What to expect in couples counselling or marriage guidance
Answering your questions about marriage counselling

Part 1, Part 2, Part 3

In couple counselling - marriage guidance counselling, relationship counselling or pre-marriage counselling, the counsellor aims to give you both equal time and attention. This will help you each to get your side of the story across, without interruptions or rows.

Marriage counselling or relationship counselling can be very helpful even if your partner doesn't want to go. The counsellor will be able to help you without judging either one of you and remaining aware of 'the empty seat'.

This page will help you get a better insight into what exactly happens in couple counselling.

Not at all keen on couples counselling? Read on...


To connect with a qualified counsellor now
, scroll down this page to the blue BETTERHELP information box

Alternatives to visiting a couple counsellor

Letters: LOVE

I know there are lots of reasons why people don't like the idea of counselling - let alone couple counselling. However, you can turn the tide all by yourself if your partner seems to have lost the will to work on your relationship.

The best resource I can recommend for you - whether or not your partner is willing to help to make things better - is Save My Relationship/Marriage by Lee Baucom, PhD. As you'll see, Lee has no regard for badly trained couple counsellors!

Doubtful about the quality of couple counselling?

I do agree that an awful lot of counsellors 'dabble' in couple counselling. They think that they can do the job based on their training in counselling individuals. WRONG! Couple counselling is very different!

Learn how to find a good (relationship) counsellor.

Assuming you have found the right counsellor, here's what marriage or couples counselling can do for you...

15 ways that marriage guidance or pre-marriage counselling can help

Marriage or couples counselling can help you decide what the future might hold for each one of you, and for you as a couple. In marriage counselling you're encouraged and supported to:

  1. explain your hopes, dreams and concerns
  2. understand each other better - one of the greatest benefits of couple counselling
  3. manage differences of opinion
  4. improve relationship communication
  5. explore whether there's still hope, or whether to end the relationship
  6. learn problem solving strategies
  7. identify your ’wants’ and needs
  8. identify what works well in your relationship or marriage -– there are always things that are going well!
  9. process and move on from the disappointments, hurts and anger
  10. identify your personal innate and acquired resources
  11. identify your resources as a couple
  12. explore the potential impact of a breakup - positive and negative
  13. cope with and manage you losses if it's your decision to separate
  14. come to terms with, heal and move on when dealing with infidelity
  15. get to know yourself better and each other better

A couple counsellor knows that often one of the partners is coming along reluctantly for relationship or marriage counselling. A good counsellor will make every effort to help that person feel at ease.

Of course a partner may also be reluctant if he or she is having an affair. Naturally they'll fear being found out. An experienced couples counsellor will sense when there's information missing... but won't be able to read minds!

What shouldn't you expect?

There are several key things that you shouldn't expect from couple counselling. Hop over to Part 2 about couples therapy to have a look at these, and also to find out what to do if your partner isn't keen on the idea of counselling.

Part 1, Part 2, Part 3

Related articles

Free 3-part Relationship Video Course
Free or Affordable Counselling

Feeling hurt, angry, stressed or depressed? Get BetterHelp!

Here's how you start your FREE week-long connection with a qualified counsellor...

Get free support and advice (as often as you want) in 3 easy steps...

  1. Click the image below and fill in the simple online questionnaire (it takes just a few minutes)
  2. Tick what kind of counsellor you'd like (2 short questionnaires)
  3. Confirm that you're as sincere as your counsellor will be and enter your credit card details (no payment will be taken, unless you want to carry on). Don't need help beyond the first week? Simply cancel your subscription. 

If you can afford it - do extend your subscription beyond the first week. You won't believe what a breath of fresh air it is to have a professional by your side!

Click the image below now to start...

Available on the App store and Google play

For extra tips and advice...
click 'Like'...

Thumbs-up: LIKE

Comments, reviews and feedback

Elly Prior

Hello! :-)
It's me - Elly Prior, I'm the Founder and Author of this site. I'm a 'real' person! I'm hoping to make a positive difference, small or large, to every person who visits my site.

Do ask for help, offer help or review this page. I'd love to hear from you. PLEASE KEEP IT SHORT!

Image courtesy of: Daniel CJ Lee