The benefits of couples counseling are wide and varied. I’ve been practicing as a therapist for almost 25 years and one consistent principle is that benefits are proportional to the amount of effort and change clients put into their counseling experience. One of the first things I assess when a couple comes to see me is whether both parties are invested in counseling. If only one partner or spouse is motivated and the other is reluctant about the process, then the chances of success are significantly reduced.
When people are prepared to experience some discomfort while learning new skills and changing behaviors, the odds of producing positive change are greatly increased. If one or both partners are more concerned with “being right” or staying comfortable in their familiar patterns and less interested in learning new ways of relating, the odds of experiencing positive change decrease. What I often encounter is the desire for a better relationship but reluctance to move away from old, familiar, and unhealthy ways of communicating and interacting. The amount of change someone sees is usually proportional to the amount of change made on each person’s part.
Change is tough! It requires putting egos aside and experimenting with new behaviors and responses. It usually entails being more concerned with and invested in the health of the relationship and our partner than our old, preconceived ideas and beliefs. A good relationship isn’t based on proving points but on hearing the experiences of our partner while having a platform to express our own experiences and needs. A healthy and strong relationship is less about being right, and more about listening, feeling heard, and setting boundaries with respect.
I highly suggest couples seek support sooner than later. Couples who start therapy when first starting to experience struggles are the ones who usually have a positive outcome. When couples wait until they have exhausted all other efforts there is usually a high level of resentment and hurt between the two and the odds of healing the relationship decrease.
With that said, the benefits of couples’ counseling often include:
- Improved communication
- Enhanced conflict resolution
- Increased intimacy & understanding
- Enhanced problem solving skills
- Improved ability to communicate needs
- Increased relationship satisfaction
- Decreased resentment
- Increase in trust
- Increased ability to set and respect boundaries
- Prevention of future problems and issues
As a Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist, I have considerable experience counseling both couples and individuals. If you’re interested in starting couples’ therapy, feel free to contact me for more information or book an appointment online.