Did you know that almost one-fourth of all marriages result in a divorce yearly? It is no wonder many couples seek help from professionals like marriage counsellor to help save their marriage. Marriage counselling typically consists of a series of sessions with a trained and licensed therapist to improve the relationship between you and your spouse and achieve a deeper understanding and connection between you.

So what can marriage counsellors do for couples?

Seeking help from a marriage counsellor isn't just about figuring out the obvious problems on the surface. Therapists can help you achieve much more. These include:

  1. Identifying the root cause of distress. This involves understanding the underlying issue of why you and your spouse have been arguing so often or why you haven't been able to communicate effectively or even resolve issues on your own.
  2. Learning specific tools and techniques to improve the connection between you and your spouse. This is usually achieved through home assignments or tasks such as date nights to encourage communication, help you spend quality time together, have fun and even rekindle the old spark and intimacy.
  3. Conflicts in a marriage can prove to be detrimental, especially if not dealt with promptly. As a marriage counsellor continues to unfold each level of your marriage, he also assists in repairing any conflicts between you and your partner before they escalate further and lead to resentment.
  4. Learning to create a supportive and positive environment at home where you and your partner can continue to support each other's goals and dreams.
  5. Uncovering and resolving painful incidents of the past. Not being able to do so can often impact how we feel, act and behave in our relationships today.
  6. Teaching different tactics for managing anger more effectively to avoid hurtful and pointless arguments.

What to expect on your first marriage counselling session?

While it's true that a marriage counsellor does not hold a magic wand or fairy dust which can immediately solve all your problems, with each passing counselling session, your counsellor aims to navigate the difference between you and your partner and resolve the challenging aspects of your relationship. However, many couples identify the first session as the most difficult and uncertain. So, if you are considering opting for marriage counselling then below are some of the key aspects that you can expect from your very first session:

  • Getting to know your therapist and gaining insight into how they work, introducing you and your partner
  • Sharing as many background details as possible regarding your relationship with your counsellor. This may include anything from old grievances to current issues
  • Laying the foundation of trust between you and your therapist
  • Learning that marriage counselling or couples' therapy is, in fact, a safe space where you and your spouse can share absolutely anything
  • Establish key relationship goals you wish to achieve at the end of your marriage counselling sessions.

What marriage counselling cannot do for couples?

While it's true that marriage counselling has been proven to be an effective tool to protect and revive marriages for many couples, even counselling has its limitations. Couples who have already checked out of the relationship or those struggling with domestic violence are usually far beyond the scope of marriage counselling. Other limitations of marriage counselling include the following:

  • Marriage counsellors, by law, cannot tell you or your spouse whether to stay in the relationship or break up. They can assist you in making a mutually agreeable decision but cannot make decisions for you.
  • Often clients approach marriage counsellors to seek validation of whether they will make it. Counsellors cannot predict the future of any relationship. They can only work with the present and "what is happening now" Similarly, marriage counsellors cannot decide if what both partners are going through is normal. What may be normal for one couple might be unacceptable for the other.
  • Since marriage counselling sessions are deemed as a safe space for spouses to share some of their most difficult feelings many times, it could lead to resentment and disappointment for the other partner. While therapists cannot dictate to couples, they try their best to help them find common ground to stay together. However, this may not always be a possibility leading to relationships ending amicably during therapy sessions.
  • Often, couples enter into marriage counselling sessions expecting to change their partners. However, this isn't what the counselling is for. Marriage counsellors try to help both partners explore their feelings for one another, their values, and what is considered "deal breakers" for them. They try to bridge the communication gap and encourage both spouses to be open to rethinking and considering their partners' feelings and needs. Once this is established, the counsellor moves to the next level and helps both partners to adjust and embrace each other with their shortcomings.
  • Marriage counsellors aren't judges, nor is the therapy session a courtroom to decide which partner is right or wrong, innocent or guilty. Instead, they work with facts and truths and help both partners understand each other's point of view and experience and what they care about the most.
  • Furthermore, if you or your partner has a history of violence or are engaged in substance abuse or other bad habits like contempt and disrespect, marriage counselling may not work for you. Instead, opting for individual counselling to improve oneself may be the best foot forward.

Final Verdict

It is no secret that marriage counselling has continued to be successful in resolving a wide range of issues for couples. From lack of communication to feeling isolated or even struggling with intimacy problems, if you and your partner are committed to the counselling process, marriage counselling will definitely help you get through the difficult times. All it takes is to be actively involved in the counselling session and the willingness to get out of your comfort zone to do the hard work. So act now call or book an appointment to arrange couples counselling in Perth or search counsellors near me in your local city. Good luck!