Couples therapy and marriage counseling are two terms often used interchangeably, but there is a difference between the two. Couples therapy is a type of therapy focused on helping couples improve their relationship. On the other hand, marriage counseling is a type of therapy focused on helping married couples resolve conflicts and improve their communication. If you are considering seeking help for your relationship, it’s essential to understand the difference between these two types of therapy.
In this article, we will discuss the differences between couples therapy and marriage counseling, and we will help you decide which type of therapy is right for you. Let’s start with the official definitions of each.
What Is Couples Therapy?
Couples therapy, also known as couples counseling, is a type of psychotherapy that helps couples deal with issues in their relationship. It can help improve communication and resolve conflicts. Couples therapy is usually short-term, typically lasting around six to eight sessions.
What Is Marriage Counseling?
Marriage counseling is a type of therapy that helps married couples work through issues in their relationship. It can help to improve communication, resolve marital conflicts, and strengthen the bond between partners. Marriage counseling typically lasts for around 12 sessions, though it may vary depending on the couple’s needs.
How Do These Methods Compare?
Couples therapy and marriage counseling are two different methods for addressing relationship issues. While they share some similarities, there are also crucial differences between them.
- Couples therapy focuses on the relationship as a whole, while marriage counseling typically targets specific problems. In couples therapy, the therapist will work with both partners to help them understand how their relationship works and identify any issues causing problems. The goal is to help the couple resolve these issues together. On the other hand, marriage counseling typically focuses on addressing specific issues causing tension in the marriage. For example, a couple might go to counseling if they struggle with communication issues, financial problems, or infidelity. The therapist will work with the couple to help them find a solution.
- Couples therapy is typically a longer-term treatment, while marriage counseling is often shorter-term. In couples therapy, the goal is to help the couple resolve their issues and improve their relationship. This can take time – sometimes several months or even years. Marriage counseling, on the other hand, is typically a shorter-term treatment. The therapist will work with the couple to help them resolve a specific problem, and then they will move on.
- Couples therapy tends to be more expensive than marriage counseling. The cost of couples therapy can vary depending on the therapist and the location. However, it is generally more costly.
- Couples therapy is typically done in person, while marriage counseling can be done online or by phone. Couples therapy involves working with both partners face-to-face. Marriage counseling can be done online or over the phone. This is a good option for couples unable to attend therapy sessions in person.
- Couples therapy is more research-based, while marriage counseling is more based on clinical experience. Couples therapy is based on research that has been conducted on relationships and how they work. This means that the therapist will better understand what works and what doesn’t in terms of helping couples resolve their issues. Marriage counseling is mainly based on clinical experience. That means that the therapist will have a lot of experience working with couples and provide practical advice for resolving problems.
When to Use Each Method of Counseling?
So, when is it appropriate to use couples therapy vs. marriage counseling? There are a few key points to keep in mind:
- If you’re dealing with issues in your current relationship, couples therapy may be the right choice for you. If you’re having problems before or after getting married, marriage counseling may be a better option.
- If you’re looking for help dealing with current issues in your relationship, couples therapy is the better option. If you want to explore how past experiences impact your relationship, marriage counseling may be a better choice.
- If you need longer-term help exploring past and current issues in your relationship, marriage counseling may be a better choice.
If you’re looking for affordable help resolving current issues in your relationship, couples therapy is the better choice. If money is no object and you want or need long-term help exploring past and current issues in your relationship, marriage counseling may be a better choice. Ultimately, the best way to decide whether couples therapy or marriage counseling is right for you is to talk to a therapist.
However, when considering marriage counseling, it is crucial to work with a therapist who understands your specific needs. Ellen Savage LCPC is an excellent therapy platform specializing in couples therapy and marriage counseling.