Does Couples Counselling or Therapy Really Work?

In general, couples who are fleeting through distressed relationship doubt if couple counselling would never work for them or not or would it be a wastage of time and money – and that stops them from seeking professional help from an expert who can save their relationship and marriage.

The problem arises because there are myths about the low success rate of couples therapy. People with no experience of good counselling or who don’t know about the subject, give the worst advice to distressed people. “Couple Counselling is a waste of money”, “rather wear gems or consult an astrologer, do yoga, meet new people” but don’t trust a trained and certified expert who is trained and experienced especially to help distressed couples and to save their relationship and marriage.

Delhi’s eminent Psychologist and Couple Counsellor Shivani Misri Sadhoo tell us that the success rate of couple therapy is extremely high. She says there has been much research done to check the success rate of couple counselling and the results are always extraordinary, for example recently a research was done by the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapists, families and couples who have attended family or couples therapy sessions indicate high levels of patient satisfaction. Over 98% of those surveyed reported that they received good or excellent couples therapy. Respondents also reported improved physical and emotional health and the ability to communicate better at work after attending therapy.

So how couple counselling work? Counsellor Shivani Misri Sadhoo says good couple counselling works on certain basic principles and that pulls out couples from their distressed state to a positive and healthy relationship condition. These principals are:

1. Good couple counselling changes the views of the relationship.

First, the couple therapist helps both partners see the relationship in an objective manner.  The therapist helps the couples to learn to stop the “blame game” and instead look at what happens to them when they involve each partner negatively.

2. Modifies dysfunctional behaviour.

Effective couple therapist attempts to change the way the partners actually behave with each other. This means that in addition to helping them improve their interactions, therapists ensures that their clients are not engaging in actions that can cause physical, psychological or economic harm to self or to their partner.

3. Decreases Emotional Avoidance

Couples who avoid expressing their innermost feelings put themselves at a greater risk of becoming emotionally distant and hence grow apart. Effective couples therapist helps their clients bring out the emotions and thoughts that they fear expressing to the other person. Attachment-based couples therapy allows the partners to feel less afraid of expressing their needs for closeness.

4. Improves Communication

An effective couple counsellor focuses on helping the partners to communicate more effectively. The new communication mode which the counsellor redevelops within couples is not abusive, nor does it ridicule partners when they express their true feelings. The counsellor helps the couples learn to listen more actively and empathically.

5. Promotes strengths

Effective couple therapists point out the strengths in the relationship and build resilience particularly as therapy nears a termination.  The point of promoting strength is to help the couple to gain back their trust, their love, their bliss and satisfaction which was put on the back burner by both the partners.

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