Thank you for helping us find our strong bond again. I can’t tell you how much it’s helped us.– Former Client
Marriage Counseling Questions
Deciding to try marriage counseling is a big step. For many couples, going to see a professional for help with their relationship feels like a last resort. It’s only after months — sometimes years — of struggling with frustrations, hurt feelings, and smoldering resentments that marriage counseling starts to seem attractive. And sometimes it takes a flat-out crisis to finally push couples through the door.
This tendency to delay getting help is understandable. (Who wants to go to marriage counseling?) But the truth is that couples who are pro-active about getting help for their relationship sooner, while they still like, trust, and appreciate each other, tend to have a better outcome in marriage counseling. If couples wait too long, negative patterns can erode their relationship to the point where there is not enough goodwill or trust left for even the best marriage counselor to piece back together — even with the kind of experienced, effective, and evidence based marriage counseling that we provide. And that’s an unnecessary tragedy for everyone. I don’t want that to happen to you (or your family).
Demystifying Marriage Counseling
In my experience, there are a number of obstacles that can keep couples who need good marriage counseling from getting it. But it all boils down to not having enough information about how (specifically) it can help you, what to expect, whether it’s worthwhile, and whether it’s within your reach. So I thought I’d put together some information for you to educate yourself about the process.
Good Marriage Counseling Matters
If it seems like this is personal for me, it is. The whole reason I became a marriage counselor is because my husband and I went through a terrible time a few years into our (now nearly twenty-year old) marriage. I genuinely believe that if we hadn’t connected with a good marriage counselor during that fragile time we would not have the happy, healthy marriage and beautiful child we do today. We only saw that marriage counselor for a few months, but it changed the trajectory of our whole lives together. It helped us stop fighting with each other, start understanding each other, and grow back together again. (It also launched my career.)
Don’t feel silly about going even if you think it’s “not that serious.” I’d rather have you go for three marriage counseling or relationship coaching sessions, get a couple quick tips, and leave feeling stronger than ever… than to wait and hope that things will get better. Often they don’t.
Here’s some unsolicited advice from a marriage counselor (and a mother, and wife of twenty years): When in doubt, go. The biggest mistake you can make is to have hurt feelings, toxic communication patterns, and resentments continue to build. Things often do NOT work themselves out. Instead, negativity takes over your relationship. There does come a time when it’s too late. Don’t worry about how much it costs. Marriage counseling is not expensive. Divorce is expensive. (In fact, divorce takes a toll that is emotional, psychological, relational as well as financial — for both adults and kids.) Marriage counseling an investment in the happy, successful future of your family that has value beyond measure. And I say that as someone who’s been there.
Ask Me Anything
Here are few articles and podcasts I’ve put together for you to help you understand what’s going on in your relationship, and why it’s important to get help. If there is a question you have about the process that I haven’t covered please don’t hesitate to contact me and I’ll do my best to answer it. If you’d like more free relationship advice you can also check out my Love, Happiness and Success Blog and Podcast.
—- All the best, Lisa Marie Bobby, PhD, LMFT, BCC
Dr. Lisa Marie Bobby is trained as a Psychologist, a Marriage and Family Therapist, and is a Board Certified Life Coach. She is the Founder of Growing Self Counseling and Life Coaching in Denver, Colorado.
Dr. Bobby is the host of the Love, Happiness and Success Podcast, and the author of “Exaholics: Breaking Your Addiction to Your Ex Love.”
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Knowledge is Power: Educate Yourself About Marriage Counseling
Couples new to marriage counseling often wonder, “How can marriage counseling help us?” or my favorite “We’ve already talked about it all– how will talking about it again in your office make it different?” It’s hard to understand what exactly would be SO different about the kinds of conversations you have with a marriage counselor. There are a number of specific ways that marriage counseling affects change in your relationship, including increasing emotional safety, empathy, and finding new solutions to old problems. But above all else, it’s a growth process. Learn more about how marriage counseling actually works…
Its understandable to be nervous about meeting with a marriage counselor for the first time. Many people feel uncomfortable about discussing personal problems with a stranger. At the same time, many people feel hopeful that getting professional help for their relationship problems can make the difference between a happy, healthy marriage…. or heartbreak and divorce. Your hopes and fears give you the courage to take a chance, and reach out for help with your marriage. Your first session with a professional marriage counselor can be the start of a new chapter in your marriage. Here is what you can expect when you meet with a marriage counselor for your first free marriage counseling consultation session…
This is a common question. All relationships have ups and downs, and it’s hard to know sometimes if this is a passing rough patch or if you really need to get help for your relationship. Even if your relationship feels pretty difficult, it can easy to talk yourself out of marriage counseling (“Things will get better” or “We’re just under a lot of stress right now” or “This week has been better”). But there are a few situations that really do require professional intervention to work through. Educate yourself about what they are, and when you really do need to see a marriage counselor…
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The Love, Happiness & Success Podcast
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Many people wonder how long marriage counseling takes to work. Ideally, good marriage counseling should be strategic and always focused on helping a couple achieve their goals for the relationship. Without having a plan, and specific goals in mind, marriage counseling sessions can turn into opportunities to hash through recent problems as opposed to focusing on solutions. And couples can do that for a long, long time without making real changes. Here are some guidelines about how to get involved with short term, effective marriage counseling — as well as some variables that may impact the amount of time your change-process requires…
How much does marriage counseling cost? Good marriage counseling is priceless. It can also be affordable. Learn more about sliding scale rates, how to fit marriage counseling into your budget, as well as ideas to consider that will help you put the cost of marriage counseling into perspective.
Yes, marriage counseling can be covered by insurance. However, if you want to use insurance for marriage counseling, there are some important things to know– particularly around the difference between in-network and out-of-network providers, and what that means for your privacy and eligibility for treatment. Learn more about using insurance for marriage counseling…
You provided us such a safe place to be honest with ourselves and with each other our fear of being vulnerable and weak were transformed into a feeling of opportunity to be heard. My husband and I are better friends, parents, lovers and companions than we have ever been.– Former Clients
Finding the right marriage counselor is really important. You must have some kind of criteria for choosing a marriage counselor, because this is a big decision. This is the person who you are going to be trusting with the most important thing in your life — your marriage, and your family. Even more important than their being likable and easy to talk to, the marriage counselor you work with needs to be competent. Here’s what to look for when you’re vetting marriage counselors…
That is a really good question, especially when you probably know someone for whom it has not (perhaps even you). The answer is that yes, absolutely marriage counseling works, but only when you are working with a trained marriage counselor who uses standard, evidence-based practices. And unfortunately many therapists offering marriage counseling services are not actually practicing the kinds of strategies that are known to be helpful. Don’t waste your time on ineffective marriage counseling. Learn about the evidence behind marriage counseling and how to find an effective marriage counselor…
Online therapy is officially now a thing. Online therapy is being welcomed into the fold as a routine way of meeting with clients for therapy and marriage counseling. Online therapy is being discussed in the media (Online Therapy Gains Fans — NPR), it’s being researched and findings are showing that the results for clients are as good (sometimes better) than traditional face-to-face therapy (Psychotherapy Via Internet Is As Good If Not Better Than Face-To-Face Consultations), and above all else– it’s being used by eager clients (When Your Therapist is Only a Click Away). Learn more about the advantages and limitations to doing marriage counseling online…
There are plenty of statistics to show you about how effective couples therapy can be, but stories of successful couples therapy are often more revealing. Here’s an example of what successful couples therapy looks like in action…
Start Your Journey Today
If you have more questions about Marriage Counseling, we are happy to answer them in person. Schedule a free consultation session with one of our expert marriage counselors today. You can meet with them at our Denver or Westminster office locations, or through online video conferencing. Call 720-370-1800 for personal assistance in scheduling. (Our phones are answered 24/7). In a private, professional environment we can get to know each other, you can talk about your hopes for your relationship, and start moving forward together in mending your marriage.