Couples Series Part II: Does Marriage Counselling Work?

Nov 21, 2022

You’re feeling stuck. How could we possibly be having the same fight again? Taking deep breaths and timeouts isn’t helping. The frustration and resentment of being misunderstood are getting to the point that you’re wondering if things can even be fixed.

How Does Marriage Counselling Work?

Life is busy, however, and couples counselling is not cheap. Naturally, the question gets asked constantly, does marriage counselling work? You are obviously hesitant to invest your energy into something that you’ve probably seen more of in TV shows than heard of in real life.

The thing is, counselling isn’t as simple as the ordinary way of thinking, like I take a pill and I fix the symptom. It isn’t a product you buy, but rather is a service that you engage in, and so it requires shifting how we think a little bit.

We get a better answer when we shift the question to how does marriage counselling work

The service ‘works’ when two partners agree there is a problem here and what we are trying isn’t working. It becomes effective when those in a relationship learn that humans constantly have different emotional experiences of the same events and that being ‘right’ doesn’t even make sense in many cases. 

The various types of couples therapy ‘work’ when partners commit to getting through the initial shock of how many feelings have been ‘backlogged’ and ‘swept under the rug.’ It is fulfilling to see a couple commit to getting through this challenging period so that they can enjoy the relief afterwards. 

Therefore, amongst the ground rules for couples therapy is shifting thinking away from I can passively pay money and things will improve to the more realistic and effective if I engage and put in patience, I can restore the spark of my marriage and find an even deeper connection and meaning.

Do You Need Marriage Counselling?

Being in a long-term, committed relationship with another person is one of the most difficult tasks humans demand. When you live closely with one person, disagreements, arguments, and conflicts are usually unavoidable. You might have lots of relationship issues. So, how do you know whether you need marriage counselling or not?

You need marriage counselling in any of the following situations:

  • You or your partner have become indifferent
  • Almost all communication is negative and leads to fights and disputes
  • Anyone of you lies or keeps secrets, and there is no trust
  • There is a lack of physical or emotional intimacy
  • You find yourselves having the same argument over and over again
  • One of you is being dishonest about finances

When Does Marriage Counselling Work?

Anyone might need a marriage Counsellor who is having a bad time in their relationship. However, only hiring a marriage counsellor will not work. Marriage Counselling comes with its own set of challenges. Marriage Counselling becomes effective when both men and women agree that there is a problem here and what we are trying isn’t working. It will work when

  • You are willing to put in the work with a positive attitude
  • You can commit to many sessions
  • You accept that small wins become big ones.
  • Both of you have Patience.
  • Both of you have goals to make the relationship better.

When Does Marriage Counselling Not Work?

If you attend Marriage counselling, there is no surety that all of your problems will disappear. It requires a lot of Patience, hard work and determination. Marriage Counselling will not work if there is 

  • No Right Counsellor
  • Lack of Commitment
  • Ongoing abuse or violence
  • Lack of Trust
  • Unsolved individual issues

Is Marriage Counselling Worth It?

Many Couples have benefited from Marriage Counselling; however, by any means, it’s not a sure thing. If both people genuinely want to improve the situation, it can be a great help. The Journal of Marital & Family Therapy reports that 70% of Couples experience a positive impact among all those appearing in couples counselling.

Marriage Counselling teaches you many techniques, such as keeping an argument out of control, listening to criticism without taking it personally, and strategies to converse about controversial subjects logically and non-escalating. The therapist doesn’t take sides and carefully listens and understands you and your partner’s situation. Marriage Counselling is worth it if you are clueless and want to improve your condition with your partner. 


Can Counselling Really Save a Marriage?

When fixing your marital status, remember that you are more likely to save your marriage only if you are 100% committed and focused on taking action to protect your marriage. Therefore, whether Counselling can save a marriage or not depends on several other factors. If both partners have the motivation, will and seriousness to improve their condition, then Counselling can help them keep their marriage. 

How to Know if Marriage Counselling Might Help?

There are several ways to know if Marriage Counselling might help you. Some of them are as follows:

  1. Both parties get impartial advice
  2. A safe environment for honesty
  3. An opportunity to unburden resentment and frustration
  4. A forum to discuss disloyalty and rebuild trust
  5. Creating an attachment bond

Choosing a Right Marriage Counsellor

Selecting a Marriage Counsellor is the most important decision. They are the ones who will evaluate your overall situation and provide guidance throughout the process. The counsellor you choose should have immense knowledge and experience in marriage counselling. Finding someone skilled, experienced, trustworthy, and compatible with your needs and values is crucial as a couple. So, choose the one who will help you deal with your stress and problems professionally with his expertise and guidance.

The several factors to consider before choosing a Marriage Counsellor are as follows:

  • Qualifications and Credentials
  • The Counsellor’s Expertise and specialization
  • Experience and work ethics
  • Approach and techniques
  • Availability and Logistics
  • Costs and accessibility
  • Recommendations and Referrals

To circle back to does marriage counselling work, a long answer made short is yes. Yes, provided you approach it with engagement (am I taking this seriously?), humility (there are things I don’t know that I’m willing to learn), and patience (this may be challenging, and it will take time). Knowing these simple things can help set realistic ideas of what to expect with marriage counselling.

Ready to dive deeper into the topic of couples therapy?
Check out the next post in our Couples Series Part III: Does Couples Therapy Work?

Missed our first post in the Couples Series?
Check out Couple Series Part I: What Is Marriage Counselling?

Carson Kivari

Carson Kivari

Carson Kivari is the Founder and Clinic Director of Thrive Downtown, with 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.

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