Does Couples Counseling Work?
Have you thought about couples counseling and wondered if it “works?” How is “success” measured when relationships are subjective? Who can benefit from couples counseling?
Couples therapy is for anyone who is in a committed relationship and wants to address concerns and build a stronger relationship with their significant other. At Olney Counseling Center, our Therapists work with couples who are dating, engaged, newly married, married for decades, and couples who are separated or divorcing. OCC provides therapy on a wide range of matters within a relationship. Your Therapist will help you identify patterns that can use improvement with tangible, concrete steps to work on for a better quality of life. Visit the Couples Counseling page of our website to learn more.
It’s understandable that you might want reassurance that your time, money, and energy will be spent wisely when undergoing couples or marriage counseling. The Gottman Relationship Institute has 40+ years of data on what leads to successful couples outcomes. This study bases its data on physical measurements such as reduced heart rate and cortisol (stress hormone) levels. The study also looks at whether couples counseling decreases harmful communication patterns such as contempt, defensiveness, criticism and blaming. Successful outcomes of couples counseling look for increases in the ratio of positive interactions between the couple including turning towards each other, recognizing and responding to bids for attention, and showing interest, care, and concern for each other. Successful relationships include having trust, being committed to a significant other, feeling understood, being supported, the ability to manage conflicts, have shared meaning and physical intimacy.
Licensed Therapists at Olney Counseling Center are trained to look for specific patterns within communication, connection, and intimacy that are harmful and to offer evidence-based treatments to turn these patterns around. Good candidates for couples therapy are individuals who want a better relationship and are willing to do the work. Like everything else in life, we get out of it what we put into it. So if we aren’t willing to do anything but show up for the scheduled appointment, you can expect a less than ideal outcome. If you and/or your partner are not committed to the relationship and/or therapy yet, you can try discernment counseling. This type of counseling helps determine the readiness for couples therapy. For those not ready for couples therapy, additional recommendations can be made by your OCC Therapist.
Many committed couples report growth, change, and better connection after working an evidence-based treatment that results in a better quality of life. If you have ever thought about trying couples therapy, start now. Research shows that better outcomes happen to those who seek help earlier rather than dragging their feet and waiting until things get really bad. Imagine if we did this with our car maintenance, lawn care, or physical health? Addressing issues when they begin is certainly less work than an entire engine overhaul. Don’t wait until a crisis to get some maintenance and spring cleaning. Contact Olney Counseling Center today so we can help you get over the bumps in your relationship.