Does marriage counseling work?

Couples seek counseling for all sorts for reasons, from improving intimacy in marriage to forgiving infidelity. Yet we often have a lot of questions about counseling, not least of all, does marriage counseling work? The answer is yes, marriage counseling can help you. But you have to be sure to pick a good therapist. Many if not most therapists are well-intentioned professionals. At the same time, it’s good to check out their credentials and make sure their methods are solid before you fork over your money.

Dr. Heitler, a family psychology Ph.D and therapist for over 25 years, has some great advice for picking a good counselor. Beyond the question “does marriage counseling work,” you might be wondering, “How can I tell if the counseling is working?” Dr. Heitler’s advice is to pay attention to how you feel after you’ve had a few sessions. Your intuition is powerful. A good couples counselor will leave you both feeling happier and closer after every session. And you will have the sense that you have learned skills that will last you outside of their office.

Here are some more tips for making sure you’re getting the most out of your counselor:

1.  Watch out for a therapist who lets you and your spouse act out bad habits in your session. She will want to get a feel for how you two interact normally. At the same time, she should point out your mistakes and intervene right away. Her purpose is to help you notice these bad habits so you can correct them, not to be a spectator for your marital throw-downs. She should be a moderator that keeps you on a positive and productive track.

2.  A good counselor will never take sides or have a “right v. wrong” approach to your conflicts. Instead, he will work with both of you to come to decisions on your own and establish lasting skills for communication and shared decision-making.

3.  A common answer to “How does marriage counseling work” looks like this: you sit on a long couch in some dusty old office while your therapist interrogates you about your past. Examining the root of your problems can being important insight into your marriage. At the same time, your goal is to move forward as a happy couple, not just to dissect the past! A good therapist will give you tools for the future.

4. Similarly, your counselor should not expect you to know all the answers. If all he asks is, “And what do you think?” find another counselor quick. If we all knew how to solve our problems, there would be no need for marriage help! Your therapist should not put all the pressure of fixing your marriage on you; he should be a coach helping you every step of the way.

Follow these tips and you’ll get a lot out of couples counseling. But maybe you’re just not into searching for a therapist, traveling to appointments, sharing your personal business and dishing out hundreds of dollars for each session. Does marriage counseling work—online? It sure does! Power of Two Online is your #1 resource for learning the secrets to a strong and loving marriage. In a scientific study, PO2 has been proven to be just effective for couples as traditional in-person workshops.

Sign up now for your FREE 3-Day trial and start talking to your personal marriage coach right away!

Try our free relationship quiz

 

Hello,

I'm Dr. Abigail Hirsch. I lead the Power of Two coaching team. We are here to help you stop fighting and build trust, intimacy and love.

This free relationship quiz will give you a better sense of how we can help you.

Just so you know, all the information you share will be kept private and will only be seen by you and our coaching team.

Dr. Abigail Hirsch

marriage counseling online

Funding for this project was provided by the United States Department of Health Services, Administration for Children and Families, Grant 90-FE-0123. Any opinions, finding, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the United States Department of Health and Human Servies, Administration for Children and Families.