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Does marriage counseling make things worse?


Does marriage counseling make things worse?

As it is hard to address years of conflict in a 60 minute, or if you’re lucky, 90 minute session, it is not uncommon that you may walk out in the beginning feeling a little reactive or wanting to respond to what your spouse said. You may even have some of your worst fights after those first few sessions. ( One client likened it to peeling off a scab. It may not feel good in the beginning, but the initial discomfort allows for the healing process to occur.)

While sometimes things have to get worse in order to get better, if you are walking away weekly feeling even more pessimistic with no sense of hope, you may want to reassess what you are doing.

Some post-therapy reactions that are not helpful to your marriage-

Do you feel yourself getting more agitated by your spouse now since therapy has begun?
Have you noticed “problems” that you didn’t previously notice?
Are you catching yourself quoting your therapist against your spouse, “Well my therapist said….”
Are you suddenly having doubts as to whether you should stay together?

While there are many good therapists out there, there are also plenty who are not competent at helping couples and can undermine your relationship.

If you are going to therapy to make your marriage better, a good marriage counselor will help work with you to make that goal a reality.

Good marriage counseling helps you work together and doesn’t take sides or place doubts in your mind about the relationship. It encourages you to connect, provides real hope that your relationship can heal, and empowers you with the tools to do so.

With best wishes for your relationship success,

Shlomo and Rivka Slatkin

This article was originally published at Reprinted with permission from the author.


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