try to convince the other one to give it a try.

3. Counseling is most effective when both spouses take part:
Of course, the effectiveness of counseling is much greater when both spouses not only take part, but they at the same time hold a very positive attitude about the experience.

4. It helps when the spouses hold the belief that counseling can help them:
In fact, counseling has been shown to be much more effective when both members of the marriage hold the belief that it could at least potentially help the marriage. Of course, there is no reason to have blind faith that it will help. But, just being open to the possibility that it could be an effective way to resolve issues can help make it more effective.

But, effective counseling is not just about positive thinking. Marriage counselors are trained to b able to help the two of you to bring to light the parts of your relationship that are working, and those that are not. Then, they offer you tools to make things better between you.

5. Be open to switching to a different counselor if the first one is not working out:
If you decide to go to counseling with or without your spouse, pay attention to how you feel about the counselor. If you feel that they are not a fit for you, do not be afraid to switch to another one. Ultimately, you and your partner have to make the choice about whether you want to stay with them or switch to someone else.

Take these 5 insights into account as you determine whether counseling is right for you.

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