Is it Time to Go to Couples Counseling? Is It Really Worth It?
It might seem like going to a marriage counselor just gets thrown around as a threat during extra-heated arguments. But if your relationship has been on the rocks, you might be wondering if it's time to seek professional help from a licensed marriage therapist. And you're probably wondering if therapy is really worth it.
For some people, counseling is a very real investment (of both time and money). In this blog post, we'll share with you common signs that it is time to go to couples counseling. We'll also talk about when and if it is worth it.
When is it time to go to couples counseling?
Most every couple fights, or at the very least has ups and downs in their relationship. This is all normal and a part of life in a committed relationship. However, many couples do reach a point at one time or another during their relationship when they could benefit from the help of a marriage counselor or a family therapist. How do you know if it's right for your relationship?
You don't have to be at a point of total meltdown and volatility to benefit from counseling either. Here are a list of reasons why you may benefit from seeking help from a mental health professional.
You fight constantly and it's unproductive. Of course fighting might come to mind as the first reason to seek a counseling service, and it certainly is a good reason to seek professional help. Fights that escalate quickly, constant bickering, or fights that are just hurtful don't move the needle forward in a relationship are all problematic. Your communication issues are getting the best of you. A therapist can teach you conflict resolution strategies that can help your disagreements be more productive.
Your sex life is lacking. It's probably no surprise that one of the most common topics that gets brought up in couples therapy sessions is sex. But there could be lots of reasons why your sex life isn't what you want it to be, and a professional can help uncover those reasons and get you back on track.
You've had a big transition or loss. Big transitions like birth, death, moves, and job changes all put stress on a relationship that wasn't there before. Becoming empty nesters is another natural change in seasons of life that can highlight that your marriage is lacking. And certainly, grieving the death of a loved one affects people differently and that can play a role in an unhappy relationship as well.
There has been infidelity. Unfortunately, up to 1 in 4 married couples experience infidelity. But, you may be surprised to learn that many couples chose to work through it and see if they can save the marriage. The level of betrayal is extreme, and working through an affair is very delicate. With the help of marriage counseling, you stand a better chance of making it out successfully.
There is substance abuse involved. Substance abuse is always very challenging to work through while the marriage is hurting, one or both partners might also be dealing with the disease of addiction. This is where both individual counseling (or a recovery program) and seeing a couples therapist can go hand in hand to achieve a successful outcome.
You might want a divorce, but want it to be amicable. Sometimes, if couples know the writing is on the wall, they want to take one last stab at their relationship with counseling. Discernment counseling is a form of couples therapy that helps married couples decide if they will get divorced or if the marriage can be saved. It also helps couples end things on decent terms so they can both move on with healthy lives. And it is especially helpful if the couple has children and will need to continue to co-parent.
Is Couples Therapy Worth It?
Even if you feel desperate about your marriage, you might still be wondering if couples therapy is worth it? Will a therapist actually be able to fix your problems? Will it be worth the investment of time and money? Some people might wonder if their partner will ever be able to change. All of these concerns are fair questions.
Of course at Evolve Therapy, we're big believers in couples therapy and marriage counseling, or else we wouldn't offer it. Outside of our anecdotal evidence, one we know that Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy has amazing success rates.
According to Psychology today, the effectiveness of couples therapy using EFT is quite robust:
No couples therapy has as much research support as Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT). Ninety percent (90%) of couples who go through EFT significantly improve their relationship and 70-75% of couples no longer fit criteria for relationship distress following treatment. Compare this to a 35% success rate for the next leading couples therapy.
Marriage counseling is worth it if you want to:
Learn communication skills
Learn about the importance of love languages
Work through trauma (as a couple or as individuals)
Identify and break free from destructive patterns
Have a safe space to share
Uncover the underlying problems of constant fights
Work through grief
Talk about sexual identity and sexual orientation
No one can convince you that seeing a marriage counselor is worth it, but if you feel your relationship is headed in a bad direction, counseling is certainly an effective way to turn the ship around. It can help you work through constant fighting, infidelity, big life transitions, problems with your sex life, and substance abuse. It can also help you determine if you're going to stay in your marriage or make an amicable split.
Begin Couples Counseling Now at Evolve Therapy
If you are in a relationship that is struggling, marriage counseling or relationship therapy may be the best step to take. At Evolve Therapy, we specialize in helping couples work through their issues and improve their communication. We are person therapy and relationally focused and can help you come up with a treatment plan that works for your relationship. We have had great success rates turning distressed couples into healthy relationships with our clients and would love to help you and your partner as well. Please call us today for a consultation to see if couples therapy is right for you. We do both in person and online therapy.