Can Couples Counselling Save a Relationship? (Your Top Questions Answered)

Couples counselling offers couples a supportive environment to address relationship challenges and foster greater intimacy. In this blog post, we'll delve into the effectiveness of couples counselling services and address common questions surrounding it.

What is Couples Counselling or Relationship Counselling?

First,  what is couples counselling? Couples counselling or relationship counselling is designed to help couples address and resolve conflicts, improve communication, and strengthen their bond. It provides a safe and supportive environment for couples to explore their relationship dynamics, express their thoughts and feelings, and work through challenges together. The goal of couples counselling is to enhance the overall quality of the relationship, foster greater intimacy and understanding, and equip couples with the skills needed to navigate future conflicts effectively.

couple holding arms

Effectiveness of Couples Counselling

Does relationship counselling work?

You might be asking yourself, can counselling truly repair a relationship? Research suggests that couples counselling can be effective in helping couples stay together and improve their relationship satisfaction. According to a study published in the Journal of Marital and Family Therapy, approximately 70% of couples reported improvements in their relationships.

Ultimately, the answer lies with each individual and their readiness to address challenges. With open communication and understanding, couples can confront underlying issues, enhance communication, rebuild trust, and deepen their connection. However, success relies on the commitment of both partners to actively engage in the process and implement necessary changes. While outcomes may vary depending on the unique circumstances of each couple, many individuals do experience positive changes and choose to stay together.

Considerations for Couples Contemplating Counselling

Are you ready?

Before embarking on counselling, couples should consider their readiness and willingness to engage in the process. Factors such as compatibility with the counsellor, willingness of each individual, and accessibility of services should be taken into account.

Navigating Relationship Counselling

What Not to Say in Couples Counselling

Being prepared and knowing how to approach each session can significantly contribute to success. On the flip side, certain statements or behaviors can hinder progress and create barriers to effective communication. Here are some things to avoid saying or doing:"

  • Blaming: Refrain from assigning blame or pointing fingers at your partner for issues in the relationship. Instead, focus on expressing your feelings and needs without placing blame.
  • Defensiveness: Avoid becoming defensive when receiving feedback from your partner or the counsellor. Instead, remain open to constructive criticism and reflect on how you can contribute to positive change.
  • Invalidating Feelings: Dismissing or minimizing your partner's feelings can undermine trust and communication in the counselling process. It's essential to validate your partner's emotions and demonstrate empathy and understanding.
  • Stonewalling: Shutting down or withdrawing from communication during counselling sessions can hinder progress and prevent resolution. Instead, strive to remain engaged and actively participate in the counselling process.

By avoiding these communication pitfalls and focusing on constructive dialogue and problem-solving, couples can maximize the benefits of relationship counselling and work towards building a healthier and more fulfilling relationship.

How often should you go to couples counselling?

Determining the frequency of sessions depends on various factors, including the nature of the issues being addressed and the preferences of the couple. It's essential to establish a schedule that allows for consistent progress while also accommodating the couple's availability and commitment to the process.

Some couples may benefit from weekly sessions, especially if they are facing significant challenges or crises in their relationship. Weekly sessions provide regular opportunities to address issues as they arise and to help maintain momentum.

Alternatively, couples with less pressing concerns or busy schedules may opt for bi-weekly or monthly sessions. While less frequent, these sessions still offer valuable opportunities for reflection, communication, and growth.

Ultimately, the frequency of couples counselling should be tailored to meet the unique needs and circumstances of each couple. Open communication with the counsellor about needs, progress, and scheduling preferences can help ensure that the counselling process is effective and beneficial for both partners.

Addressing Relationship Challenges

couple holding hands over table

Is it ever too late for couples counselling?

One common question that arises is whether it's too late for relationship counselling. Couples counselling can be beneficial at any stage of a relationship. While it's natural to have concerns about timing, seeking support through counselling can offer new insights, facilitate healing, and help couples navigate challenging circumstances.

Can marriage counselling work with a narcissist?

Another question that arises is, can couples counselling work when one partner is a narcissist? In counselling with a narcissist, the counsellor can help the non-narcissistic partner develop coping strategies for dealing with narcissistic behaviours, establish healthy boundaries, and work on building self-esteem and assertiveness. Additionally, support groups specifically tailored for individuals dealing with narcissism may also be beneficial in conjunction with marriage counselling.

Overall, counselling with a narcissist may require a different approach to provide valuable support and guidance for both partners in managing the challenges of the relationship.

Does couples counselling work for cheating?

While the road to healing from infidelity may be challenging, many couples find that couples counselling provides them with the support, guidance, and tools they need to move forward in their relationship with greater understanding, empathy, and connection. While healing from betrayal can be a complex and challenging process, couples counselling provides a structured and supportive environment for both partners to explore the underlying issues that contributed to the infidelity, rebuild trust, and work towards reconciliation.

Should you consider counselling with your ex?

In the aftermath of a breakup, the idea of attending counselling with your ex may seem counterintuitive or even daunting. However, for some individuals, especially those seeking closure or aiming to co-parent effectively, counselling with an ex-partner can offer valuable opportunities for healing and resolution.

Overall, couples counselling can offer a beacon of hope for couples navigating the complexities of relationships. Whether you're facing communication breakdowns, trust issues, or navigating the aftermath of a breakup, seeking support from a counsellor can help make a difference in your relationship journey.