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 EVEN ONE course on dealing with couples, *(Dr. William J. Doherty, Minneapolis MN)
If you’re considering attending couples counseling, take this as your alternative view. If your marriage problems persist, you're far better off with a weekend marriage seminar or a marriage coach than a couples counselor.
1,500,000 marriages end up in divorce every year in the USA, and 2,500,000 couples marry that same year. You might get the idea that we don't know really how to be married. When a couple wakes up to the fact that their marriage is in trouble, they begin to utter what I believe are the two darkest words in the subject of marriage, aside from divorce of course.
Those two words are:
As in "Maybe we should consider couples counseling."
But Did You Know That Many Marriage
Counselors Are Actually DIVORCED?
How could they possibly help you save YOUR marriage, when they couldn’t save their own marriage!?!
I teach couples how to do what I did and turn their marriages around so their kids can keep their mom and dad in the same house and not have to endure the troubles of a blended family. You can read the full story of how I came to help couples here.
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 actually 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."
Did I read that right? "...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.
So my question is, if they don't want to blame a single person, then 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."
How could this be? I thought they wanted the fault to be laid on the door step of “emergent property of systemic interactions."
Look, if your marriage is in trouble, couples counseling should be last on your list of marriage saving solutions.
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 and IGNITED arguments instead of focusing on a solution.
Why? Because traditional couples counseling S.U.C.K.S...the life out of you.
S.U.C.K.S is an acronym I often use to sum up what the vast majority of couples counselors have been doing to marriages over the last fifty years.
S= Suspends positive solutions from happening
U= Undermines understanding of the person you married
C= Closes off good communication between spouses
K= Knocks one spouse while defending the other
S= Scrambles issues so they appear unsolvable
S: Suspends Positive Solutions
Counselors dangle the possibility of hope, yet suspend that hope in limbo without ever delivering a real solution to your marriage.
U: Undermines Understanding
Counselors throw a wrench into the works of marriage by encouraging you to talk about problems. This makes understanding each other impossible.
C: Closes Good Communication
Because of couples counseling’s continuous focus on problems, the ability to communicate in a balanced way is nonexistent.
K: Knocks One To Support The Other
Once the couples counselor gets between two arguing spouses with no real solution, it is almost inevitable that one spouse will “ganged up on”.
S: Scrambles Issues So They Appear Unsolvable
In the middle of the turmoil between the two of you, your counselor asks questions about your feelings that leave you both more mixed up than when you first started.
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. But be warned; these "renegade" counselors are rare!
Over years of working with troubled marriages, I've heard only two couples tell me about such renegades. The rest of the marriage counseling lot sings the same old song and that’s why the process has such a low success rate.
And me? I’m not a marriage counselor, but instead, I'm a layman who works with troubled marriages and after years of hearing so many married couples complain about their marriage counseling experiences…I CAME TO THE CONCLUSION THAT I MUST WARN COUPLES of the dismal success rate in couples counseling.
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?
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