Marriage Counseling – The Complete Guide 2024

This is the most comprehensive guide to marriage counseling online.

In this expert-written guide, you’ll learn everything you need to know about

  • finding the right marriage counselor,
  • checking if you need one,
  • reasons and benefits to hire one,
  • questions a marriage counselor may ask,
  • and a lot more.

My “Marriage Counseling – The Complete Guide” answers all your questions.

I’ll even show you how to get free couples counseling and how to become a marriage counselor.

Let’s dive right into it:

No relationship is all sunshine, or?

As long as you’re both willing to fight for each other rather than against each other, it will be much easier to weather the storm against all odds.

It takes two to tango and it also takes two to reach a compromise for a peaceful and happy co-existence and that’s what counselors try to do during marriage counseling sessions.

Marriage Counseling Online Complete Guide
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So, what exactly is marriage counseling?

Marriage Counseling- The Process Easily Explained

Whether you call it couples therapy or couples counseling, marriage counseling is basically a psychotherapy procedure or process that is meant to help couples

  • explore their relationship,
  • identify misunderstandings, and
  • resolve conflicts.

The major intent of this process is to help couples

  • interact better and
  • achieve a better level of interactions that will
  • improve their relationship going forward.

If you feel like you’ll need a marriage counselor at this point in your relationship, there are a few things you should know;

First of all, it will start with you finding a good counselor.

It may seem hard discussing your problems with the counselor at the beginning, this is not bad and hopefully, your counselor will help you going forward.

The therapy is usually short-term in most cases and you can attend sessions by yourself. It’s also possible that you or your partner may need additional help.

Whatever the case, the couples counseling sessions will be centered on:

  • helping you with open communication,
  • addressing differences rationally,
  • accepting that differences are a good thing, and
  • taking problem-solving approaches to help solidify and strengthen your relationship.
When to get Marriage Counseling
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When to Get Marriage Counseling

Counseling will help you and your partner reflect on the relationship and take proactive steps at co-existing happily. But when do you know it’s time to seek this help?

As soon as you notice there is an obvious crack in your relationship that is proving too stubborn to patch, seek help. Most people make the mistake of waiting too long before taking this step.

The longer you wait, the harder it usually is to get you guys back on track.

So, once you see your marriage is in trouble, don’t hesitate to seek help. I’ll discuss some of the most common reasons that should prompt you to seek couples counseling later on in this guide.

As it turns out, there are also cases when partners go for pre-marriage counseling even before tying the knot. This also has its own advantages as we’ll see later on.

Reasons for Marriage Counseling
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What does Marriage Counseling Consist of?

Your therapy sessions will comprise of a series of evidence-based approaches and processes structured to help you change how you see your relationship and to see things in an objective manner.

The counseling process will also involve several steps and attempts to help you and your partner

  • modify dysfunctional behaviors,
  • reduce emotional avoidance, and then
  • to improve communication.

Now, all of these things are what goes into the process as the counselor tries to help you regain the lost spark to strengthen your relationship.

12 Reasons to Seek Marriage Counseling

There are many reasons and situations that may prompt couples into getting couples counseling.

Couples Counseling
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Here, consider going for couples counseling if;

  1. You feel like communication between you and your partner has become sour or poor
  2. Your sex life has taken a hit and has changed significantly from what it used to be
  3. You or/and your partner are holding on to the past and can’t seem to let go of some past traumatic experiences
  4. You find yourself frequently at loggerheads on reoccurring issues
  5. You’re having all too frequent disagreements on money and family finances
  6. Bearing or raising the kids is appearing like a tug of war with clear disagreements
  7. You see the other person as an antagonist instead of your partner
  8. You’re holding back some secrets or probably afraid to talk
  9. You or your partner is withholding affection as a punishment
  10. You’re having an affair or contemplating it
  11. You’re always having discussions that always turn negative
  12. You still love your partner and really want things to take a positive turn

If you can relate to one or more of the above, perhaps the time is right for you to seek help.

On the other hand, partners who are hoping to get married soon can decide to go for pre-marriage counseling to learn how they can lay a good foundation on which they can build a strong marriage.

Marriage Counseling Statistics and Facts

Does marriage counseling work? Will it work for you?

I bet you have a million questions running through your mind. But even before we discuss some of the common questions, here are a few quick facts and statistics you should be aware of;

Marriage counseling has a high rate of patient satisfaction.

A survey by the American Association of Marriage & Family Therapy reported that;

  • Over 98% of respondents reported getting good/excellent therapy
  • More than 97% are satisfied with the help they got
  • 93% reported getting more effective tools to handle their relationship, and
  • Many respondents reported improved physical health and productivity at work after the therapy.

You should also know that you’ll get a less expensive but still very effective service with a licensed family therapist or couples coach than you would in most cases, with a psychiatrist or a psychologist.

Additionally, counseling may still lead to divorce in some cases too. The counselor may provide encouragement on ending their relationship if it appears the relationship is far from healthy.

Your counselor’s degree and qualifications also may not matter in all cases and generally, the earlier you seek help, the easier it is to get the help you need.

Marriage Counseling Infographic

Typical Marriage Counseling Questions

If you feel frightened or intimated going to a marriage counselor here comes a little preview for you.

Whether this is brought on by your fears of exposing your deepest secrets or the uncertainty that may come with the process, it makes sense to get a little scoop on what this may involve, to calm your anxiety.

Typical couples counseling questions will revolve around the basic structure of your relationship; how you both are dealing with past experiences, as well as questions that will be aimed at identifying the pain points in your relationship.

Marriage Counseling Questions
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Understanding the Structure of Your Relationship

The counselor can ask you about

  • who makes most of the decisions,
  • who you think should be in charge,
  • one or more things your spouse does frequently that annoys you,
  • what your spouse never do,
  • what your goal with the marriage is,
  • what a good marriage should look like,

among others.

About Handling Past Issues and Occurrences

The marriage counselor will likely ask questions from past issues like those that may have to do with

  • your siblings,
  • your mother,
  • your childhood,
  • about your past relationships,
  • and whether or not you feel like trusting your partner because of something he or she did sometimes in the past.

Identify the Problematic Issues

Questions such as

  • what you argue most times about,
  • how you deal with financial problems,
  • differences in your parenting style,
  • communication with your spouse,
  • things your spouse repeatedly does that hurt your feelings and
  • what you would change in your relationship if you had the chance, among others.

How to Find the Right Marriage Counselor

The impact of therapy, whether as pre-marriage counseling or marriage counseling can never be understated. But before you start your ‘couples counseling near me’ or ‘marriage counseling near me’ searches, you should understand what it means to find the right counselor for you.

Recommendations from friends and family members as well as online searches and reviews may help you get started.

However, there’s no one-size-fits-all approach and the fact that a counselor was able to help a friend does not guarantee they’ll also be able to help in your situation.

Once you’re done with

  • assessing your counselor’s qualifications,
  • their methods, and
  • empathy,

you should have a pretalk. This first consultation will help you understand the chemistry between you and your counselor.

But what are the important questions to ask, to find your perfect fit?
Sign up in the form below and get my FREE questions checklist.

I can’t emphasize this enough but several studies point to the fact that 70 to 80% of counseling success depends largely on the relationship and chemistry between the client and the counselor.

The other 20 to 30% then depends on the methods and approach.

Here is the deal, while you’re searching frantically for ‘couples counseling near me’ have it in mind to find a counselor that will make you feel comfortable and confident in the professional relationship. Only then will you know that you’re on course for something promising.

Qualifications and Degrees
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Different Counseling Degrees and Qualifications

In most cases, counselors are required to earn a bachelor’s degree and perhaps a master’s before they can practice. Bachelor’s degree programs can be in fields like psychology, counseling, or human services.

The master’s program as well can be generalized such as in

  • Master of Science in counseling studies,
  • Master of Science in professional counseling, or a
  • Master of Arts in counseling.

Specializations can then be in

  • Masters of Science in Marriage and Family Counseling,
  • Master of Science in Career Counseling,
  • etc.

Doctoral programs include

  • Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology,
  • PsyD in Counseling Psychology,
  • etc.

Additional licensing may also be required in some cases. In the US for example, counselors are expected to pass a state-recognized exam as well as annual continuing education classes.

Different states may also have other licensing and certification guidelines as well.

Online Marriage Counseling

Maybe you’re finding it difficult to make headway with your marriage counseling near me searches.

Perhaps you’ll find a worthy alternative looking online. 

Online marriage counseling still has the same objective as in-office counseling. The only difference is that your therapy sessions with the marriage counselor are done on the internet in the comfort of your home.

Online Marriage Counseling
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Whether you’re having privacy concerns or worries, having difficulties with time and availability or just about any other reason, getting a suitable marriage counselor to work with you and your partner online can also have great impacts and results.

But how does this compare to in-office or couples marriage counseling? Let’s see!

Online vs. Offline Marriage Counseling

Should you take to the web to find your therapist or should start searching for couple counseling near me like some would simply do? Well, it depends on what you think will be best for you!

Let’s weigh the pros and cons of both methods;

Online marriage counseling offers clients a lot more flexibility and convenience.

Oftentimes, it’s not as expensive as offline or conventional counseling and you can make more frequent contacts with your counselor.

You’re able to express yourself in many ways from texts to audios, videos, etc.

Offline counseling, on the other hand, is great for situations where the need for in-person interaction is very important but generally, online marriage counseling is great for people with social anxiety, those who are worried about confidentiality, and those who generally prefer the convenience and flexibility it brings.

Free Marriage Counseling

At the moment, I’m working on this idea of mine to help thousands around the world turn conflicts into connection, maintain a healthy relationship, and strengthen the bond in their marriage.

I am doing this via audio recordings of couples coaching sessions.

You can contribute towards making this project a success by attending a free pre-marriage coaching or marriage coaching session. If you’re already on the lookout for free marriage counseling, this will be a win-win for you.

Here’s the deal, by simply helping yourself, you’ll also be able to help others.

Couples Counseling

You would have seen this term used interchangeably many times up to this point.

Couples counseling is also the same as marriage counseling. It all depends on what you or your counselor prefers to call it. Some others may also call it couples therapy.

As you know already, everything here revolves around getting your union and relationship to working again after a stormy period.

Couples Counseling
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Pre-Marriage Counseling

Pre-marriage counseling can also be referred to as premarital counseling.

It is no doubt easy to spot the difference between pre-marriage counseling in comparison to couples counseling by just looking at the id.

Rather than after being married, premarital counseling borders on preparing you for marriage, counseling you and your partner on how you can both work for a healthy and strong relationship that will, in turn, guarantee a stable and highly satisfying marriage and life.

Pre-marriage counseling usually touches issues such as;

  • Affection, intimacy, and sex
  • Beliefs and values
  • Children and parenting
  • Communication
  • Dealing with anger
  • Decision making
  • Family relationships
  • Finances
  • Marriage roles
  • Quality time spent together, etc

Is Marriage Counseling Covered by Health Insurance?

Truth is insurance plans vary a great deal.

In most cases, however, the coverage is only for medical illnesses and counseling may not be covered. The surest way to know if your insurance will cover your couple’s counseling is to directly contact your insurer.

In some cases, they may also cover partial expenses. If in any way you’re able to leverage your insurance for couples therapy, it will make this far less expensive.

However, the downside to this is having a psychiatric diagnosis on your medical report which at times may be medically necessary to use your insurance benefits for counseling.

What is the Success Rate of Marriage Counseling?

You’ll come across several figures and statistics throw around but I’ll be relying on the more credible data from the American Psychological Association to discuss how successful counseling may be for couples.

Emotionally-Focused Therapy is the mainstream approach adopted by marriage counselors today and the process as reported is roughly 75% effective, based on more than two decades of research.

How Much Does it Cost Having Marriage Counseling?

On average, you’ll pay between $75 and $300 for an hour/session of couples counseling.

This may seem expensive depending on your financial status but good counseling is priceless.

When you consider the value, this investment into your marriage and happiness as a whole is still very affordable.

Is Marriage Counseling Effective?

Does counseling actually helps your marriage or not?

It undoubtedly does work.

There is however the need for strong will on the part of both partners to make it very effective.

Individuals must be willing to accept responsibility for their own part. They must also be willing to accept each other’s faults and also be willing to repair the relationship.

How Long Does Marriage Counseling Usually Last?

The truth is there is no particular length of therapy.

Each session usually lasts from about 60 to 120 minutes.

While it’s not uncommon to see people getting significant improvements after three to six sessions, some people need about 12 to 16 sessions on average to see good results.

But just like I’ve said earlier that there’s no one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to couples counseling, you should aim to stop only when you think your problem is fixed or when you feel like this is no longer helping you grow.

Marriage Counseling Near Me

If you’ll be searching for ‘marriage counseling near me’, here are some trustworthy marriage counselor directories in the US, UK, Canada, and Australia.

Couples Counseling Near Me

Below are three additional reliable couples counseling directories for US, UK, Canada, and Australia residents for those searching for ‘couples counseling near me’, for the best options in their locality.

My Personal Approach to Marriage and Couples Coaching

My approach to couples coaching is somehow unique in that it is wholly focused on you, the client.

You as the clients are the highest authority in the counseling process.

You know what is best helpful for you and what’s not.

I also understand my position as a companion on your couple’s exploration journey.

This exploration can cover

  • specific issues,
  • problems or
  • challenges you are facing in your relationship as well as
  • in your inner self (or both).

I understand myself as a waiter and I’m the neutral guide on your side who knows the right questions to ask.

I offer you different perspectives on reality so you can choose what fits best for you and your specific goals.

We’ll do an evaluation after every session together, to assess how helpful the coaching is for you as a couple and how satisfied you are with the process.

It will also interest you that I give clients maximum satisfaction and a money-back guarantee.

Do you want to become a Marriage Counselor?

 Are you thinking about becoming a marriage counselor?

Perhaps you’re interested in counseling courses or online counseling courses. There are some universities and schools offering counseling degrees.

I also advise young growing marriage counselors or people who are interested in a couples counseling career.

I can give you professional feedback on your strengths and weaknesses after a consultation session with me.

This way, you can evaluate if a career in marriage counseling is fitting for you as well as the specific field that will probably be the best niche for you.

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