What Is Marital Therapy?
Marital therapy is a term which is often used interchangeably with marriage counseling and couples counseling. Marital therapy is a targeted type of counseling with focus placed on the couple and the issues which may cause discord within their relationship. This therapeutic style is often short-term and solution focused.
The point of marital therapy is to assist couples in accurately targeting the problems within their relationship and educating couples on how these issues can be resolved in a healthy, productive manner. The goal is about helping those within the relationship work to improve the quality of their relationship in order to produce feelings of greater satisfaction and intimacy.
Marriage Counseling Definition
Marital therapy is a subset of psychotherapy in which a counselor meets with two clients whom are in a relationship, often romantic, in which the clients are educated in the use of effective communication strategies and cooperative problem solving to improve overall relationship satisfaction.
How Does It Help?
Many issues that are faced on a personal level (stress, anxiety, and depression) can stem from issues in a relationship. While the main goal of marital therapy is to help strengthen the relationship through education, it is possible for the clients to experience alleviation of symptoms which may be caused by relationship discord. The most common issues which marital therapy can help with include infidelity, power struggles, and/or communication issues. This therapeutic style is tailored to the needs and goals of the clients and the counselor works cooperatively to help meet these goals through the use of healthy, proven techniques.
Everyday Health Marital Therapy Tips
It is often thought that couples seek therapy as a final attempt to save their marriage. While this can be true, there are a number of other reasons to seek a marital therapist. A couple should seek marital therapy if they are actively thinking about divorce or separation from one another. Another crucial time to seek marital therapy is after a significant trauma (near-death experience, death of a loved one, or if the parties of the relationship feel that they are treated as a friend as opposed to a partner in the relationship). Lastly, an issue that can benefit from therapy is a lack of attraction. If any member of the relationship no longer finds their partner appealing, it may be beneficial to seek a marital counselor to help address the dynamics which may be at play.
University of Michigan Marital Research
Marital therapy can be used effectively to treat many different types of relationship problems. The competent marital therapist will be well versed in techniques which can help address communication problems, a high number of conflicts, extra-marital affairs, issues of control, and couples whom may be experiencing sexual difficulties.
Can I Go It Alone?
There are many reasons to wonder if marital counseling can work if only one person is attending the therapy sessions. Legitimate scheduling conflicts may exist, however it could also be that one person does not feel that marital therapy is necessary, or that there are secrets which clients may want to prevent their partner from learning. No matter the reason, marital counseling cannot effectively help improve the quality of the relationship if both members are not willing to attend sessions and commit to working toward saving the relationship/marriage.
The education process of marital therapy will effectively teach members of the relationship to communicate more effectively and to give the relationship positive energy. Essentially, the individuals within the relationship are learning techniques which allow them to control their anger, voice their concerns, and argue more effectively. One person can attend therapy and learn these techniques and use what they learn to help improve the relationship, but the progress will be far slower if only one person is working. The progress of one person working is far faster than the progress of no one working.
Counselor Barb’s Marital Advice
Marital therapy can be very effective mainly due to the fact that both people in the relationship are called upon to analyze their own behavior and look at the expectations they have of their partner as well as the way in which they treat their partner. It is very important that both members be willing to honestly and objectively look at themselves and how they fit into the relationship. That being said, if your partner will not go to therapy with you it is possible to learn the skills and techniques in individual therapy which can help begin fostering change in the relationship. The progress will not be as fast since only one person will be working toward change but it just may be enough to illustrate for your partner that the techniques are effective.
What Makes A Good Marital Therapist?
The qualities of a good marital therapist are very similar to the qualities of a good individual therapist. The therapist will aim to make the client feel comfortable and ensure that the concerns being voiced are valid and acknowledged. The therapist will also help the clients feel that their relationship can be saved and actively help the clients to establish clear goals which can be accurately tracked. Clients should keep in mind that if they are uncomfortable with their therapist then they should seek out a new practitioner who makes them feel comfortable.
We provide Lexington KY Marital Therapy with your marriage in mind! Our professionals care about you, your spouse, and your family. If you goal is to stay married, we want to help you do everything in our power and yours to keep that marriage going. Many people give up too early and unfortunately we have seem some hang on too long. You decide these factors. We help you reach your goals for marital therapy. Be careful about anyone suggesting divorce. That can only be your decision. We hope it doesn’t come to that.
In addition to making certain that you feel comfortable with your therapist, it is important to find out what trainings they have received and what certificates they hold in the therapeutic world. Being competent in individual counseling issues does not mean that you are ready to handle the issues and dynamics which are at play in a relationship setting. Marital therapy is about finding the common ground which pulls two people together and this requires a different skill set than what is utilized in individual or even group settings.
A competent relationship therapist will be aware of the tensions which exist between two individuals and know how to maintain a therapeutic atmosphere when tempers flare. The counselor becomes a mediator who does not discourage arguing but asserts the importance of arguing fairly and effectively. A competent counselor will make certain that their clients understand, even in the face of conflict, that their situation is not hopeless.
Does It Work?
All of the data points to the conclusion that couples who seek out the services of a competent marital therapist have a higher chance of preserving the relationship than those who do not seek out assistance. The ultimate conclusion is that marital counseling success is largely dependent upon the dedication of the participants. The counselor can help educate the clients on techniques for resolving conflict, but if the techniques are not applied by the couple, an improvement in the relationship will not take place.
The current data on marital counseling indicates that couples who seek the help of a therapist when their relationship has “hit a reef” report a higher level of satisfaction in their relationship. The issues which are at play in the relationship may need an unbiased mediator and a therapist is often a cheaper alternative to a psychologist or a psychiatrist. The skills and techniques obtained from sessions with a marital counselor are the same that would be utilized by a psychologist or a psychiatrist, and they are trained to help you work through your marital issues.
We can help you save your marriage! Don’t wait until it’s too late!
Contact us today! for Marital Therapy in Lexington KY or call us at 859-338-0466 for immediate appointments.