The benefits of couples counseling
When to Consider Couples Counseling and When to Skip It
Divorce isn’t always the answer to marital problems—sometimes, couples counseling can help save a marriage. This type of therapy can help spouses communicate better, resolve conflict, and build a stronger relationship. But couples counseling isn’t right for everyone, and in some cases, it may do more harm than good. If you’re considering whether couples counseling is right for your marriage, here are some things to keep in mind.
Couples Counseling Basics
When most people think of couples counseling, they imagine a last-ditch effort to save a failing marriage. And while the process can certainly help marriages in crisis, it can also be helpful for couples who are simply struggling to communicate or resolve conflict.
Couples counseling generally involves meeting with a therapist together as a couple. The therapist will help you and your spouse identify the issues in your relationship and develop skills for communicating better and resolving conflict.
Couples counseling can be short-term or long-term, depending on the needs of the couple. As experienced divorce attorneys, we have seen some couples only need a few sessions to work through a specific issue while others may need ongoing counseling to continue working on their relationship.
The most important thing to remember about couples counseling is that it requires effort from both spouses. If one spouse is unwilling to participate or work on the relationship, counseling is unlikely to be successful.
When Couples Counseling Can Help
Couples counseling can be helpful in a variety of situations. It may be right for you if you’re:
- Struggling to communicate with your spouse
- Having difficulty resolving conflict
- Experiencing relationship anxiety or insecurity
- Dealing with a major life transition, such as the birth of a child or a job loss
- Recovering from an affair
- Having trouble reconciling differences in values or goals that are causing conflict
In these cases, counseling may be helpful because the core issue is a lack of communication or conflict resolution skills. With the help of a therapist, you can learn these skills and apply them to your relationship.
Couples counseling can also be helpful in cases of infidelity or betrayal. If you’re struggling to trust your spouse again after an affair, counseling can help you work through those feelings and rebuild trust.
When Couples Counseling May Not Help
If any of the following is true, you may want to skip counseling and consider other options:
- One spouse is unwilling to participate in counseling.
- The relationship is abusive.
- One spouse is dealing with a serious mental health issue.
- Substance abuse is a problem in the relationship.
These situations can make couples counseling difficult or impossible. If you’re in an abusive relationship, for example, counseling may not be safe. Rather than trying to save the marriage, you may need to focus on your own safety and well-being.
If one spouse is dealing with a serious mental health issue, such as depression, anxiety, PTSD, or schizophrenia, counseling may not be the best solution. In these cases, it’s important to get help for the individual first. Then, if both of you are willing, you can try counseling.
If you’re not sure whether couples counseling is right for your marriage, it’s a good idea to talk to a therapist to get professional guidance. If you decide not to go to counseling, there are other options for working on your relationship, such as reading self-help books or attending support groups. In some cases, it may be necessary to simply end the relationship.
Can Couples Counseling Save a Marriage?
Couples counseling can certainly help improve a struggling marriage. But it’s important to remember that counseling is not a magic bullet – it requires effort and commitment from both spouses.
If you’re willing to work on your relationship, counseling may be a helpful step in saving your marriage. During counseling, you and your spouse will learn new skills for communicating and resolving conflict. You may also gain a deeper understanding of each other’s needs and feelings. As a result, your relationship may become stronger and more fulfilling.
Of course, there’s no guarantee that counseling will save your marriage. In some cases, it may be clear that the relationship is beyond repair. After counseling, you may decide to divorce either independently or jointly under the guidance of your therapist. But even in these cases, counseling can help you end your marriage on a positive note.
If you decide to end your marriage, counseling can provide a space for you and your spouse to learn how to do so in a healthy way. You can learn how to communicate effectively during this difficult time, set boundaries, and co-parent if you have children. Your therapist will already be familiar with your relationship, so they can help you navigate this difficult transition.
What to Expect From Couples Counseling
If you decide to go to couples counseling, it’s important to know what to expect. First, you’ll meet with your therapist for an initial consultation. This is an opportunity for you to discuss your goals for counseling and ask any questions you have.
After the initial consultation, you and your spouse will meet with the therapist together. During these sessions, you’ll talk about the issues you’re facing in your marriage in depth. You may also do some exercises to improve your communication skills.
Couples counseling usually lasts for several months although the number of sessions you need will depend on the severity of your problems and your goals for counseling. However, if divorce is already on the table, you likely need at least 10 sessions to give counseling a fair chance.
Depending on your budget and availability, you may have weekly or biweekly sessions. The length of each session can vary, but many couples therapists offer up to 90 minutes per session.
Couples counseling can be expensive, so it’s important to check with your insurance company to see if your therapy sessions will be covered. If not, remember that counseling is an investment in your marriage. In some cases, it may be worth paying out of pocket to save your relationship. Divorce can be even more expensive, both emotionally and financially.
Deciding to End Your Marriage
If you and your spouse decide to divorce, you’ll need to figure out the financial and legal aspects of ending your marriage. This can be a complicated process, especially if you have children or significant assets. Couples counseling can help you communicate effectively during this difficult time.
A trusted divorce attorney can help you understand your options, negotiate with your spouse or their attorney, and navigate the legal process. They can also work with you to help you resolve any child custody or property division issues.
A divorce attorney can help you handle the logistics of this difficult time. Don’t go through the process alone. Call 201-343-0078 to contact the Law Office of Kelly Berton Rocco today and schedule a consultation with an attorney at our offices in Hackensack, New Jersey.