Does Couples Counseling Really Work?
Not many people know this, but couples counseling as taught in universities isn't couples counseling at all.
It’s therapy for individuals. 80% of all private practice marriage counselors in the U.S. say they conduct marriage therapy, yet only 12% are in a profession that requires them to take one course on dealing with couples, *(Dr. William J. Doherty, Minneapolis MN)
If you’re considering attending couples counseling, take this as your alternative point of view.
1,500,000 marriages end up in divorce every year in the USA, and 2,500,000 couples marry that same year. When a couple wakes up to the fact that their marriage is in trouble, they typically turn to couples counseling.
But Did You Know Many Marriage Counselors Are Actually Divorced?
Let me offer you the Wikipedia definition of what they call "Family Therapy". Take a look at the definition and you'll see that even their word choices stand in the way of understanding what it is that couples counselors and therapists do.
"Family therapy, also referred to as couple and family therapy and family systems therapy, is a branch of psychotherapy related to relationship counseling that works with families and couples in intimate relationships to nurture change and development. It tends to view these in terms of the systems of interaction between family members.
It emphasizes family relationships as an important factor in psychological health. As such, family problems have been seen to arise as an emergent property of systemic interactions, rather than to be blamed on individual members. Marriage and Family Therapists (MFTs) are the most specifically trained in this type of psychotherapy."
Family problems have been seen to arise as an emergent property of systemic interactions, rather than to be blamed on individual members." Before I attempt to understand what "emergent property of systemic interactions" is, one thing their definition says they do is not blame a single person.
If they don't want to blame a single person, why do virtually all the couples I've worked with over the past 13 years tell me that "Our marriage counselor took sides and made my spouse angry."
Marriage counseling is often the "deal breaker", the last ditch attempt at saving your marriage that drives the last nail in the coffin, often causing your spouse to become convinced there is no hope.
I hear all the time. Couples come to me when their marriage is teetering on the verge of divorce. Like everyone else, they thought couples counseling was the only solution that could bring their marriage back to normal. But instead of a promising first step in the right direction, what they found was a couples counselor who took sides, only focused on the problems, ignited arguments instead of focusing on a solution and even advised the couple to divorce.
Of course there ARE some good couples counselors, but these people are renegades. They refuse to buy into the systems of their profession and as a result they help more couples. Over years of working with troubled marriages, I've heard few couples tell me about such renegades. If you are seeking marriage counseling, I suggest you interview the counselor with these questions before making a final decision.
If you've read this far, you know my view on couples counseling and you're probably wondering, "if we don't go to couples counseling, then what can we do to fix our marriage?" I've created a 26 page report that educates you on what you can do to start meeting your spouses' needs NOW. Because after all, unmet emotional needs are one of the leading causes of conflict in your marriage.