Does Marriage Counseling Work?
Well, that all depends on you. It is like asking if going to a gym works. They both can work as long as you are willing to put in the effort and honesty to get the most out of your time.
The success rate increases significantly when a client comes to counseling consistently.
The number of sessions also needs to be reflective of how long a person or couple has been struggling or having problems.
I have had couples come to me who have been having relationship problems for over a decade and hope to be able to get back on track in a month. Trust me, I understand the sense of urgency. They have been miserable long enough. But realistically it will probably take several months in a situation like that.
The sooner you seek counseling the better. Just like anything else, if you are able to take care of it before it gets too out of the control, the easier it is to handle.
**Marriage/relationship counseling requires 3 things for it to be most effective.**
1. You need to be willing to be open and honest with yourself and your partner.
It is like going to a doctor and giving false information. You would never do this. There is no way the doctor can help you unless you give them the honest truth. And you are wanting help otherwise you would not be going to the appointment. Let’s face it, if you are willing to invest the time and money into counseling you may as well get the most out of it. So be sure that you are ready to be honest.
2. You need to be ready to see and do things differently.
What you have been doing is not working and this is why you are in counseling. Doing the same thing will yield the same result. Doing something differently will yield a different result. You need to be willing to try new things and change how you look at things. How you look at things is often referred to as your “paradigm”. Exploring healthy and unhealthy paradigms is an integral part of counseling. I will help guide you to be able to look into your paradigms.
3. You need to be prepared to develop insight and awareness regarding your thoughts and actions.
What does this mean? Developing insight and awareness means gaining more understanding about why you do what you do in your relationships as well as in life. This may include figuring out why you seem to repeat the same unhealthy patterns when it comes to relationships. Why do you keep dating the same kind of person with the same unhealthy personality trait(s). Or why do you keep getting yourself into a similar dysfunctional situation over and over.
Developing insight and awareness often has ties to your childhood. I always say that no one escapes their childhood unscathed. Our events in our childhoods can lead to distorted thoughts which can lead to poor choices. Poor choices can be responsible for a pattern of failed relationships. In counseling, we explore possible root causes to this.
Do you need help getting your relationship back on track?
Call me, let’s chat.
Laurie Shoats L.M.F.T. (Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist)
Real Life Solutions Counseling, Inc