While moving through different phases of your marriage, certain conflicts and other issues may arise between you and your partner.
Marriage therapy can help you communicate more effectively during these times, overcome your differences, and prevent future unhealthy disputes from arising in your marriage.
In this article, we’ve looked at two platforms that can connect you with a qualified, experienced marriage counselor.
Want to skip right to the suggestions for marriage counselors? Here are our 2 recommended therapy solutions:
Marriage counselors near me
In this section, we’ve reviewed two different services that can help you find a professional marriage counselor, near you or online.
ReGain is an online platform that helps to connect you with qualified, accredited marriage counselors specializing in resolving relationship issues. The counselors on this platform have extensive experience in assessing and resolving the root causes of marital conflicts and other relationship problems.
To join this platform, you first answer a few questions about yourself and your partner, your marriage, and the issues you’d like to address. Then, ReGain reviews this information, and assigns you a marriage counselor who has experience in helping couples solve similar issues. If you aren’t completely satisfied with your assigned therapist, you can change to a different counselor at any time in the future.
Once connected with a marriage counselor, you have the ability to schedule a counseling session each week over a live video call, at a time that works for you – including outside of business hours if you’d like. You can bring your partner to the counseling sessions, or seek help individually to begin with if you’d prefer – it’s easy to add your partner to your ReGain account at a later date.
In between each scheduled session, you can message your counselor as much as you’d like, using the ReGain website or mobile app. This gives you the ability to raise any questions you and your husband or wife think of during the week, and get immediate help, without having to wait for the next counseling session.
To use ReGain, you sign up for a monthly subscription, meaning you know exactly what your counseling sessions are going to cost each week. There is also a quite accessible financial aid program available for those on lower incomes, and couples otherwise struggling financially, such as due to unexpected medical bills.
2. Family Marriage Counseling
Family Marriage Counseling
Family Marriage Counseling is an online directory that provides the contact information of relationship counselors near you.
Upon visiting this website, you can select your state/province. Next, once you click “Search”, the directory provides you with a list of relationship counselors near to where you live.
Along with the list of names, this directory also provides the contact information of each mental health professional, including their postal address, e-mail/website address, and phone number, where available. Using this information, you can directly contact a counselor and learn more about their services, and reach out to them to schedule a couples counseling session.
Most of the counselors listed on this platform are certified and licensed in their home state, and mention their specialization on their profile. If you’re looking for a counselor who has experience in marriage counseling, you can select one of the counselors who specializes in resolving marital conflicts.
Unlike ReGain (a subscription-based platform), this directory doesn’t play a significant role in deciding the cost of counseling sessions. You have to contact your therapist directly to learn more about the cost of their services.
Also, in some states, it can be a bit tricky to find a good marriage counselor within an hour’s drive of where you live. Some smaller towns and cities don’t have a massive number of good-quality therapists and counselors available, unfortunately.
Which types of professionals provide marriage counseling?
Marriage counseling is provided mainly by licensed marriage and family therapists (LMFTs).
These types of counselors each have a Master’s degree in counseling, or marriage and family therapy. They have the expertise and experience necessary to evaluate the root causes of relationship conflicts, and provide counseling to help couples overcome these problems.
Apart from LMFTs, other counselors such as licensed professional counselors (LPCs) can also provide marriage counseling. These counselors also have studied and practiced different types of therapy that can help to resolve marriage issues, although they do not always specialize in helping with relationship problems specifically.
How to find the right marriage counselor for you and your partner
A good marriage counselor highlights the causes of marital conflicts and actively takes part in resolving these issues. They will show compassion and will not blame you or your partner, but will also be firm in identifying and addressing any problems in your relationship.
The following considerations can help you find the right marriage therapist for you and your partner.
1. Experience in marriage counseling
An experienced marriage counselor can more easily understand the issues that are troubling your marriage, while an inexperienced therapist may take more time to understand these conflicts’ causes.
Thus, it’s a good idea to consider the expertise and experience of a counselor before starting counseling sessions with them, especially if you are dealing with a particularly complex issue in your relationship.
It’s important to note however, the more experience a counselor has, the more they will typically charge per hour.
2. Cost of counseling sessions
You should also consider the cost of counseling sessions offered by the therapist. It is important to seek a marriage counselor who fits in with your budget, otherwise you may end up stopping the therapy sessions too soon, due to affordability concerns.
When evaluating pricing, it’s a good idea to ask your therapist whether the cost includes the price of counseling sessions with your partner or not. Sometimes, it costs more to bring two people to a counseling session, and if it’s just you going, for the time being, this might be cheaper.
To learn more about ways to save money on marriage counseling, read our guide to affordable couples counseling.
3. Your individual preferences in a counselor
You and your partner may have specific preferences in choosing a counselor – this is perfectly normal.
For example, you might like to speak with an African American marriage counselor, a spiritual marriage counselor, or a female marriage counselor, if this makes you feel more comfortable.
4. Flexibility in scheduling the sessions
Couples sometimes end up stopping counseling sessions too soon, due to their busy routines.
When choosing a marriage counselor, you should consider your work schedule and your therapist’s availability, because missing a session can reduce the effectiveness of counseling. You don’t want to be stressed out about taking the time to seek help, so you need to find a counselor who is adaptable to your schedule.
With services like ReGain, you can seek counseling outside of business hours, which can be very helpful for some married couples.
5. Online vs. in-person therapy sessions
Some counselors offer online therapy sessions, while others only provide in-person help. If you prefer face-to-face therapy sessions, you should seek counseling from a therapist who offers in-person therapy.
Marital counseling is a type of therapy that lends itself to in-person sessions, especially if you’re attending as a couple, but it can also be performed effectively over the internet as well. The most important thing is choosing a counseling method that is best suited to the needs of you and your partner.
Just remember, if you seek help face-to-face, it can be difficult to find a good marriage counselor in some smaller towns. You may end up needing to drive to the next town or city to get the help you need.
6. Satisfaction of previous clients
The reviews given by previous clients of a certain marriage counselor can give you a clue about their strengths and weaknesses. Online platforms usually highlight reviews on their website, with each counselor’s profile.
If you plan to attend a therapist for in-person sessions, it may not be possible to access any reviews of their services. In some cases, it can be helpful to search the therapist’s name and address on Google – if they have a website, or are listed as a business, this may bring up some reviews that you can look at.
How does marriage counseling work?
In marriage counseling, a counselor examines conflicts, disagreements, and other problems in your relationship, and provides help to resolve these issues. A counselor’s diagnosis and treatments can help couples to analyze their mistakes, overcome disagreements, work through psychological and emotional issues, and strengthen their bond.
A counselor can also help you develop certain skills to solidify your relationship, including open and effective communication, how to manage stress (such as from work, or parenting responsibilities), improving decision making, and dispute resolution strategies. They can also help to overcome issues in the bedroom, such as a mismatched libido.
Most marriage therapists allow you to attend counseling sessions individually, or in a joint session with your partner. The frequency of sessions depends on the severity of the issues in your relationship, and the types of issues you need help with.
Complex problems may take months to resolve, while if you have a more basic issue you’d like help with, such as overcoming a simple disagreement with your husband or wife, this may be something that can be resolved with just a few sessions.
Why do most marital conflicts occur?
No relationship is perfect – perfection is impossible to achieve in a relationship. Couples must instead strive to uphold certain values in their marriage, such as patience, honesty, sacrifice, loyalty, and respect – in keeping with their wedding vows.
A relationship, particularly a marriage, often involves two individuals who share similar ideas, ideologies, opinions, and preferences. In some cases, the ideology of one partner does not completely overlap with the other partner in certain areas, which results in a disparity. This disparity sometimes leads to conflict.
Sometimes, the behavior of one partner can cause issues in a relationship, such as due to adultery, emotional unavailability, or an unwillingness to help out with family responsibilities. In some cases, there are deeper psychological issues at play, which a marriage counselor can delve into.
Moreover, disparities in a relationship are sometimes triggered by specific issues that are beyond your control. Even if you and your partner are on the same page as one another, and are completely loyal, external factors such as work stress, financial stress, and the intervention of other family members can place a strain on your relationship.
Marital issues that can be solved by marriage counseling
Effective marriage counseling can treat a range of different issues in a relationship, including individual psychological and emotional issues. Here are some of the common problems that marriage counseling can help with.
- Substance abuse
- Psychological problems
- Sexual problems
- Anger issues
- Family planning conflicts
- Financial issues
- Problems related to infertility
- Family issues, such as issues with your parents-in-law
- Overcoming cheating, if you are willing to give your partner a second chance
- Considering whether or not to divorce
Therapies used in marriage counseling
There are a range of different therapies that may be used in marriage counseling.
In marriage counseling, a counselor often uses the psychotherapeutic technique of active listening.
Using active listening, a counselor closely listens, understands, and responds to what you say, enabling them to get to the root cause of the issue. Moreover, a counselor may ask you certain questions to help you understand your inner thoughts, and to encourage you to more freely express your emotions.
Emotional Focused Therapy
Therapists use Emotional Focused Therapy to detect any defective behaviors in relationships that have caused or may cause emotional detachment. Marriage counselors help you and your partner realize your mistakes, enabling you to create a stronger emotional attachment in your relationship.
Counselors commonly use the Gottman Method for conflict management in a relationship.
Using this type of treatment, a therapist will first conduct an initial interview or interviews, to assess the main causes of conflict between you and your partner. Next, the therapist devises a framework for future counseling sessions, including the sessions’ frequency and duration. Lastly, the counselor provides different interventions through counseling, such as exploring your shared goals, building your emotional connection, and trust-building exercises, depending on your specific needs.
In this way, the Gottman Method helps you replace negative behavior and thought patterns with positive ones, helping to increase intimacy and the strength of your bond.
Solution-focused therapy (SFT) can be beneficial for couples experiencing burnout, or dealing with other similar specific problems, such as issues in the bedroom.
SFT can change your outlook on issues, by constructing solutions to these obstacles, rather than focusing on the problem. This type of therapy helps you to focus on what you can control, rather than what’s out of your hands.
Benefits of marriage counseling
Marriage counseling can improve and strengthen your relationship, build you and your partner’s self-confidence, and enable a couple to reconnect with each other. It can be extremely helpful to have a qualified third party mediate any disputes in your relationship, and enable you to more easily reach the root causes of any problems that exist between you and your partner.
Some specific benefits of marriage counseling are discussed below.
1. Development of a more intimate relationship
Due to conflicts, arguments, and financial crises, marriages can rupture, and consequently, there is a loss of intimacy between the two partners.
Counseling helps married couples regain their bond and closeness, by providing the opportunity to discuss their problems and issues in a safe environment.
2. Understanding of dynamics of your relationship
Counseling can help you understand the dynamics of your relationship by answering questions about your conflict resolution strategies, the hierarchy of relationship, decision-making duties, and communication patterns.
Using this information, you can mold the dynamics of the relationship to a more favorable position for both parties, with help from your counselor.
3. Discuss important topics in a safe place
Marriage counseling creates a safe, secure environment for both you and your partner where a third party supervises the discussion from a neutral, impartial, and objective point of view. This supervision can allow you and your partner to communicate and solve your problems more effectively.
4. Respect for each other’s perspectives
In most struggling relationships, arguments are common, and this can lead couples to avoid listening to the other’s perspective. It’s easy to fall into the trap of viewing your relationship through just your own viewpoint.
Counseling helps you understand the perspective of your partner with objectivity, which in some cases, can be very helpful in overcoming conflicts or disagreements. Relationship counselors can also teach you skills to help with arguments in the moment, helping to avoid any future disputes from escalating further.
5. Mitigating emotional pain
If a partner has failed to uphold their responsibilities in a relationship, such as through infidelity, you must first choose whether or not to give them a second chance.
If you do decide to forgive your partner, it’s important that an emotional catharsis takes place. With the help of a marriage counselor, you can complete this process, helping to get your feelings out in the open, and mitigate any future emotional pain.
6. Learn effective coping skills
All relationships require proper coping skills to survive, especially in dealing with stress, as well as other disorders such as anxiety, if you suffer from these types of issues.
In case of a struggling relationship, the right coping skills will help you and your partner deal with the emotional and psychological challenges that you might face as a married couple.
7. Restoring trust
Conflicts, problems, and arguments can erode the charm of a relationship, ultimately ending in a loss of trust between husband and wife. In this case, counseling is the fundamental key to restoring the trust in the relationship.
It is difficult to rebuild trust, but not impossible. Marriage counselors are experts at getting your relationship back to a much stronger position, more similar to when you first got married.
8. Improving communication skills
Lack of honest, open, effective communication is often one of the causes of relationship problems. If you know how to communicate more effectively, this can help you in your professional relationships, as well as relationships with friends, family, and your husband or wife.
Counseling allows you and your partner to improve your communication skills, helping to avoid the escalation of arguments, and enabling you to reduce the number of significant disputes the two of you experience.
Misunderstandings between you and your partner can develop into potential conflicts if they remain unresolved. Marriage counseling can help you work through marital issues, using different psychological methods.
ReGain provides an online platform for marriage counseling, while Family Marriage Counseling is a directory where you can find the contact information of the marriage counselors near you. You can use the former website if you want to get marriage counseling over video, audio, or chat sessions. However, if you prefer in-person counseling, Family Marriage Counseling can be more helpful in finding a marriage counselor near you.