The first question couples often ask is, “Does marriage counseling actually work?” The short answer is, yes. The longer answer is, it depends.
What we know is that among couples who complete therapy with a marriage and family therapist, 97% report that they got the help they were seeking. 93% of couples reported that they learned new tools and strategies for dealing with their issues. Other studies looking at specific models of marriage counseling report similar rates.
Unfortunately, couples counseling isn’t always successful. Sometimes, couples decide to end the relationship. What happens before couples seek counseling and what they bring to the therapy room can have a significant effect on the therapeutic experience.
When it comes to couples counseling, time is of the essence. The longer a couple waits to seek help, the more challenging counseling and finding a successful resolution becomes.
Motivation is key. One partner might be more motivated than the other. One or both partners may not do the homework assignments. Still other circumstances such as an active addiction, mental illness or an abusive situation present formidable barriers to success.
While not a guarantee, marriage counseling gives couples the best chance to improve their relationship.