According to research by the American Marriage and Family Therapy Association (AAMFT), 98% of couples who try marriage counseling report that their therapists are “excellent” or “good.” Of couples who try marriage counseling, 90% feel their emotional health is improving and two-thirds report improvements. There are several reasons why a couple may seek professional help for their relationship. Marriage counseling and couples counseling can be very effective, especially when started sooner rather than later. Contrary to what some may believe, it's not about pointing the finger at who did what or who is to blame.
Rather, “couples therapy provides tools to communicate and ask for what you need,” says Tracy Ross, a family and relationship therapist in New York City. Couples often forget what brought them together in the first place, why they fell in love, Saltz observes. Couples therapy can help rekindle that. Suddenly finding yourself caring for a sick parent, which can consume a lot of your time and attention, presents a different set of challenges.
If your spouse doesn't understand stress or support it, it can lead to feelings of frustration and resentment. Couples therapy can help you deal with the new normal by reestablishing the connection you and your partner once shared. In the marriage counseling process, some couples may find that it is healthier for them to be apart. However, for those relationships that can be saved, and for those couples willing to commit to the process, marriage therapy can remind them why they fell in love and keep them that way.
Marriage counseling has positive results for 70% of couples receiving treatment when treatment is offered by a trained marriage therapist. About half of couples who receive marriage counseling say it helped them resolve all or almost all of their serious problems. Working with a trained marriage therapist is very important to achieve the best possible results. Many counselors are trained to work with people, but working with couples is very different, as the counselor has to balance two different versions of the married couple's experiences to help them find common ground.
If you're asking if couples therapy could help get your relationship back on track, the short answer is yes, it can help in many situations. But, if you want it to work for you, you'll both need to start with an understanding of what counseling can actually offer and how to make the most of it. Marriage problems come in all shapes and sizes; they range from feeling a little stagnant or stale in the relationship and wanting to fine-tune things to more intense issues that may be threatening marriage. Several factors affect the success of marriage therapy, such as how soon the couple starts therapy, whether the type of therapy chosen is ideal for their problem and the willingness of both spouses to work hard to repair their marriage.
If you want more detailed information about marriage counseling, you can learn more on the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT) website.