There likely isn’t a couple in the entire world who can say they had a completely blissful relationship or marriage from beginning to end. We all have trying times that we go though with partners, and of course some are more intense and difficult to deal with than others.
Reasons for Couples Therapy
Some of the more common issues that couples face include:
– Communication problems
– Intimacy and sexual issues
– Disagreements in parental roles
– Disagreements in other responsibilities
– Financial difficulties
– Verbal or physical abuse
– Substance use
– Integrating blended families
Each of the items above may have different variations, and of course there are many other reasons why couples may seek therapy.
When to Seek Couples Therapy
There is no set time to seek therapy. In fact, many people seek couples counseling prior to marriage so that they can build their relationship on a solid foundation. Others may start seeing a therapist as minor issues arise so they can prevent them from becoming bigger problems. We also typically hear of people seeking counseling after things become much too intense to sort out by themselves, when many of those problems may have been diffused by then if they had sought help earlier in their relationship.
Regardless of when someone seeks couples counseling or marital therapy, it should be applauded as an effort to improve the relationship and/or heal from a stressful situation.
How Long Does Marriage or Couples Counseling Last?
The length of therapy needed is dependent on the individuals and situations involved. According to the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapy, the average engagement for marital and couples therapy is about 12 sessions. These are often weekly or bi-monthly sessions, so the length of therapy can run several months.
[sources: aamft.org/About_AAMFT/About_Marriage_and_Family_Therapists.aspx; mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/marriage-counseling/about/pac-20385249]