Professional help can be an effective way to bring your relationship back to its original state and to continue learning and growing together. What kind of help is that? What is the difference between couples therapy and marriage counseling? To better understand the differences between these treatment options, Dr. Bethany Cook, a clinical psychologist, was interviewed.
What is couples therapy?
According to Dr. Cook this therapy is for couples who are in love but can’t seem to reach an agreement. This could be because they struggle with being vulnerable or lack basic communication skills. (Yes, that is a large portion of the population). A therapist will work closely with the couple to determine the root cause of the problems. This involves both the spouse and the therapist looking at their family communication history and unhelpful patterns. For example, if your wife is an “asker”, and you are a “guesser”, you might have been communicating incorrectly all along. Dr. Cook says that the role of a therapist is to help the couple understand their issues and grow together. This type of therapy is usually pursued by couples after at least one year together, sometimes longer.
What is marriage counseling?
As the name implies, marriage counseling is for married couples. This counseling can be viewed as a preventative measure. It focuses on the present and is usually skill-based and more generic than being focused on emotions or understanding each other’s perspectives. Marriage counseling can sometimes include formal classes with pre-written lesson plans that teach communication skills and basic conflict resolution. It’s basically like prepping for the inevitable struggles ahead.
You should now know that each type of treatment caters to different needs. We have broken down the main differences between marriage counseling and couples therapy to give you a better understanding.
Couples therapy is usually pursued when the couple has problems in their relationship. Sometimes, it is required for newlyweds. Couples who choose marriage counseling do not necessarily have serious relationship problems (though they may), but they still want to prepare for the challenges that might come their way as married couples.
Participants in couples therapy will do a deep dive on the issue at hand. Treatment will be customized to suit the needs of each couple. This is a less personal type of therapy. It doesn’t require as much digging. Instead, it focuses on identifying possible issues and teaching the skills needed to resolve conflicts and reach compromises.
Couples therapy can help you understand your triggers and develop coping skills. It also improves your feelings of happiness and empathy towards your partner and yourself. Couples can get education and support to learn communication skills that will help them build a solid foundation for their marriage.
Couples therapy can be a more involved commitment. It may involve as many as eight sessions or as many as twenty, depending on the degree of distress in the relationship. The length of marriage counseling sessions is shorter and involves fewer sessions. However, the course outline and specific goals will determine the exact number.
There are many factors that influence the cost of couples therapy and marriage counselling. These include the expertise of the practitioner, your location, and whether or no sliding scale rates are available. Couples therapy tends to be slightly more costly than marriage counseling. Sessions cost between $70 and $200, while sessions cost $45 to $200. Even though we have mentioned the impact of health insurance on the cost, it is worth noting that most insurance policies do not cover both types of treatment. Because relationship problems are not considered a medical condition,