Marriage counseling is offered to couples seeking to improve their spousal relationship. Couples may be seeking to improve their communication skills, overcome issues related to sexual intimacy, or discover new ways to resolve conflict and differences. Some couples may find themselves on the brink of separation or divorce; seeking ways to repair, restore and heal their relationship. Though the relationship is the focus in Marriage and Couples Counseling, each spouse should also expect to focus on self-improvement and self-awareness.
Couples seek counseling for a number of reasons. It is strongly recommended as soon as discontent arises in the relationship. Studies show however, that on average, couples will not seek counseling until they have been unhappy for six years. And yet, as more time passes without help, the more difficult it may be to change patterns, heal wounds and repair the relationship.
Effective therapy will offer hope and strategies to the couple by addressing many key areas of their relationship. Counselors assist couples to identify the negative patterns in their relationship. They help the couple develop skills and techniques to regulate negative emotions, stay calm and use healthy communication skills to resolve problems and improve intimacy.
Each spouse is required to bring the necessary motivation and dedication for change to the process of counseling. The couple will establish goals with the counselor and each spouse will need to understand his or her role in the relationship and how it affects the whole of the marriage.
After the initial session, the couple will decide on a course of options that meet the needs of the goals agreed upon with their counselor. They will take into account the availability of time and resources to be invested in the repair of the relationship. There is a range of options for couples counseling. Couples can meet for 2-3 hour sessions as well as 1 or 2 day intensives to increase effectiveness and change. Discernment Counseling is offered to those couples on the brink of separation or divorce.