Marriage counselling works to assist couples to understand and improve their relationship. Marriage counselling, also referred to as couples therapy or relationship counselling, is a type of psychotherapy that gives couples the skill set to better communicate, problem solve, negotiate differences, and even argue in a healthier more constructive way. Premarital counselling, on the other hand, is a type of therapy that helps couples to prepare for marriage by helping couples to identify the weaknesses and strengths within their marriage, so that they can build a strong, healthy marriage together.  Marriage counselling is useful to help strengthen a relationship before there is an obvious need, to help partners to avoid ever having to think about divorce.

Why do couples go for marriage counselling and how does it work?

Marriage Counselling is for every kind of romantic relationship, heterosexual, homosexual, married or dating. Although many couples utilise marriage counselling to mend a troubled relationship, it is often useful to attend marriage counselling before issues crop up, as is the case with premarital counselling. Couples may attend premarital counselling to address issues like anger, sexual difficulties, infidelity, financial issues, communication issues, substance abuse, a difference in opinion about child rearing, and cultural or religious clashes.

Couples also attend counselling to strengthen their bond and gain a better understanding of each other and their relationship. This is often useful in premarital counselling as it means that couples know each other and their relationship better, before getting married. Having premarital counselling often means that couples are less reluctant to seek help should they face problems in their marriage later on, thus creating a stronger relationship. The risk of divorce is highest during the early years of marriage, so it is useful to have marriage counselling before divorce even becomes an option.

Counselling before marriage works by bringing couples together with a therapist who works as a mediator to help pinpoint and understand the origins of conflicts so that they can be resolved. Counselling also teaches couples skills to solidify their relationship. During sessions, both the good and the bad aspects of the relationship will be analysed. One can attend marriage counselling alone, but it is more successful when both partners are willing to seek help to improve their relationship. Although it is case specific, marriage counselling is usually a short-term commitment.

Who would benefit from marriage counselling? 

No relationship is perfect, and thus most couples would benefit from counselling – if only to strengthen their union. When there are differences in culture, opinion or personalities, this can be a strength in a relationship so long as couples know how to learn from each other, which can be taught in counselling. However, specific issues like infidelity or small habits that over time begin to irritate a partner in a relationship can also be dealt with in marriage counselling. Couples who notice a lack of intimacy or caring within the relationship can also benefit from counselling together. Whatever the issue, problems within a relationship won’t just dissipate unless dealt with, in fact, they will probably only get worse. It is, therefore, important to seek help before an issue escalates and lands up destroying a marriage.