How Couples Therapy Can Benefit Couples

Someone once said that a happy marriage is “the union of two good forgivers.” While this certainly is true for some relationships, what does one do when the couple feels that they have already exhausted all of their options and forgiving is no longer one of them?

The term “marriage counselling” is a formidable one, which may cause some couples to cringe at the prospect. Even contemplating marriage counselling requires recognising that there may be a need for it, which some people may feel is a bad reflection of who they are. Seeking help outside of marriage does not hold the taboo that it once did in the past, so many couples today (whether in healthy relationships or not) seek therapy as a means to optimise what they have. A marriage does not have to be in trouble in order for counselling to be considered, in fact, it can be a means of avoiding future pitfalls, in the same way, that a vehicle benefits from regular servicing. Marriage counselling has many benefits, including some of the following:

Tackling The Elephant In The Room
While there doesn’t need to be a large, unspoken-of issue that is weighing a couple down, smaller concerns may rear their heads during a therapy session. Confronting these smaller issues prevents the onset of a snowball effect which may eventually have a negative impact on the marriage.

A Safe Space
Marriage Counselling offers a safe space for couples in which they can openly express their emotions, without the risk and judgement or power struggles. The counsellor aims to facilitate a process in which both parties are able, to be honest with themselves and their partner. The fear of maiming or hurting the marriage is reduced, in this sense, as just the counsellor’s presence alone can offer a constant reminder to the couple as to why their actions should contribute to building them up as a team.

Unbiased Input
In Marriage Counselling, the counsellor acts objectively, as the goal is for the couple to decide what works for them. Counsellors offer a bird’s eye view from their third-party vantage point and are able to provide insight that may not previously have been considered. Because of their unique outlook, training and experience, counsellors are able to open the door to discussions that might not have happened otherwise.

Healthier Coping Mechanisms
Criticism, distrust, contempt, unrealistic expectations, and disrespect are often not the root cause of problems with marriages, but rather the by-products that disrupt the functioning of the partnerships. Marriage Counselling is an effective way to unearth some of the origins of the challenges that couples face. Tackling these matters head-on is far more effective than the symptomatic treatment that couples sometimes resort to in order to protect themselves.  Therapy is a good way to identify unhealthy coping mechanisms within the relationship and develop a new, positive manner of dealing with problems  

Therapy grants couples the opportunity to grow and communicate, and offers hope where hope is lost

Laurian Ward offers Couples Therapy Pretoria