Does Marriage Counseling Work?
Does marriage counseling work? The answer varies depending on a number of factors, including your willingness to change, the depth of your marital problems, and how well you respond to your therapist’s techniques. While marriage counseling may work wonders for one couple, it may make another couple’s relationship even worse. To help you answer the question “does marriage counseling work?”, statistics can provide a lot of guidance. Whether your marriage is just getting started or already on the rocks, the following surprising statistics can help you determine whether or not you should turn to marriage counseling.
1) Statistics Show High Rates of Patient Satisfaction
According to research 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 percent of those surveyed reported that they received good or excellent couples therapy, and over 97 percent of those surveyed said they got the help they needed. After working with a marriage or family therapist, 93 percent of patients said they had more effective tools for dealing with their problems. Respondents also reported improved physical health and the ability to function better at work after attending therapy.
2)Marriage Counseling or Family Therapy or Individual Counseling?
If you are wondering “does marriage counseling work?”, the answer may depend on whether or not your partner is even willing to go to therapy with you. If your partner refuses to go to therapy with you, you may be able to change the dynamic of your relationship just by going to individual therapy. However, statistics show that couples or family therapy is usually faster and more effective than individual therapy alone. When a couple or a family goes to therapy together, they have the chance to work on their group dynamic, and this leads them to success faster. Typically, it takes about a third fewer sessions to accomplish a goal in family or couples therapy than it does in individual therapy. This means you will spend less money and get your marriage back on track sooner than if you just tried to help yourself.
3) Working with a Licensed Family and Marriage Therapist Is Usually Cheaper than Seeing a Psychologist or a Psychiatrist
Unfortunately, when many couples start therapy, they feel stressed about money as well as many other things. Adding the additional stress of a therapy bill can be overwhelming for some couples, and in certain cases, it may be so overwhelming that it could derail the therapy. If you want to avoid that extra stress, you should try to use your insurance to pay for couples therapy. However, if your insurance does not cover the cost of couples counseling, you should look for a professional who has reasonable rates. If you turn to a licensed marriage and family therapist, you will typically spend 20 to 40 percent less than you would if you had opted to work with a psychologist or a psychiatrist.
4) Emotionally Focused Therapy Works Most of the Time
There is no magic formula that can fix a broken relationship, but many therapists have had incredible success using a type of therapy called Emotionally Focused Therapy or EFT. When asking “does marriage counseling work?”, statistics show that the answer is usually yes when couples use EFT. EFT works by helping a couple understand and reorganize their emotional responses to things. By working with their emotional cycles, a couple can come to a greater understanding of each other, and this can help them create new cycles of interaction. When couples turn to EFT, 90 percent of them report significant improvements in their relationship. Between 70 and 75 percent of couples who are in distress are able to move into recovery using EFT. Essentially, EFT helps a couple foster their attachment in healthy and productive ways.
6) The Sooner the Better: Couples Therapy Works Better When Couples Seek Help Early
Unfortunately, there are no hard numbers to back up this assertion, but it is commonly believed by therapists that the answer to “does marriage counseling work?” is more often yes when the couple seeks therapy as soon as possible. If a couple waits until their problems are too far advanced, one person may have already given up on the relationship, and saving the relationship at that point can be difficult. In other cases, communication patterns have become so abusive or negative that the therapist may struggle to teach the couple new communication techniques. For the best chance at success, couples should seek therapy as soon as possible. Couples may even want to sign up for premarital counseling.
7) Marriage and Divorce Statistics May Undermine Your Marriage
For years, most people have believed that 50 percent of marriages end in divorce. Sadly, that statistic can make people feel like their marriage is half over before it even starts, and unfortunately, that statistic may not be true for modern marriages. Couples who got married in the 1970s have a 47 percent rate of divorce, but those who married in the 1980s or 1990s actually have a lower rate of divorce. Couples who are getting married now tend to be much older than those who were getting married in the 1970s, and those extra years help to lower the divorce rate. Before throwing in the towel on your marriage, you should carefully assess whether cultural assumptions about the high divorce rate are making you give up too easily.