Why couples therapy doesn’t work for some couples. After speaking to her for about an hour, I casually asked her to invite her husband, so we can talk about things and sort it out. Love is patient…is not selfish…bears all things…endures all things. Through marriage counseling, you can make thoughtful decisions about rebuilding and strengthening your relationship or going your separate ways.Marriage counseling is often provided by licensed therapists known as marriage and family therapists. They opt for couples therapy, thinking that maybe someone else can help them solve their problems, but does it work? One partner wants to end the marriage. The moment I said that, she begged me not to do it. However, in a majority of cases, the couple can and should work it out. Instead of going into therapy with the mindset of wanting your partner to change, Hernandez suggests reflecting on your behaviors in the relationship. "Couples therapy will help both partners better understand the relationship and the role they each play," Sheila Tucker, licensed associate marriage and family therapist and owner of Heart Mind & Soul Counseling, tells Bustle. If you're in an abusive relationship, couples therapy is not the help you need — you may want to seek help individually from loved ones or a professional in exiting the relationship. To give you an example, a friend once came over to my house with her husband and asked me to help her out. I asked my friend to go visit an expert therapist, because I personally knew it was not something I could fix. Loving Separately: When Living Together Isn't Working. I asked her why she thought the therapist wasn’t qualified. Just because you're getting therapy doesn't mean you can necessarily save your relationship, either. This imbalance makes couples counseling an unsafe environment for the person experiencing the abuse, Carlson stresses. No, not the ones you see in expensive therapy clinics. "Don't be afraid to ask questions, or for referrals if you don't think you're a match." However, how can you spot if therapy isn't working? "If couples aren't invested in trying new techniques or recreating the experiences from therapy at home throughout the week, then therapy probably will not work." 12 real reasons why couples drift apart over time, 7 signs you’re trapped in a troubled relationship, 12 signs you’re walking on eggshells in your love life, 7 reasons why empathy is so important in a relationship, 14 most common reasons relationships fail, What is True Love? Although marriage therapists and counselors' primary goal is to help you improve your relationship, that isn't always possible. When I asked them why they were still coming to therapy… #5 “Couples therapy is for women, but I’m a man!” If all men were designed to share their feelings like women do, it’s obvious that it would be a dream come true! While it may not be the progress you hoped, you are making movement. As a marriage counselor, I am a firm believer in goal/skill-based therapy which intrinsically makes progress easier to see. They go to an extent that they can make the other feel more resentful and hopeless. #4 “We’re not meant for each other… Anymore.” When this happens, I know for sure that no matter how hard you try, couples therapy won’t work. Throughout the therapeutic process, the therapist attempts … Now you must understand that while I did manage to help revive dead relationships, others only failed, and the reason is that couples therapy isn’t for everyone. Many couples are skeptical about whether therapy will work. Ask Your Therapist About Next Steps If therapy isn't working, the first person you should talk to is your therapist. But if one or both of you are already checked out, counseling may just be a waste of time. Therapists are not “one size fits all.” Some have specialties where … If you think couples counseling will change your partner, think again. All rights reserved. "If you're not there to listen to your partner’s point of view, their thoughts, feelings, fears, and concerns, then you may not get into the mindset of finding ways to improve the relationship," Hernandez says. To the spouse who wants out, working on the relationship is roughly equivalent to rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic. Of course, her husband was hesitant, but he did finally visit one, and that evening, they came back. "Sometimes people simply grow apart or sometimes past betrayals and hurts make it too difficult for one partner to move past them," Chambrello says. That is when I realized that if only one of the two is willing to participate, even an expert can’t help them. I’ve been nominated an expert couples’ counselor by the many couples who have sought friendly advice and therapy from me since the past 15-20 years. It's also important to remember that a therapist is not there to take sides. Real change when working on a marriage takes time. Call (562) 704-4736 and we can get you started on the path to your best day ever. "Couples therapy tends to be the most successful with couples who are committed to staying together, but recognize that they can benefit from a third party helping them," Dr. Alyssa Austern, Psy.D, clinical psychologist with a specialty in couples and family therapy, tells Bustle. One of the main factors that can determine the effectiveness of marriage counseling is the motivation level of both partners. Because according to therapists, there are some instances where couples counseling just won't work. This is all a ruse. According to Kitley, these can be barriers to the relationship, but they're not major dealbreakers. It’s not uncommon for two people to be married for years, only to find out that life isn’t what they expected it to be. In many cases divorce isn’t a unanimous decision. But unfortunately, that is not the case, and no matter how much women crave that emotional connection, sometimes, it isn’t possible. There's a good reason most marriage counseling doesn't work, because "couples therapy may be the hardest form of therapy and most therapists aren't good at it," according to an article by William Doherty in the professional journal Psychotherapy Networker. Is your therapist the right fit? Reproduction without explicit permission is prohibited. You don't want to waste your time and money on someone who really isn't going to help. It's important to note that both partners need to be willing to make an effort. You and your partner both have to put in the work. What many people tend to get wrong about counseling is that attending sessions isn't going to magically erase your problems. Couples are taught new behaviors that are theory rather than values-based. It's especially helpful if there's a specific issue that makes you feel stuck, or you keep repeating the same problematic patterns in your relationship. Ask yourself questions like how can I do things differently and what can I do to make this work? But that can only get so far. Both you and your partner need to be willing to hear each other out so you can understand each other. 4. If you've been going through a major rough patch with your partner and you just haven't been seeing eye-to-eye, couples counseling may seem like the next step to take. You see where the problem is? But sometimes, no matter how much I try, it doesn’t work. If you and your partner are equally committed to making necessary changes, a therapist can be helpful. Couples often arrive believing that the therapist’s job is to “fix” their partner. You know, the fastest way to burn a relationship is to focus on each other’s faults and expand them so much that you no longer see the person you fell in love with anymore. "Sometimes in learning more about each other and the relationship, you may also learn that the relationship isn't sustainable." You refuse to compromise. But it's important to remember that your partner will have their turn as well. There’s a lot more you can do provided that, and this is important, you’re both willing to change. According to research done by the American … It requires participation, an open mind, and effort to make things work. Even if you are having issues with your partner, sometimes couples counseling isn't the first step. They can mediate and give you strategies to help you communicate better. In an instant, her husband blurted out that couples therapy was a crazy idea – a last resort for losers. They are not sure of what to expect of the therapist or even if the therapist has any expectations of them. This isn’t a good scenario for couples therapy. ... we love as a couple, together. 14. But the most common reason, again from the stories I’ve heard from other couples, is that “We just don’t know each other anymore.”, It’s true, and you might have loved your spouse and tied the knot, hoping to live the rest of your lives together and then one day, reality snaps. Required fields are marked *. This book is a rare find – one that speaks to both couples and their counselors, therapists, or religious advisors alike. You can’t just hope to hire some therapist and expect them to snap their fingers, and voila! They may even suggest to keep going to therapy just so that they can continue on the right path at improving the relationship. "What I find a lot is that sometimes people will start in couples counseling then get referred to individual therapists," Heidi McBain, licensed marriage and family therapist who specializes in women’s mental wellness, tells Bustle. And to make their point her husband said, “It’s only natural, I mean, would you take fitness advice from an overweight person who just had a bypass surgery?” As you can imagine, I was speechless. While couples will often report feeling better after a few weeks of therapy, lasting improvement will take time to solidify. In the first session, each needs to understand that they are both good people; however, their patterns of communication have created a daily fencing duel. If this is the case, why stay married in the first place?! The truth is, you can't force a relationship to work. Couples counselors will do this if they sense that one or both partners need to work on their individual issues first before returning to couples counseling. What to do when couples counseling isn't working Learn how to restructure your therapy to get the most out of it instead of wasting your time and money. What happens then? A therapist isn't going … How to Be a Good Boyfriend: 33 Traits to Make You The Best Ever! Before you choose to go to counseling, it's important to figure out if it's really right for your situation. [Read: 7 reasons why empathy is so important in a relationship], Why couples therapy isn’t going to work as expected. It has helped them accept that their marriage was a failure, and most of them are happy with their new lives. Marriage counseling, also called couples therapy, is a type of psychotherapy. [Read: 12 real reasons why couples drift apart over time]. "When there is no love left, it's hard for any couples counselor to rekindle that spark," Ashley Chambrello, licensed marriage and family therapist who works with many couples in her practice, tells Bustle. Statistics Show High Rates of Patient Satisfaction. [Read: 12 signs you’re walking on eggshells in your love life]. To be really successful, it's important for you both to go into it with open minds and a willingness to make things work. While one has come into the therapy to design an exit strategy, the other is frantically hoping that couples therapy will pull them back from the brink. John Gottman tries to … It's better to work out any unresolved issues from childhood or past relationships first. Couples Therapy outlines Ripley and Worthington, Jr.’s approach, expands on the theory behind it (note: approach also has a foundation in Christian beliefs), and provides assessment tools, real-life case studies, and resources for use in counseling. She may opt to change her approach to … Or therapy isn't working. According to Tucker, counseling won't do your relationship any good if you aren't putting in the work in between sessions. While it's not a bad idea to give it a shot, don't feel bad if therapy really isn't helping. That is a bitter fact. We were happily married, what went wrong? A good match will make you both feel comfortable, feel seen and heard, and will give you tips that are tailored to your situation. Although counseling may not "work" by helping a couple get back in-sync, it can help them move on in a positive way. First, I couldn’t understand why, but about a few years ago, my neighbor was having a really tough time with her husband. "It’s the responsibility of the therapist to push the boundaries and call out the observations for a potential shift to happen," she says. But in reality, you can only change yourself. Sign #1: Clear, Precise Goals. Relationships take work. For example, if one person is more invested in working on the relationship than the other, it isn't going to work. 13. Changes the views of the relationship. Compromise can be difficult, even in the healthiest marriages. Therapy can be a great tool for couples, but it can't fix a relationship that's irreparably broken. Liked what you just read? “Therapy isn’t all or nothing,” says Fenkel. You might think, “What makes you write the article, and how well do you know the subject?” Well, I am a couples’ counselor… Sort of. The time in session is only a fraction of the work required. Your email address will not be published. If they don't, it's OK to find someone else. Marriage counseling helps couples of all types recognize and resolve conflicts and improve their relationships. While I don’t have a certificate to prove my experience and expertise, I have the knowledge and the wisdom to guide troubled couples and get them back on track. Just as science has revealed certain risk factors that lead to divorce, marriage experts have started to piece together … Finally, you feel that maybe you were not meant for each other, so why try couples therapy when you’re sure you don’t love each other anymore? They decide the results before even trying. "Most people enter couples counseling because they feel they need to get through to their partner about how and why they need to change," Michele Hernandez, licensed clinical social worker who specializes in helping women going through major transitions in their lives, tells Bustle. When I asked my neighbor’s husband, quite casually, what he thought of couples therapy, he told me, “It’s like asking a woman in her bikini eating a creamy cupcake how much she weighs!” Well, that did leave me speechless! You don’t even have to invite trouble, because from personal experiences, trouble finds its way in! I was surprised, and naturally, curiosity got the better of me. 1 Corinthians 13:4,5,7. There isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach to … Neither you nor a therapist can force them. 10 Reasons Why Therapy May Not Be Working Medically reviewed by Scientific Advisory Board — Written by Elvira G. Aletta, Ph.D. on March 16, 2011 A few months ago I … Most of the time, after a couples therapy, these couples focus on each other’s faults and argue all the time. If a counselor is working with a couple exhibiting signs of IPV, he or she should take steps to terminate couples counseling as soon as possible while ensuring the victim’s safety, Carlson says. 22 Signs of Love to Know if Your Love is Real, How to Make a Guy Fall in Love with You: 25 Ways to Charm Him. © 2021 LovePanky.com Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | About Us | Write for Us | Contact Us. #1 “Couples therapy is for losers.” This is exactly what you’ll hear from one partner to another when it comes to couples therapy. Couples therapists realize that two people going their separate ways is sometimes the better choice. If therapies aren’t working for you, you still have hope, so you’re not alone. Another reason we remain stuck with clients going nowhere in therapy is that most … Yes and no. 2020 Bustle Digital Group. So here are some reasons why couples counseling may not work for your relationship, according to therapists. Conversely, sometimes the outcome of therapy is not always what you had planned, but difficult decisions get made. Marriage fixed! So when you go to couples counseling with your partner, you can stay focused on working out the issues in your relationship. You want a solution, but you’re afraid to take it. "Research your potential therapist, check their credentials, and find out their approach to therapy," Tucker says. Couples are often uncertain what to expect from the process of couples therapy. We might worry that even our consultation groups will get bored of hearing about the same client who isn’t particularly miserable, but isn’t leading the life he or she wants, either. "When someone acts as if they can't wait to get out of the session, they've already decided that therapy won't work and the relationship is … Naturally, when we were alone, I invited her over for snacks, and when she came over, she started complaining about how rough their marriage has been. But unfortunately, for some couples, even with an expert on their case, they just can’t handle each other anymore. It's very possible for a therapist to not be a good fit for you. Your email address will not be published. But they can't magically erase all the problems you're having. A therapist isn't going to solve your problems for you. Although your relationship is the focus of … [Read: 7 signs you’re trapped in a troubled relationship]. At first, abusive partners will act like they are changing or have changed and that the therapy has worked. The therapy only works if you do the work. So what do they do? Attend some marriage seminars, maybe some couple classes, read a book or two about how to get your marriage back on the track or watch movies. The National Domestic Violence Hotline does not recommend couples therapy with your abuser, and for good reason. An example of this would be a married couple that has achieved their goals and are not working on anything. This is because many men think that feelings, emotions and sentiments are not a “guy’s thing,” and therefore, couples therapy is a woman’s thing. "In my experience couples therapy hasn’t worked when there are different agendas from therapy for each individual," Kelley Kitley, LCSW, a therapist who specializes in couples therapy and the owner of Serendipitous Psychotherapy, LLC, tells Bustle. Prospect Therapy welcomes individuals and couples of all genders and orientations in Long Beach, Seal Beach, and surrounding areas. "When there is simply no love left, I work with the couple on ways to move forward amicably, if that's what their goal is.". Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. Prepare to work on yourself as well as your relationship. While I was familiar with the therapy, I didn’t know where to begin! If your partner needs to make changes, it needs to come from them. You become strangers when you no longer have the same ideas, the same thoughts or the same passion. A lot of things can go wrong in a happy marriage. Therapy or marriage counseling can be an option. #2 Some couples therapists are not personally qualified. If you have none of that, not even the highest paid couples therapist can help you. Get the very best of LovePanky straight to your inbox! You Think Showing Up To Sessions Is The Only Work You'll Have To Put In. If someone is hiding anything or not being completely honest, it's not going to work either. All rights reserved. How to Respond to a Compliment & Accept It Without Feeling Awkward. Every situation is different. "Change takes time and a lot of practice," she says. The other partner wants to stay. I wasn’t sure how to begin, but lucky for me, my friend told me that the expert, who has years of experience and a certificate, wasn’t qualified. So you should never go into it thinking that a therapist will be there to help you prove a point. Not every couple who goes to therapy is going to come out closer than ever before. Not just one. But if you’re clearly not willing, you might think that couples therapy is definitely a recipe for failure, but a lot of times, therapy has helped couples separate happily. This is simply because not one, but both of them are not interested in living under the same roof. Why couples therapy isn’t going to work as expected Now you must understand that while I did manage to help revive dead relationships, others only failed, and the reason is that couples therapy isn’t for everyone. Therapy will give you a safe space to air out your feelings. Both of them agreed that because the therapist was divorced, she wasn’t qualified! [Read: 14 most common reasons relationships fail]. • The therapist is not qualified to treat couples due to inadequate training or credentials; or there isn't a good fit between the therapist and the couple. Follow us on Instagram Facebook Twitter Pinterest and we promise, we’ll be your lucky charm to a beautiful love life. “I think that oftentimes people think that breaks are permanent when really, breaks from therapy can be super temporary. Undergoing couples therapy is a brave choice for couples who take that path. When I feel that the couple I’m working with isn’t progressing positively, I refer them to a certified counselor. Regain specializes in online counseling for couples, and all of their board-certified psychologists, clinical social workers, marriage and family therapists, and professional counselors are licensed and have at least three years and 1,000 hours of hands-on experience.They are trained to address a variety of relationship issues, including communication, infidelity and improving sex and intimacy. Couples therapy is not a magic spell that will fix a broken marriage. The time in session is only a fraction of the work required. If you're no longer happy and you've exhausted all the options, it's OK to say that the relationship isn't working. You can’t just hope to hire some therapist and expect them to snap their fingers, and voila! It's important to do what you think is best for you and your relationship. #3 “It will only make matters worse!” This might come as a surprise, but a lot of couples, especially women, think that a couples therapy would make things much worse. When One Spouse Wants A Separation. Therapy needs to be specific to each person’s struggle. You Think Showing Up To Sessions Is The Only Work You'll Have To Put In, Your Therapist Isn't A Good Match For You And Your Partner, You Think Counseling Will Change Your Partner, You're Only There To Air Out Your Feelings.