Marriage counseling, also called couples therapy, is a type of psychotherapy. Marriage counseling helps couples of all types recognize and resolve conflicts and improve their relationships.
Some typical issues that marriage counseling can help you and a spouse or partner cope with are:
- Substance abuse
- Physical or mental conditions
- Same-sex relationship issues
- Cultural clashes
- Blended families
- Communication problems
- Sexual difficulties
- Conflicts about child rearing
- Changing roles, such as retirement
Some couples seek marriage counseling to strengthen their bonds and gain a better understanding of each other. Marriage counseling can also help couples who plan to get married. This pre-marriage counseling can help couples achieve a deeper understanding of each other and iron out differences before marriage.
Marriage counseling is generally provided by licensed therapists known as marriage and family therapists. These therapists provide the same mental health services as other therapists, but with a specific focus — a couple’s relationship. Marriage counseling is often short term. You may need only a few sessions to help you weather a crisis. Or you may need marriage counseling for several months, particularly if your relationship has greatly deteriorated. As with individual psychotherapy, you typically see a marriage counselor once a week.