Does Marriage Counseling Work?

Since every marital situation is different and there are so many types of therapists and counseling types available, stated success rates are all over the board. Almost every study that has been conducted, however, has come to a few similar conclusions:

  • The majority of couples who engage in relationship counseling will see immediate gains in their relationships. The most common type of therapy, emotionally focused therapy (EFT) has the best success rate, with 75% of couples reporting recovery and 90% realizing significant relationship improvement.
  • Couples who enter marriage counseling before their relationship is in deep distress have a much better chance at success.
  • Therapists who instill strategies that the couple can easily implement on their own when the counseling ends are far more likely to see long-term success in their marriage.
  • In 2010, a study was conducted that focused on 134 couples whose marriages were described as being “seriously distressed”. Each couple underwent 26 weeks of behavioral therapy. Five years after therapy had ended, 48% of the couples reported a drastic improvement in their relationships, while 27% had either gotten divorced or were separated.
  • The Journal of Marital and Family Therapy, cited recent statistics showing that the majority of couples that attend marriage counseling, and do so with the true intention of improving the quality of their marriage, do indeed report that they believe the counseling helped resolve immediate issues and that it subsequently improved the quality of their marriage; at least in the short term.
  • Couples typically wait an average of six years in an unhappy marriage before seeking help, according to the Seattle-based Gottman Institute.

If you have questions about how marriage counseling can help you, please feel free to contact us for confidential information.