Marriage counseling is commonly called “couples therapy”. It is a type of psychotherapy where couples can go to identify and resolve conflicts and work on their relationships.
While involved in marriage counseling, couples get the chance to make thoughtful efforts to rebuild and strengthen their relationships, or to respectfully decide to part ways. Marriage counseling is generally a short-term type of therapy and sessions usually include both partners.
Some therapists will do marriage counseling with one partner for a session and the other partner at different time. Some marriage counselors will split the hour in half and meet with each person separately. This gives the marriage counselor time to see the marriage from each individual’s point of view. Generally, the way the marriage counseling sessions are held, depends on the situation within the marriage.
Why is Marriage Counseling Done?
Marriage counseling is available to all types of couples within an intimate relationship regardless of sexual orientation or marriage status. Some couples decide to attend marriage counseling to strengthen their relationship and to gain a better understanding of their partner.
Other individuals who might seek marriage counseling include couples who are planning on getting married. Attending marriage counseling before the wedding can help couples to gain a deeper understanding of one another and to work on differences in the relationship before making a big commitment to each other.
Other reasons couples seek marriage counseling include communication problems, sexual difficulties, conflicts about child rearing, blending families, substance abuse, anger, and infidelity. Sometimes marriage counseling may also help in domestic abuse cases. However, if the abuse has escalated to the point someone is afraid, marriage counseling is not the place to be. In those situations, the abused individual should contact the police, local shelter, crisis center, or emergency support.
How to Prepare for Marriage Counseling
The main preparation needed for marriage counseling is to find the right marriage counselor for you and your significant other. Start by asking your primary care doctor if they know of any marriage counselors near you. Sometimes family and friends may also know of great marriage counselors. When choosing your marriage counselor, ask questions about the marriage counselors’ education and experience. Find out where the marriage counselor is located. What their office hours are. Find out if the marriage counselor is available in case of an emergency. You should also ask your potential marriage counselor about the treatment plan. How many sessions should you expect to have? How long is each session? Also some very important questions to ask are about fees and insurance. How much does it cost per session? What does your insurance plan cover for mental health services?
What Should You Expect from Marriage Counseling?
Marriage counseling will help couples to work on open communication, problem solving, and how to discuss differences rationally. It may be hard to talk about your problems, just know your marriage counselor will be there to help referee any situation that arises. Sometimes your partner may not want to go. It is ok to go by yourself. You have a chance to learn about your personal reactions and behaviors. When attending marriage counseling, you may have homework. Your marriage counselor may suggest communications exercises for you to practice at home to reinforce what you have learned in marriage counseling. Seeking marriage counseling can be tough, but most individuals find the experience insightful and empowering. You cannot just ignore your problems and hope they get better. The first step is always the hardest but it is worth taking.
Contact Gratiot Psychological Services for Marriage Counseling in Alma
If you think you and your partner could benefit from marriage counseling, don’t wait. Our experienced therapists are ready to talk to you and help you and your relationship! Contact us today to get started.