When your marriage is struggling for whatever reason, the impact typically ripples out to every other area of life from the children to relationships with other family members, and even to work or school. Counseling for a married couple can prove to be one of the most rewarding and life-changing experiences you can have.
Common issues couples seek help for include:
Many people have questions about marriage counseling. Here are a few common ones that we wanted to answer in hopes that it will help you to feel better about seeking help.
There are two parts to this question. First, our well-trained counselors understand that one of the most important parts of successful outcomes in any marriage counseling is the relationship between the counselor and the clients. Therefore we work hard from the first moment we meet you to build that relationship, knowing it is not your job to trust your counselor, but rather it is your counselor's job to earn your trust. We want you to feel comfortable sharing with us your deepest concerns and vulnerable feelings. In short, it is our goal to not be a stranger to you for more than a very few minutes.
To answer the second part of that question, talking with a trusted and skilled counselor takes on a different form than just a regular conversation. Your therapist is working hard from the moment you arrive to understand the destructive patterns of communication and behavior that need to change, areas of hurt that need healing, and potential blocks to success that need to be moved. In marriage counseling you are not just talking about your problems. You are learning together how to identify, solve, and prevent problems in your marriage on your own later without your therapist.
At Family Transitions Counseling when providing marriage counseling we consider that there are three clients sitting in the office with us: the husband, the wife, and the marriage. By focusing on the dynamics and patterns that have become embedded in the relationship, marriage counselors will have absolutely no need to take sides. Counseling works when therapists are impartial and without bias. We stand to gain nothing by taking sides. Having said that, when individuals feel that their therapist has taken sides, it is generally because the therapist must call out a behavior that is damaging to the marital relationship and/or to the spouse. A good therapist will not hesitate to identify these destructive issues, but will do so in the most understanding and compassionate way possible.
A big key to providing good therapy is to understand as much as possible about your client and the society in which he or she lives. Given that our offices are located in Utah County, we are very familiar with the fact that the population here is predominantly comprised of members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, commonly known as the LDS Church. The Deseret News recently reported that number to be around 72%. We are asked this question a lot and are very familiar with, and deeply respect, the values and principles of members of this faith, and our therapists do and will meet you where you are with regard to those principles and practices. Our therapists understand the deep importance of marriage and family to members the LDS Church, and we share that same passion and energy.
Perhaps the most important thing regarding the issue of religious background is that our therapists are accepting, non-judgmental, and very knowledgeable about religious beliefs and practices, whether you are a member of the predominant faith in your area or a member of any other. At FTC, we believe in religious freedom and will respect and work with you whatever your beliefs, and will surely not impose on anyone our own religious values or beliefs, whether we share the same faith or not. It is not our job to tell you what to believe. It IS our job to meet you right where you are and to accept you right there.
This is a basic question, but a very, very good one! The simple logistics of marriage counseling are that a couple comes in for the first session to meet their counselor for the first time so that the therapist can be brought up to speed on what the couple is struggling with, what their goals are for therapy, and what their background is. In short, the therapist needs to conduct an initial assessment of the couple and their marriage in order to formulate a plan of care (said differently, to decide how to proceed and what actions might be most helpful to the couple).
As you come to subsequent sessions, you will learn new skills and principles and report on how you have done with homework assignments the therapist has given to you previously. In addition, you will work as a couple in session on the patterns in your communication and interactions that are not healthy, and your therapist will teach you more effective skills that are the most researched and proven to help your marriage to heal and move to much higher ground.
In time, when goals that you and your therapist set together are reached, therapy is terminated and you and your spouse move forward using those newly-acquired skills to be happier and healthier than you knew how to do before.
Insurances generally will cover therapy under two basic premises:
First, that there is a diagnosable condition (depression, anxiety disorder of some kind, PTSD, etc.) and that the therapy is addressing that condition. This is a must. Insurances will not cover marriage counseling for things identified only as "we don't communicate well and we are fighting all the time" or "my spouse had an affair." However, it is extremely common that under such conditions at least one of the two spouses will develop depression or some other diagnosable condition. In short, do not be afraid to talk about this openly with your therapist.
Second, insurance companies will tell you "you are covered for getting therapy" but often people do not understand that in order to cover your counseling, your treating therapist either needs to be in-network (paneled with your insurance company) or your insurance has the ability to pay out-of-network. Be sure to check on this.
In most cases, financial concerns can be easily worked out. Do not let financial concerns get in the way of getting help! Talk to our office and let us help you figure out a plan. Not repairing problems in your marriage will end up being infinitely more costly (e.g., the cost of therapy after marital problems have escalated out of control, to say nothing of the cost of attorneys and divorce).
Please feel free to drop us a line and ask us any question you would like about marriage counseling, or any of our other services for that matter. We would love to hear from you. Click HERE if you'd like to send us a question!