Does relationship therapy actually work?

The American Association of Marriage and Family Therapists reports an overall success rate of 98%. The success of couples therapy and other factors contribute to the decline in the divorce rate in the United States. Today, counseling can save and strengthen a marriage. Couples therapy can be very effective.

The American Psychological Association (APA) states that marriage counseling that uses emotion-centered therapy (EFT) is effective and useful for approximately 75% of couples. In addition, the meta-analysis shows that close to 90% see a significant improvement after going through EFT. Overall, the Dyadic Adjustment Scale (DAS), used to measure therapy success rates over decades, shows positive results for couples receiving counseling, in some cases for at least 2 years after the end of therapy. When both you and your partner are still involved in the relationship, relationship counseling can be very effective.

However, keep in mind that it will have effects. If you watch movies like Couples Retreat, you might get the impression that marriage counseling is something that is there to help save relationships that are already imploding. Two people who once cheerfully said, “I have arrived at a place where you can barely greet each other without shouting at each other.” Marriage and relationship counseling can definitely be beneficial when problems arise, but it can also help stable and happy couples to deepen their ties and avoid future disasters. Looking at the answers to these questions and starting to understand the patterns of your relationship, both good and difficult, can be very important in helping to heal your relationship and develop a stronger bond.

Effective coping skills can help with immediate relationship problems, but they also serve as a roadmap for dealing with the next difficult time in your marriage or relationship. An important benefit of couples counseling is that you can begin to truly understand the dynamics of your relationship. Whether this means breaking up or figuring out what it will take to make the relationship work, a great benefit of couples counseling can be to clarify your feelings. This type of relationship therapy also focuses on improving communication skills so that a romantic relationship can heal and grow.

Finally, it's important to know that couples counseling cannot solve deep individual problems that are affecting the relationship. At its core, marriage counseling is intended to help couples understand and resolve conflicts to improve their relationship.

Keith Haggan
Keith Haggan

Extreme internet nerd. Award-winning zombieaholic. Amateur bacon aficionado. Lifelong pop culture ninja. Typical travel evangelist.