Marriage counseling, also known as couples therapy and relationship counseling, helps couples work through their specific relationship issues. Thriveworks marriage counseling in Ashland, VA is led by licensed professionals — often licensed marriage and family therapists (LMFTs) — who are experts in their field and best-equipped to help couples. Some examples of common focuses within Marriage counseling include:
- Trust issues
- Opposing values
- Different visions for the future
- Disagreements in parenting
- Lack of trust
- Financial distress
- Sex issues
Marriage counseling works by helping couples identify and better navigate their unique challenges. Following an initial assessment of the couple in terms of strengths and needs, the therapist would then discuss their therapeutic goals and any possible approaches or ways of working together as therapist and couple.
Couples attend sessions together, whether they meet in person or by video. In addition to regular marriage counseling sessions, each partner may also be asked to attend a few individual sessions to supplement their progress. This will allow their counselor to get to know each individual better, assess each of their personal needs, and develop the very best treatment plan moving forward.
On average, couples attend marriage counseling for 12 weeks. However, marriage counseling may last longer or shorter, dependent on the couples' needs, the challenges they'd like to work through, and the pace of their progress. Marriage counselors and therapists at Thriveworks in Ashland, VA work with their clients to create goals, decide on ideal timelines, and establish treatment plans.
Marriage in Crisis
Everyone dreams of entering a marriage where their relationship is full of marital bliss until death parts them. In fairy tales this seems to be the case, but if you have lived any life, you know that this is far from true in most marriages. Living with someone is difficult enough, but when you enter the complexities of finances, families, children, and work, this can make even the most solid relationship difficult at times to bear. When a marriage continues too long under distress, it can lead to arguments, division, confusion, and ultimately a decision that leads to divorce. How do couples get here after making the decision to spend the rest of their lives together?
Marriages tend to start of great, but as with any relationship, there may be underlying issues that cause couples to grow apart over time. If many were honest, a lot of the issues they struggle with in marriage were present prior to taking their vows. Unfortunately, the newness of love can make us overlook red flags and later cause issues to increase. The lack of effective communication to deal with such issues can increase the likelihood that the couple will ultimately divorce. While no couple gets married with the intent of divorcing, it is a decision that thousands of couples make every year.
A marriage in crisis is any marriage that is struggling to recover after an issue has been discovered. It does not have to be due to infidelity, it can be a partner feeling neglected or unheard. It can also be the revelation of one person’s unhappiness within the marriage. Maybe the regret of saying I Do too soon or discovering that marriage was not what they wanted after they experienced. These issues can produce real disagreements that can leave a couple disjointed and ready to go their separate ways.
One of the issues within a marriage in crisis is typically having one person wanting to leave but the other person is fighting to salvage the marriage. This tug of war can leave both parties resentful causing further irreparable damage. Most marriages don’t just end at divorce court, there are several stages that a couple goes through to reach the final decision of separation or divorce.
While most couples start off in a healthy phase, as issues fester or develop, the couple may enter a phase of disillusionment. Despite the reality that all relationships go through ups and downs, this can be the phase where unhappiness begins but is not voiced. The sad thing about this phase is that many relationships can be turned around during this time with effective communication and honest dialogue. Couples can implement changes that can improve the feelings of discontent.
There is no one size fits all solution when a marriage is in crisis. This is typically when most couples seek therapy. The reality is that when most couples reach out to a therapist, the marriage is typically beyond repair. Emotions have typically been left unchecked and the issues have snowballed into avalanches that produce the couple’s demise. There is hope for those married couples who are willing to do the work. The goal is to prevent the crisis by doing regular honest check-ins to address issues before they start or before they get worse.