The main objective of marriage counseling and couples therapy is to improve the relationship between the partners. Many couples seek counseling for conflicts rising from infidelity, communication, sex, money, and major life transitions. However, many therapists point to research that suggests couples are smart to seek professional help before problems become chronic and their living conditions worsens.
The longer problems persist, the longer it will take to untangle them.
For many couples, attending a Gottman marriage retreat or couples workshops, which are held in cities like Chicago, Denver and San Francisco is another alternative to couple counseling. Workshops created by The Gottman Institute and presented by Certified Gottman Method are the premier couples weekend events because they are based on extensive research.
When to seek for Couple Counseling?
- When your partner breaks your trust.
- You are not satisfied with your sex life.
- You are feeling a lack of emotional connection.
- You fight on the same issues over and over.
- When you feel like you are drifting apart from your spouse.
- When you are facing a major transition like retirement, job loss, sickness, blended family, move to a new city.
Book online couple counseling session now if you are facing problems and challenges in your relationship.
What is a Marriage Counselor?
A marriage counselor — also known as a couples counselor or a relationship counselor — is the therapist who has earned added certifications to do couples work. They usually have a master’s degree and must have state licensure to practice.
Note that “counselor” and “therapist” are usually used interchangeably by the industry. For this article, they are one and the same.
A couples counselor sees both individuals and married couples. However, experts recommend that a person should not see the same marriage counselor for both private therapy and couple counseling. Doing so will prejudice the therapist and put your partner as a disadvantage in the couples sessions.
Finding the right marriage counselor or couple counseling is not an easy task. Search the reputable directories and get to them through the information they have on their websites. Look at their experience, qualifications, and reviews.
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Sometimes, you may see a therapist for a few sessions and decide it is not a good fit. If this happens, a good counselor will happily recommend you to another therapist that would be a better match.
However, take heed that the first few sessions are a time to build trust and progress may seem a little slow at first.
How does couple counseling work?
You and your partner attend a counseling session together. The therapist will put you both through an assessment process. Then, the therapist will provide a treatment plan and outline the number of sessions and timelines you should expect. Some therapists offer intense marathon sessions lasting several hours in back-to-back days for couples with difficult problems or whose schedules make weekly appointments impossible.
Therapists will give you resources and “homework” to do in between sessions. At the end of your treatment plan, you should see a positive difference in your relationship.
Not all couples who complete their treatment plans stay together. However, the majority of couples who attend counseling, whether or not they stay together, report an improvement in their relationship. This improvement is especially evident in their communication skills, which is crucial for family stability when children are present in a divorce.
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Do Couple Retreat and Couple Counseling are the Same?
A weekend couple retreat or workshop can sometimes be part of a treatment plan. Some therapists offer a private retreat for a single pair. But this can be pricey.
Other therapists may recommend their clients attend a marriage retreat or workshops open to multiple couples. These events are open to couples who are not in therapy as well.
The Art and Science of Love is a couples retreat in Chicago created by The Gottman Institute. This couples retreat in Chicago is popular among those couples who want to restore their relationship and manage the conflicts without the high cost of privacy therapy or for those who are in therapy and want to “supercharge” their progress.
There is a misconception that couple therapy or couple counseling and couples workshops are meant for only married couples. The fact is, anyone who is in a committed relationship can seek couple counseling sessions and attend a marriage or couples retreat.
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The Bottom Line
If your relationship is going through a rough patch, if you are having the same old fights, if you have unresolved issues, or if you feel unconnected at times — then seek couple counseling. A counseling session certainly would not hurt and the consequences of not seeing help could be disastrous.