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.
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.
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 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.