Couples Counseling Can Save Your Union

couple holding hands

If you’re having problems in your committed relationship or marriage, chances are they won’t go away by themselves. It can be lifesaving to get help from an unbiased marriage counselor or sex therapist, who has probably seen your situation before and found solutions.

It can be awkward to talk about your innermost feelings in front of a stranger, of course, but worth it to get out of a rut.

Couples counseling works because it helps you see one another with fresh eyes—as partners who can solve a problem together. It breaks down unproductive communication patterns; teaches you to interact without blame, anger, guilt, shame or fear; and provides practical tools for reconnecting and rebuilding intimacy.

What if Your Partner Won’t Go To Couples Counseling?

Go anyway. It will help you learn your own wants and needs, see your part of the situation, and make changes that can get the ball rolling. Once your partner sees what counseling has done for you, they may want to join in.

What if Your Problem is Too Embarrassing to Discuss?

Experienced counselors and therapists have seen it all. Part of their skill set is helping clients feel comfortable sharing things they may not have voiced before.

What if Your Problem is Physical Instead of Psychological?

Many are both, but some marital problems are best addressed by a medical doctor, nutritionist or psychiatrist. Marriage and sex therapists are trained to refer these problems to the appropriate professional. Sometimes, problems have both physical and psychological elements, so a combination of modalities is needed.

Does Couples Counseling Really Work?

In a 2010 study, marriage counseling was successful in 70-80% of cases. Of course, it has a better chance of working when both partners are willing to work on their problems, are willing to give the process time (several months), and believe in their therapist’s abilities.