fbpx

Couples Series Part III: Does Couples Therapy Work?

When you’re stuck in what feels like unresolvable arguments, it’s only natural to seek a solution. Since you’ve tried everything else, perhaps you’re now turning to professional help. What else do you do when the person you love most is also one of your biggest sources of stress? 

Since you’re both already exhausted, naturally, you’re hesitant to invest even more time, energy, and now money. It’s smart to be cautious, so you will, of course, ask does couples therapy work. Is there any benefit to this thing I’ve seen on TV and in movies so many times?

To me, this is a bit like asking to do treadmills work. As a therapist, that’s sort of how that question sounds to me, as it doesn’t totally make sense. Other questions come, such as, what do you mean by ‘work?’ How do you plan on using it? How often? What are your goals?

And while I hate to be a stereotypical therapist, I’m going to answer the question of does couples therapy work by putting questions right back at you:

Are you willing to put in the work?

Buying a treadmill doesn’t contribute to heart health more than giving a counsellor your credit card numbers. What does help is learning to acknowledge hard feelings that have been ignored and tolerating some discomfort. If you can do this, the relief afterward of ‘cleaning out the closet can be extraordinary.

Can you commit to a number of sessions?

Nobody has ever hopped on a treadmill for 20 minutes and jumped off, ready to run a marathon. Likewise, it has taken years to establish your patterns. This will not be cured in a 50-minute meeting. Committing to several months is necessary in most cases to achieve a profound sense of reward for building safe connections and stronger trust than ever.

Can you accept that small wins become big ones?

Whether it is physical fitness or the health of a relationship, it’s the small things repeated daily that create BIG change. Your therapist will help you to learn how sending small messages of care and support (in your partner’s language—not just yours, as we tend to do) becomes a habit, instilling the shared experience of wow, my person really gets me. They see me for who I am. Do this 100 times and tell me you have the same relationship as when you were constantly fighting to be right.

If you can shift your perspective to some of the prompts above, then I can answer the initial question. YES, couples therapy works. But just like $200, running shoes don’t make you a runner; we need you to show up at the starting line.

If you can manage that, our team will help with the rest.

Don’t miss the chance to continue exploring the topic of marriage counselling with the next post in our Couples Series Part IV: What to expect from marriage counselling?

Did you miss our previous post in the Couples Series?
Click here to catch up on Couples Series Part II: Does Marriage Counselling Work?

Carson Kivari
Carson Kivari

Carson Kivari is the Founder and Clinic Director of Thrive Downtown, with 17 years of experience helping individuals and couples overcome anxiety, depression, and burnout. He guides clients on a journey of self-exploration and trauma release to find purpose, connection, and safety. Take the first step towards healing and contact Carson today to schedule a session.