The Benefits of Marriage Counseling
Often, people seeking marriage counseling come to our office as a last resort. Ideally, we’d see these couples before either person reached their breaking point.
If your marriage isn’t where you want it to be, here’s why you should enlist the help of an expert before things get too heated. Don’t make the mistake of waiting months, years, or longer — the sooner you open up to the possibility of outside help, the sooner you can get to work creating a healthy and satisfying relationship with your spouse.
Does marriage counseling work?
If you’re considering marriage counseling you almost certainly want to know whether it’s effective or not. The short answer is: There’s no definitive answer. Let me explain why that’s the case.
Every couple is different, with varying life circumstances that have brought them to the therapist’s office. These are some of the factors that can impact the efficacy of relationship counseling:
The willingness of both parties to participate, including their willingness to open up and become vulnerable.
The extent, type, and depth of the issues you’re experiencing.
The rapport you have with your therapist.
The techniques your therapist uses.
Couples therapy works better the sooner you begin receiving it, too. If you allow your problems to spiral out of control one or both partners may feel as if they have no choice but to give up on the relationship.
There are a variety of therapy techniques and strategies that your counselor might use. One of the more popular types is called EFT, or emotionally focused therapy.
EFT helps people recognize their emotional responses, and it can help couples understand why the other person feels and acts in certain ways. Once these triggers and patterns have been identified your therapist will help you build new cycles of interaction with each other.
Basically, EFT can help you discover healthy and fulfilling ways to deal with your emotions in the context of your relationship. This will vastly improve your ability to communicate with and understand one another.
Dispelling the stigma of couples therapy
So many couples feel that seeking out marriage counseling means they’ve failed, or that they’re weak-willed. However, that couldn’t be further from the truth. Raffi Bilek, LCSW-C refuted this notion, using several examples that make a whole lot of sense. The emphasis is mine:
“The truth is it is no more a sign of weakness to seek marriage counseling than it is to go get a cast on a broken bone. No person is an island, as they say—human beings are not designed to make it through life on their own. Anyone who pretends otherwise may be fooling themselves. I need a doctor when I’m sick, I need a guide when I’m lost, I need a friend when I’m lonely—and I need a therapist when my emotional life is not as it should be. There is no shame in that. The real shame is to let a relationship wither because of a refusal to seek help. It’s just unnecessary.”
Simply put, don’t let stigma or a fear or judgement stop you from seeking out the help you need. Don’t wait until you’ve reached your breaking point, Foundations offers marriage and couples counseling, contact us today.