Marriage counseling and couples therapy help couples handle conflicts, improve communication, and strengthen relationships. By better understanding each other, couples can make informed and healthy decisions about building upon, changing, or sometimes even ending a relationship. Couples therapy is available for any type of intimate relationship regardless of sexual orientation or marital status.
Usually couples work together and attend joint therapy sessions where they uncover their differences and learn communication skills and problem solving techniques. Discussion may focus on determining what’s positive and what’s negative about a couple’s relationship, including what may be sources of disagreement, differences, or conflicts.
If a person is dealing with some other issue such as mental illness or drug abuse, the therapist may work with them individually to receive other treatment as well. Also, though one individual refusing to get counseling may make it challenging for the other person to get help, it’s certainly possible to go by oneself and gain valuable insight into a relationship.
Ways counseling can help
- Strengthen relationships
- Increase understanding
- Address difficulties
- Learn healthy ways to handle conflict
Before getting married, counseling can help couples begin the next stage of their relationship on a stronger foundation. Through pre-marital counseling, couples intentionally work toward having a deeper understanding of each other and their differences early on in their relationship, which can help with how they communicate throughout their lives together.
Even if couples have been married or committed to each other for a long time, couples may find marriage counseling or couples therapy useful to improving their relationships and understanding each other better. In some circumstances, couples may need counseling to address difficulties within their relationship whether it’s conflict over infertility, problems with communicating, substance abuse, financial struggles, raising children, unfaithfulness, sexual conflicts, incompatibility, unhealthy emotions, or divorce.
Deciding to reach out for help through counseling or therapy can sometimes be a difficult decision to make, but it probably won’t help to ignore problems or hope they get better without taking action, especially when couples can benefit from purposefully working together through counseling to improve or fix a relationship.
To learn more, please call Marsha Schechtman, LCSW at 770.753.4911 or Howard Drutman, Ph.D. at 678.867.7020 at the Atlanta Behavioral Consultants.