When the couple’s relationship becomes a source of great suffering, when a couple is locked in mutual reproaches, or when the spouses are asking themselves the question of separation, it can be very beneficial to seek help from a professional in the marital relationship. But is it better to turn to a marriage counselor or a couple therapist?
Marriage counseling is concerned with the conscious aspects of the crisis situation (which does not prevent awareness raising).
It is quite possible to talk about childhood wounds in a marriage counseling interview, but the counselor will not seek to trigger awareness of repressed elements. Indeed, marriage counseling is not a therapy; it could be harmful to shed light on deep wounds without then accompanying the person to help him live with this awareness.
A marriage counselor will help spouses to communicate, to really listen to each other, and to express what they have in their hearts: their feelings and their resentments. It will help clear up misunderstandings and better understand each other’s reactions. He will seek to understand everyone’s real expectations and fears. It will help the couple to take into account the fact that each has legitimate personal needs and aspirations. It will help the spouses to think about changes and concrete solutions through support that will allow the couple to find their own answers and to make the decisions that really correspond to them. Marriage counseling can also be an accompaniment to discern and decide whether or not to separate or to live this separation in mutual respect if it is decided.
Couple therapy will look for the root of the problems in the psychological wounds of each of the spouses.
There are different types of couples therapy; some may offer different approaches than the one we are talking about here. A couples therapist will look for deeper causes, possibly unconscious, of the sufferings and dysfunctions of the couple. It is sometimes not possible to overcome certain misunderstandings and certain hurtful reactions without highlighting their roots in personal history, often childhood.
Spouses Can Choose Among The Two Approaches.
Marriage counseling and couple therapy are, therefore, two approaches that can really help a couple to see more clearly what they are going through and to move forward. It is up to the spouses to choose the one with which they feel more comfortable or the one which seems to them to correspond to the type of crisis they are going through.
Dr. Wendy M. O’Connor is a famous Licensed Marriage Family Therapist in Los Angeles, California, and provides the best couples therapy in Los Angeles.