What is Marriage Counseling?

Throughout life, our personal and family relationships give us both joy and challenges. The more we understand ourselves, our emotions and behaviors, the better we can communicate, manage stress and function effectively around the important people in our lives.

Marriage counseling, also called couples and family therapy, is a type of psychotherapy that emphasizes improved relationship skills and conflict resolution. Often short-term, therapy sessions can include all members or just a single person within a unit. The specific treatment plan will depend on the situation. But, whether it is marital problems, conflict between parents and children, a tragedy in the family or the affects of an illness (such as substance abuse or depression) on the couple or family unit, counseling sessions are designed to help individuals learn the tools they need to function effectively within their relationships. Marriage and Family therapy is a very active type of therapy, and members are often given assignments. For example: a couple may be given communication exercises to practice at home; or parents may be asked to assign responsibilities to each child.

Focus: Marriage Counseling or Couples Therapy

Marriage Counseling & Couples Therapy
What is Marriage Counseling & Couples Therapy?

Marriage counseling is not just for unhappy or struggling couples, couple’s therapy can be used proactively to strengthen bonds and to gain a better understanding of one other. In addition, before a marriage begins pre-marital counseling can help couples achieve a deeper understanding of each other and iron out differences before their wedding day.

Couples that seek counseling to improve a troubled relationship may be dealing with issues such as: communication problems, financial problems, sexual difficulties, parenting challenges, substance abuse, anger management, infidelity and divorce.

Please note: If you are in a situation of domestic abuse or violence please contact the police, a local shelter or a crisis center for emergency support. Click here for a list of hotlines that can help!

Focus: Family Therapy

Like pre-marital counseling, family therapy can also be useful as a preventative technique to teach members how to handle adversity before it begins. For example, newly blended families that have children from previous marriages may benefit from family therapy to help all family members learn how to live together respectfully.

Because the family is such an important part of a person’s social support network, family therapy can be crucial for families in which there is illness or other similar problems. In general, the better a family functions, the lower the stress level for the person with health problems. Adults who grew up in poorly functioning families as children may benefit from individual therapy that uses family therapy concepts, especially as they begin to form their own nuclear families.

Parenting counseling or classes is another important element of family therapy. Parenting is hard work and can bring out a whole range of emotions and changes in a family or marriage – some great, some not. A marriage and family therapist can help parents and children talk through important issues and learn the necessary skills to develop a healthy supportive relationship.

There are numerous benefits to marriage and family counseling, from improved communication among family members to solving long time emotional hurt.

Marriage and family therapy is usually provided by a clinical social worker or a licensed marriage and family therapist. If you or someone you know could benefit from family or couples therapy search the TherapyTribe therapist directory to find a qualified marriage and family therapist in your area.

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