People often use the terms couples therapy and marriage counseling interchangeably, but there is a gap between the parties. Couples therapy is a build of therapy that focuses on helping couples get along better. Conversely, counseling is a therapy that allows married people to work out their problems and talk to each other better.
If you’re considering getting help for your relationship, knowing how these two types of therapy differ is essential. This article will discuss the differences between couples and marriage counseling and help you decide which is right for you. Let’s start with how the government defines each word.
What is couple therapy?
Couples therapy, also called couples counseling, is a type of psychotherapy that helps couples work through problems in their relationship. It can help people talk to each other better and solve problems. Most of the time, couples therapy is short-term, lasting between six and eight sessions.
What’s marriage counseling?
Marriage counseling is a therapy that helps married people work through problems in their relationships. It can help couples talk to each other better, solve their problems, and grow closer together. Most counseling lasts about 12 sessions, but this can change based on the couple’s needs.
How do these plans compare?
There are different ways to deal with problems in a relationship: couples therapy and marriage counseling. Even though they have some things in common, they are also very different in meaningful ways.
- Couples therapy looks at the whole relationship, while marriage counseling usually focuses on one or two problems. In couples therapy, the therapist works with both partners to help them understand how their relationship works and resolve any problems. The goal is to help the couple solve their issues as a team. On the other hand, counseling usually focuses on specific topics that make the relationship tense. For example, a couple could go to counseling if they have trouble communicating, if they have money problems, or if one of them cheats on the other. The therapist will help the couple find a solution by working with them.
- Couples therapy usually takes longer than marriage counseling, which is generally only a few sessions. Couples therapy aims to help the two people solve their problems and improve their relationship. This can take a long time, sometimes months or even years. On the other hand, marriage counseling is often a shorter-term treatment. The therapist will help the couple solve a specific problem, then move on to something else.
- Most of the time, couples counseling costs more than counseling. The price of couples therapy can change based on the therapist and where the sessions occur. On average, though, it costs more.
- Marriage counseling can be made online or over the phone, while couples therapy is usually done in person. In couples therapy, the therapist works with both partners simultaneously. You can get help with your marriage online or over the phone. This is a good option for couples who can’t attend therapy together.
- Couples therapy is based more on research, while marriage counseling is based more on what has worked in the real world. Couples therapy is based on what we know about relationships and how they work from research. This means that the therapist will improve their understanding of what helps couples solve their problems and what doesn’t. Most marriage counseling is based on what has worked in the real world. This means that the therapist will have a lot of experience working with teams and giving advice on how to solve problems practically.
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When Should You Use Each Counseling Method?
So, when should couples therapy be used instead of marriage counseling? There are some vital things to remind:
- Couples therapy might be the right choice if you’re having trouble in your relationship. Marriage counseling could be better if you have problems before or after getting married.
- Couples therapy is the better choice if you want help dealing with problems in your relationship. Marriage counseling might be better if you discuss how your past affects your relationship.
- Marriage counseling could be a better option if you need help for a longer time to talk about past and present problems in your relationship.
Couples therapy is the better choice if you require to save money while getting help to fix problems in your relationship. Marriage counseling might be a better choice if you don’t care about money and want or need long-term help working through past and present problems in your relationship.
Talking to a therapist is the best way to decide if couples therapy or marriage counseling is right for you. But if you’re thinking about marriage counseling, working with a therapist who understands your needs is essential. Ellen Savage LCPC is an excellent therapy platform specializing in marriage counseling and therapy for couples.