3 Types of Marriage Counseling
If you’ve ever tried marriage counseling and felt frustrated, it might be that you didn’t connect with the right type of therapy! Today we’re going to talk about 3 Types of Marriage Counseling. Keep watching to the very end of the video where I’ll share one of best tips my husband and I learned while in counseling.
I’m Angela Howard, my passion is to break the stigma of mental illness among fellow Christians. I’m here to help you live a more purposeful life with God, and with one another. Don’t forget to subscribe to my YouTube channel so you can get the first updates of new content.
Over the past year and half I’ve referred over 25 couples to marriage counseling in my work at His Heart Foundation. Sometimes these couples are in crisis, facing infidelity, mental health issues, or trauma. Sometimes they are simply struggling to make their marriage work—dealing with difficulty communicating, concerns with their children, or problems that trace back to their families of origin.
The good news is that there is hope to create an awesome marriage and I know this from personal experience. When Mike and I entered marriage counseling there were times when I wondered if I even liked him. It was messy and when we sat side by side on the couch it was clear we had some work to do. Maybe that’s where you are today. So let’s look at 3 Types of Marriage Counseling and find out which one might work for you:
Emotionally Focused Therapy:
This therapy is based on scientific study of adult love and bonding processes in couples and was developed by Dr. Sue Johnson https://holdmetightonline.com/ If depression is an issue in the marriage then this is the therapy for you. The goal of EFT is to create a strong emotional bond between the couple and helps you deal with your emotional responses with one another. It’s very successful at helping to deescalate conflicts and 90% of couples using this therapy find significant improvement in their relationships.
This method has about 30 years of research and practice to back up its effectiveness. One of the greatest strengths of Gottman https://www.gottman.com/about/the-gottman-method/ is that it emphasizes conflict management over conflict resolution. This is huge. The fact is, that even we love each other, we will not always agree or come to a resolution in certain areas. Learning to trust one another enough to speak honestly, and respectfully will help you to build a foundation of love so that you can discuss problems and disagreements in a calm manner that brings about a deeper relationship. “Gottman says that 69% of marital conflicts are perpetual problems.” (quote from their website). So if you feel like you are facing issues that keep cropping up over and over, then Gottman might be the perfect fit.
Narrative therapy is a form of therapy that sees the person as separate from their problem. So instead of saying, “I am a depressed person” you can learn to see your problem as something you have, but not as something that identifies who you are. At times we have created a narrative—a story about our lives and our marriages that are not helping us to heal and find reconciliation. This therapy helps us to reframe our stories so that we can also see the future in a new light.
Obviously there are many options when considering marriage counseling and that’s kind of the point: Find what works for you and don’t give up!
One of the Best Things I Learned in Marriage Counseling…
I thought I was an amazing communicator because I talked, a lot. I was direct. I basically laid down my opinions as fact and expected Mike to change his mind so that we could be in agreement. Everything changed when I learned to share my thoughts and feelings, leaving room for different perspective.
Be joyful. Grow to maturity. Encourage each other. Live in harmony and peace. Then the God of love and peace will be with you. 2 Corinthians 3:11
What obstacles are keeping you from seeking counseling? Comment below, let me know your thoughts, I’d love to hear from you!
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Connect to a counselor: https://hisheartfoundation.org/request-a-counselor-referral/
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