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9 Ways Marriage Counseling Benefits Relationships

 

Marriage counseling is a type of therapy used to help couples examine issues and concerns. In counseling, couples discuss problems and uncover behaviors and thoughts. A variety of treatment approaches can be used based on the needs of the couple.

In addition to couples counseling, therapists might request individual sessions to help get an idea of the concerns and thought processes of each individual. Therapists engage in therapeutic techniques that can assist the couple in reaching the right decisions for their relationship.While no marriage is perfect, becoming aware of internal and external forces can help couples gain empathy, awareness, and understanding.

Marriage Counseling Helps Couples Prepare

Pre-marital counseling can help couples prepare for life changes that result from marriage such as sharing a home, financial management, and family planning. Pre-marital counseling can also serve as a preventative tool. With the support of a skilled mental health professional, hesitations, or hot topic issues, worries, concerns, or conflicts can be addressed and processed for solutions before they grow.

Marriage Counseling Can Help Issues

Marriage counseling is also used to address existing conflicts within a relationship. Mental health professionals serve as an unbiased party to help couples listen to one another, uncover underlying issues, and discuss specific problems. Various therapeutic approaches help couples engage positively and productively.

Counseling Can Help the Family

According to a U.S. News statistic, “divorce rates in the U.S. have climbed since 1960, meaning there are more adults available to tie the knot again.” With remarriage rates also on the rise, blended families are becoming more prevalent.

Children and ex-spouses are an unfamiliar element for a new marriage. Research shows that half of the nation’s children live with a stepparent. Blended families symbolize new lives for those who choose to remarry, but also represent new frontiers and challenges.

Licensed marriage and family therapists are trained specifically to handle transitional phases for couples and families. They use therapeutic modalities that work in the best interest for the family as a unit.  When harmony exists within the family, marriages benefit.

Communication Is Critical

Communication is the key in creating a solid foundation. Marriage counseling prioritizes clear, open, and non-abusive communication above all else. Studies show that the quality of communication is highly predictive of longevity and happiness or distress and divorce. Marriage counseling aims to remove ineffective communication styles that may have harmed couples prior to starting therapy. By addressing negative communication styles, couples can begin to change how they interact.

9 Benefits of Marriage Counseling

1.     Improved listening and communication skills

Lack of communication is often a large part of the problem in a marriage. In order to have others listen to you, you have to listen to them. Marriage counseling provides a loving and safe environment for couples to listen to one another and to be heard. It is the place where both individuals acknowledge that a problem exists and then proceed to improve their listening and communication skills.

2.     A chance to change

Therapists are there to guide conversations, but more importantly, they are there to make sure that both parties have an opportunity for change. When individuals feel heard, respected, and validated, they can take the next steps towards considering change. An openness to change signifies a positive start towards resolution.

 3.     Tailored treatment approach

 Through various treatment orientations, like the Gottman Method or Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, couples begin honest, challenging, and thoughtful therapeutic work that can strengthen relationships and create the framework for longevity and satisfaction.

 4.     Alternative perspectives

 Resolving problems and pain is dependent on learning about the other’s viewpoint. Therapists offer an outside, unbiased, and clear alternative view that may contribute positively. By learning about alternative perspectives, new strategies can be developed for the overall health of the marriage.

 5.     Lower stress levels

Studies show that couples will wait an average of six years before seeking professional help to address problems in their marriage. Marriage counseling can reduce stress levels that have been building for years. Due to personalized, one-on-one engagement, couples therapy can reduce, stress, depression, and anxiety. It is a safe environment to share, listen, and learn. 

6.     Deeper understanding

By being vulnerable in therapy, couples can solidify and deepen marital ties. Counseling opens up the door for unvoiced thoughts and feelings. It is also the place to address more detailed issues like religious differences, infidelity, trust, cultural conflicts, grief, or financial disagreements. By addressing the specifics in a healthy way, both parties gain a deeper understanding about their marriage dynamics.

 7.     Learned tools to be able to deal with future challenges

Marriage counseling can help couples learn about strengths and weaknesses. Through learned behaviors, they can take action and establish long-term goals for specific things like financial goals or family plans.

Additionally, in discovering deeper parts about their behaviors and interactions, couples can learn how to spot triggers and diffuse situations, versus escalate them. Therapy can provide relationship tools, so that couples can deal with future challenges on their own, in the healthiest and safest manner possible.

 8.     Find resolution

 Marriage counseling provides the information and skills to gain new insights and acceptance. Through this awakening, couples will learn how to tackle one problem at a time, put aside their differences and anger, and communicate efficiently. Through these effective steps, they will eventually find a resolution that is best for them.

 9.     Empowerment

 Therapy requires the strength to confront and delve deep into previous experiences, actions, and feelings still being carried today. Married couples willing to explore those issues will feel empowered in their new knowledge, awareness, and problem solving skills.

Marriage Counseling Leads To A Healthier Tomorrow

Marriage counseling aims to improve the lives of couples, both together and individually. Therapy provides a compassionate and safe haven where both people can express pain, fears, and questions without judgment, while learning how to move forward.

Are you experiencing issues or concerns within your relationship and are unsure how to proceed? Let me know what concerns you have in the comments below!

 


Chris Massman is a Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist. Chris' training includes Family Systems Theory along with numerous other theories. She believes therapy is an art and chooses the theory she feels will most benefit the individual sitting in front of her. Her specialty lies is in the field of Chemical Dependency and Addictions. Chris is currently seeing individuals, couples and families. Chris is a Clinical member of the California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists as well as the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapists. Chris has two locations including Tarzana and Agoura Hills, CA.