Marriage counseling can be worthwhile for any couple who wants to find ways to improve their partner. It can be useful at various points in a relationship and can address a wide variety of issues that may exist in a marriage. Couples who want to work to change themselves can also benefit. Research has revealed that after marriage counseling, a quarter of couples feel worse than when they started.
About four years after receiving counseling, more than a third of married couples divorced. According to these statistics, it seems that marriage therapy is doomed to failure. 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. The goal of Discernment Counseling is to gain clarity and confidence in determining the future direction of marriage based on a deep understanding of how marriage came to this point and each spouse's contributions to issues. 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.
Many couples will follow the marriage counseling route in an attempt to save their partner; after all, a healthy marriage has a number of benefits both physical and mental, according to the American Psychological Association. According to some research, about a quarter of couples receiving marriage counseling report that their relationship worsens two years after ending therapy, and up to 38 percent of couples receiving marriage counseling divorce within four years of completing therapy. 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. Sadly, that statistic can make people feel like their marriage is halfway through even before it starts, and unfortunately, that statistic may not be true for modern marriages.
If you want more detailed information about marriage counseling, you can learn more on the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT) website.