Couples experiencing serious relationship troubles have plenty of resources for figuring things out. Among them is couple’s therapy, a form of counseling that pairs an experienced therapist with couples for multiple sessions designed to restore a broken relationship. Sometimes it works, other times it doesn’t.
Unfortunately, there are a handful of pervasive myths about couple’s therapy that can doom it from the start. When couples go into therapy believing these myths, they are more predisposed to being dissatisfied with the results. On the other hand, going in with the right mindset goes a long way toward realizing genuine benefits from counseling.
Here are the top five myths of couple’s therapy, compliments of Relationships & More in Rye, NY:
1. Therapists Have All the Answers
First is the misconception that therapists have all the answers. People go into couple’s therapy expecting that their therapists will listen to what they have to say, analyze the situation, and prescribe a list of five easy steps that will fix everything. It doesn’t work that way. Relationships are far more complicated than that.
Truth be told, even the most experienced therapist does not have all the answers. They are not supposed to have them, either. The therapist’s job is to help couples figure out what is going on between them. It is often a journey in which all three parties discover the answers jointly.
2. Therapy Should Work Quickly
Hand-in-hand with expecting therapists to have all the answers is expecting therapy to work quickly. Far too many couples enter marriage counseling expecting that everything will be fine after just one or two sessions. If that turns out to not be the case, they assume that the problem is with counseling. They soon think couple’s therapy doesn’t work and give up before they ever give it an honest shot.
Relationships are not broken overnight. Therefore, they are not fixed overnight either. Couple’s therapy takes time. It could be months or even years before couples see the results.
3. Therapy Is Little More Than Talking
People often assume that couple’s therapy is little more than talking. In truth, talking is only that portion of therapy that occurs in the office. Outside the office, couples have other things to work on. Most of them have nothing to do with talking at all. The fact is this: couple’s therapy is a combination of talking and doing. The doing part takes a lot more time and effort.
4. Therapy Will Fix Things by Itself
Along those same lines, it is common for couples to begin therapy with the expectation that weekly one-hour sessions will fix their relationship. Guess what? They won’t. The therapy sessions will uncover relationship problems and offer solutions to correct those problems. But ultimately, a marriage is only saved when those things learned in the office are practiced by couples out of the office.
5. By the Time Couples Seek Therapy It’s Too Late
This final myth dooms couple’s therapy before it starts. The myth states that, by the time couples decide to seek counseling, it is already too late for them. Fortunately, it’s simply not true. Rarely is a relationship too broken to mend. Some are more difficult than others, but very few broken relationships are beyond hope.
No doubt that couple’s therapy isn’t a proverbial silver bullet. There is no magical formula couple’s therapists utilize to guarantee success every time. There isn’t any type of magic pixie dust the therapist can sprinkle on a couple to ensure they live happily ever after. But couple’s therapy does work when participants have the right mindset and are willing to put forth the effort.