Does Couples Counseling Work?
Can couples therapy help unhappy couples see their partners in a new light, or are they pinning their hopes for an amicable resolution on fanciful ideas? You both want to work through the issues, but if only there were an unbiased third party who could help you with a firm yet fair hand.
Couples counseling is not a silver bullet to solve all your relationship woes. Still, couples who choose couples counseling as an option often come out the other end with a rekindled love and appreciation for one another.
Rekindling the Love with Couples Counseling
Of course, couples counseling is not a magic wand that will wipe away the stress of constant arguing or shrink the widening gulf growing between the two of you. It’s a tool, and like all tools, must be used properly to mend the damage. With counseling, you will learn how to repair your relationship through communication and understanding.
When people ask whether couples counseling works, what they really want to know is if it can save their relationship. Statistically speaking, the answer is highly likely yes, it can help, but it does take effort. The American Association for Marriage and Family performed a survey which revealed that 97.1% of clients reported they had received the help they needed. More than 80% also stated they experienced positive outcomes.
Success only comes to those who are willing to put in the effort. By working through the issues with an experienced counselor, you will receive the guidance that will help you repair the cracks in the foundation of your relationship. From there, it can grow with renewed strength.
Things to Consider with Couples Counseling
Couples counseling with a professional counselor will help you gain a deeper understanding of your relationship and develop the skills you need to support its healthy growth. Skills that couples counseling will focus on include listening, conflict resolution, effective communication, and an emphasis on creating the harmony and positive vibes on which a relationship thrives.
It’s not correct to think of couples counseling as ‘divorce counseling,’ that is not its goal. Nor is it a punishment your partner should endure because of their love for you. Keep in mind that you only have control over yourself. Yes, you can influence your significant other in a relationship, but you cannot force a change they don’t want to make.
In other words, the best way to get the most out of couples counseling is to focus on what you can do and the changes in attitudes, thought patterns, actions, and intentions you can make within yourself. It’s a simple concept that can achieve powerful results when both individuals embrace it.
Humans tend to resist change because we are always more comfortable with what we know, even though that may be a dysfunctional and stressful reality. It’s not because we like pain, but because there is comfort in familiarity without effort. For this reason, most couples and individuals choosing relationship counseling for themselves find that overcoming their resistance to change presents them with their biggest obstacle.
A successful outcome with couples counseling will only be achieved when each party has a high level of motivation. Some couples who consider the relationship beyond saving will attend counseling so they can say they made the effort. While a few have been surprised about what they achieved, these individuals are the exception because change requires a deep and sincere commitment to saving the relationship and making a genuine effort.
Start Early for Better Results
Thinking you will work on your relationship later rather than sooner will give more time for decay to set in and rot the foundations even further. Resentment follows, and the relationship crumbles beyond repair. Start now, and the obstacles you need to overcome will be a lot less imposing and more easily overcome. Read more about how to get started here: Couples Counseling