Couples or marriage counseling is offered to support people in relationships who may be considering separation or seeking improved intimacy and understanding. In couples counseling, the relationship is the focus, although each partner should also expect to focus on self-improvement and self-awareness.
People in relationships seek counseling for any number of reasons, from power struggles and communication problems to sexual dissatisfaction and infidelity. Though counseling is recommended as soon as discontent arises in a relationship, studies show partners will not seek therapy until they have been unhappy for an average of six years. And yet, the more time has passed, the more difficult it may be to repair the relationship. In some cases, a couple who has already decided to separate may pursue therapy in order to end the relationship amicably and respectfully.
Effective therapy will likely address many aspects of the relationship, although communication tends to be the primary focus of relationship therapy.
Successful therapy depends on each partner’s motivation and dedication to the process, and couples can expect to become better listeners and communicators and to find new ways to support one another. Goals will be established by the couple under the guidance of the therapist, and in order to achieve these objectives, each partner must be prepared to acknowledge and understand their role in the relationship. It is not uncommon for conflict to arise within therapy sessions, but I will strive to remain neutral and avoid taking sides.