For many years the divorce rate in the US has remained very high – according to recent estimates as many as 40%-50% of all marriages fall apart. Many couples experience problems such as betrayal, incompatible sexual expectations, faltering communication or development of gradual indifference and disinterest towards one another. Often couples find themselves incapable of addressing and solving these serious problems alone. In such cases counseling for couples is often the best course of action, allowing spouses to avoid divorce or separation, or helping them end their relationship on good terms.
It is true that many people might initially feel apprehensive about the idea of marriage or couples counseling, hoping to deal with their relationship problems privately. The benefits of such therapy are nonetheless indisputable in many cases. Many couples find that conflict resolution is easier to achieve under the guidance of a counselor who has no connection and no preconceived ideas about their relationship. Couples and marriage counseling therefore allows them to gain some perspective and become better communicators.
Inside A Marriage Counseling Session
The first thing anyone considering starting couples or marriage therapy has to recognize is that no simple answers will be given. A counselor is to act as an objective observer and is not to dictate what should or should not be done. He or she is there to help partners decide on their own what is the best course of action for themselves and for their relationship.
Couples and marriage counseling focuses on helping couples improve their communication skills and address their conflicts in a constructive manner. Participants will usually learn how to control their emotions, listen to one another, negotiate and avoid conflict escalation. It is generally accepted that for this type of therapy to be most effective both spouses or partners have to attend; in some cases, however, it might be that one party refuses to participate or decides to join the therapy at a later stage.
Relationship Difficulties – When to Seek Help?
Couples and marriage therapy are often regarded as a last resort, reserved only for those who are facing an imminent risk of divorce or separation. It is true, however, that many couples decide to attend counseling for very different reasons: for example, to prepare together for life as a married couple (premarital counseling), to build a stronger bond with each other or to address issues that could potentially lead to conflicts in the future. Whether a couple is facing some very difficult challenges, or has to confront some minor problems, professional counseling is often the way to go forward.
At Thriveworks Bristol our professional couples and marriage counselors offer support to people at various stages of their relationships, often having to deal with very particular problems. Thanks to our extensive experience we understand how to look after our clients – we tailor our counseling sessions to the individual needs of every couple. We encourage you to reach out to us now to arrange your first couples or marriage counseling session.