The Different Types of Marriage Counseling, Explained

Fairytales sell the idea of ‘happily ever after’. Unfortunately, that’s far from the reality of many couples. In fact, 40-50 percent of American marriages end in divorce.

These marriages don’t always need to end. If you see a marriage counselor, you can often work through your issues and become a stronger couple.

There are different types of couples therapy but the one you choose depends on your goals.

Interested to learn the types of marriage counseling? Read on to learn which is right for you.If you’re seeking ways to reconcile your relationship and marriage counselling, check out A Kind Place. They have a team of dedicated counsellors who have helped countless couples through their difficulties.

Emotion-Focused Therapy (EFT)

This is one of the most often tested types of therapy. In it, each partner shares specific events from the relationship. They work with the therapist to understand the emotions that add to these events.

EFT helps get people out of resentment or anger so they can work on the emotions beneath those states.

A meta-analysis of 9 EFT studies found that the therapy improved couples’ satisfaction. Better yet, the couples maintained the improvement when researchers followed up with them.

The Gottman Method

John and Julie Gottman created this approach, based on 40 years of research. A study in 2018 found couples reported better intimacy and relationship quality after 10 sessions using this method.

This successful couples therapy focuses on destructive behavior. That can include contempt, criticism, defensiveness, and stonewalling. Addressing these behaviors helps couples to work through them.

It equips couples with a set of tools to handle conflict. It also explores where couples disagree and how to find their shared values.

Solution-Focused Therapy (SFT)

What if you’re focused on solving a single problem, rather than having more general difficulties? Solution-focused therapy can be a great option.

Brief bouts of this therapy help couples to identify positive goals. Then they define the action steps they need to take to meet them.

Imago Therapy

This is a great choice of therapy if one partner is afraid of criticism. It focuses on how individual weaknesses affect the way couples create a relationship. Many of these weaknesses formed in childhood and people are usually unaware of them.

Because it’s based on underlying needs, it’s a good way to address them without assigning blame. This therapy also relies on the couple working together. It emphasizes the couple’s needs, not one partner being ‘right’.

Family Systems Therapy (FST)

This is a great form of couples therapy if you have a partner who is resistant to counseling. It’s also a good choice for problems within the wider family.

This approach focuses on the dynamics within the family and how they affect the marriage. You can explore how the roles people end up playing cause conflict. FST also works alongside other couples therapy.

Positive Existential Therapy (PET)

This approach is exclusive to Naya Clinics. It blends existential psychotherapy with positive psychology. Couples get the wisdom of the former, with the clinically tested parts of the latter.

As a result, it’s a more dynamic approach. It also yields better results than traditional techniques like cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT).

Will These Types of Marriage Counseling Suit You?

These types of marriage counseling have all seen success. Yet they all work in a different way, depending on your needs. Explore these options further if any stand out as being a good fit for your situation.

Otherwise, speak to a therapist to explain what you’re looking for. They can suggest which type of couples therapy could be the best choice.

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