Marriage counseling can cover a variety of problems and issues. Many couples ask themselves “Is marriage counseling really right for us?” A professional counselor can provide you with a complete assessment. Marriage counselors offer feedback and suggestions about treatment options and work with you on establishing goals. It’s important to note that you won’t really know how marriage counseling can be helpful until you see a marriage counselor. However, there are some marital problems that are routinely addressed in marriage counseling.
Parenting and Step-Parenting Issues
Parenting can lead to a variety of marital problems. Learning how to clarify your values about parenting can be helpful. Marriage counseling can also help you learn how to recognize your goals for your children and how to work as a team to reach those goals. Many couples benefit from learning new parenting skills which can reduce their stress and improve the quality of all of their family relationships.
Marriage counseling can also address blended family issues. Step-parenting can be complicated. Counseling can help families bond and can clarify a step-parents role within the family.
When couples struggle to peacefully resolve conflict, a variety of problems arises. Marriage counseling can help couples learn how to address their disagreements in a productive manner. Marriage counselors can teach problem-solving and conflict resolution skills, anger management skills, and can assist each person with getting their needs met.
Marriage counseling can strengthen a couple’s emotional and physical intimacy. If you don’t feel close to your spouse or if you haven’t been connecting well sexually, consider marriage counseling. Sadly, some couples just accept that it is normal to lack physical and emotional intimacy and they don’t seek help. A marriage counselor can help you find ways to re-connect with your spouse on many different levels.
Although it can feel embarrassing to talk to a stranger about some very private issues, marriage counselors are comfortable helping you address it. They frequently talk about sexual issues and problems that may seem embarrassing. Don’t be afraid to bring up issues that may seem uncomfortable. It is important that these get addressed.
Couples who have dealt with infidelity can benefit from counseling. Marriage counselors can assist the couple to repair the marriage after infidelity has occurred. This can assist in restoring a marriage in many ways. It can help identify what lead to cheating, how it impacted both partners, and how to successfully move on after an affair.
Marriage counseling helps partners improve their communication as well. Communication is one of the keys to a happy and healthy marriage and it is likely that a counselor can help offer some strategies to improve your communication. Learning how to express your feelings, talk openly about a variety of issues, and attack problems together instead of attacking each other can make a big difference in your overall marital satisfaction. Communication skills can help a couple deal with problems about money, spending time together and dealing with extended family.
Grief and Loss Issues
Sadly, grief tends to make many couples grow apart rather than grow together. Marriage counseling can help a couple deal with the loss of a loved one in a way that can assist them in staying connected while they grieve. It can also help couples dealing with other losses, such as infertility as well.
Marriage Counseling Versus Individual Counseling
Some problems may be able to be addressed in marriage counseling while others may be more easily addressed in individual counseling. For example, if one partner has a substance abuse issue, it may require some individual substance abuse treatment. Sometimes individual treatment occurs before marriage counseling begins and at other times it makes sense to have a couple see a marriage counselor in addition to an individual therapist.
Another example of a time when individual counseling may be necessary is when one partner has some psychological problems. If one person has a mental health issue or has a past trauma history, individual therapy may be necessary.
An exception to marriage counseling for conflict resolution can be when there is a history of domestic violence that has not been addressed. Most counselors do not recommend couples counseling when there is a history of abuse within the marriage as it may not be safe. If the victim of domestic violence talks openly in a couples counseling session, they may face more abuse when they leave the office. Therefore, it is usually recommended that each person get individual counseling first before proceeding with couples counseling.
If you are questioning whether or not marriage counseling can be helpful for you, contact a professional to discuss your circumstances. Learn about treatment options available and consider setting up an appointment to learn more about how marriage counseling can improve your relationship.