Does couples counselling work? The pros and cons that will surprise you


Experts say that couples counselling has a success rate of around 70%. Also, the Association of Marriage and Family Therapists of the United States reveals that 3 out of 4 couples who go to counselling find that their relationship improves.

This data is confirmed by psychologist José Bustamante, secretary and member of the AES (Spanish Association of Specialists in Sexology), who indicates that around 90 % of couples who attend counselling see an improvement in their state of mind. In fact, two thirds of them admit improvements in their work and health.

Why do I show you all this data? Because there are many reasons why a couple decides to seek therapy, but most of them have doubts about its effectiveness.

Sometimes, in my consultations as a therapist, patients start their session saying: Dr. Duany, there are many arguments in my home with my partner, I am upset, but the truth is that I don’t know if this counseling will work. To which I respond: “it will work if you commit yourself to the process, whatever the outcome”.

What is couples counselling?

First of all, couples counselling is not a magic act. It is not about the therapist pulling out a magic wand and solving all your marital problems. Much of the success of counselling depends on the couple.

Marriage counselling is a type of therapy in which the counsellor or therapist provides a safe space for the couple to resolve their conflicts, improve their bond or, if necessary, bring their relationship to a successful end.

As a therapist, I offer tools and support to couples who wish to find solutions so that their relationship can thrive and remain united by respect, love, understanding and listening.

No couple is perfect, nor can they expect their marriage to be. The healthiest thing to do is always to turn to a professional when the situation becomes complicated. That’s why today I want to share with you the pros and cons of counselling. This way you will be able to decide more clearly if you are ready to make the decision to see help.

Pros of couple counselling

Many people think that going to counselling is only for venting their sorrows or trying to keep the relationship going. This is not entirely true, because counselling is also effective if you want to make the break-up as painless and conflict-free as possible. So says Anfruns Nomen, psychotherapist and specialist in couple therapy.

In this respect, numerous case studies demonstrate the advantages of couple counselling for those who are willing to commit themselves to the process of growth and healing.

Tools for resolving conflict and managing change in the relationship

Doctor in Psychology, José Antonio García, from the UNED, explains that one of the biggest difficulties that can be seen in marriage counselling is that each partner blames the other for the problems. In addition, they place the responsibility for improving the relationship on their partner.

In this respect, one of the greatest advantages of counselling is the number of tools the therapist provides to resolve conflicts. It also allows both partners to listen to each other, to empathize with each other’s emotions and to express their feelings and vulnerabilities in a respectful atmosphere.

Increased communication

Studies show that 75 % of couples find couple counselling an effective way to communicate with their partner. Most of them also report that after having a free communication, where both partners listen to each other and talk freely, they feel greater marital satisfaction.

Contributes to reaffirming and improving the couple’s commitment to each other

When a couple comes to marriage counselling, they realize that they are both responsible for the situation they are in. I am not talking about guilt, but about responsibility, which is very different.

By becoming aware of the individual responsibility that each of them has within the relationship, they are able to reaffirm their commitment and achieve a more harmonious coexistence.

Increases empathy and mutual support

After several sessions, I have noticed that couples who attend couples counselling are more open and empathetic towards each other. Remember that both you and your partner come from different families, each have their fears, insecurities and shortcomings or areas for improvement.

In some cases, family or self-esteem problems of one partner may be the source of the problem. By reviewing this in counselling, the other partner can perceive their partner’s humanity and provide support as needed.

Cons of couple counselling

As much as marriage counselling has its benefits, I must also tell you that it has some aspects that can be categorized as “cons”. Let’s see what these elements are.

  • It is necessary to attend on an ongoing basis. The couple must be committed to the process. Several sessions are required to achieve the above-mentioned benefits.
  • The couple attending counselling should do so freely. They should not go to please the other, nor should they go out of obligation.
  • There may be discharge of intense emotions, such as anger, rage, resentment.
  • Culmination of the sentimental commitment. While it is true that therapy seeks to resolve conflicts and create meeting spaces in the relationship, it is possible that after several sessions the couple may realize that the best thing for both of them is to separate.
  • The professional may cause confusion in the relationship. If the therapist who is accompanying the process does not have sufficient experience or only understands one version of the problem, it is likely that instead of helping, he or she will confuse the couple even more.

Remember that marriage counselling is not just for couples who have major conflicts or argue on a regular basis. Counselling is for all relationships that want to get to know each other better, reach agreements and find common ground that will make them grow as individuals and as a couple.

If you need to contact a qualified professional for couples counselling, you can call this number 407 618 0212. If you have any doubts about this topic, contact me, I am open to listening to you.

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