Wednesday, May 21, 2008
Does Marriage Counseling Work?
Does Marriage Counseling Work?
by: shelly phegley

When considering marriage counseling, it's difficult not to wonder whether seeing a marriage counselor will actually work. This article provides some objective information based on data obtained from a national survey of marriage and family counselors and their clients. Also presented are several interesting opinions provided by individuals who have actually been through marriage counseling and were asked to comment on whether or not seeing a marriage counselor proved effective in helping their relationship.

An honest marriage counselor would agree that the motivation of a couple may be the single most important factor in determining the success of marriage counseling. It's unlikely that even a brilliant counselor would be able to save a marriage where one spouse has already decided upon a divorce, and a mediocre marriage counselor can probably help a couple who are utterly committed towards making their marriage work. With this in mind, research has been made in an effort to determine, on a more scientific level, the effectiveness of couples counseling.

In an article published by Journal of Marital and Family Therapy, clients of marriage and family counselors from 15 different states reported on their experience with counseling. The findings indicated that marriage and family counselors treated a wide range of issues in relatively short-term fashion, couple and family therapy are briefer than individual therapy, and that client satisfaction and functional improvement are quite high.

[*] Specifically, of clients from 526 marriage and family counselors in 15 different states:

98.1% rated services good or excellent
97.1% got the kind of help they desired
91.2% were satisfied with the amount of help they received
93% said they were helped in dealing more effectively with problems
94.3% would return to the same therapist in the future
96.9% would recommend their therapist to a friend
97.4% were generally satisfied with the service they received
63.4% reported improved physical health
54.8% reported improvement in functioning at work
73.7% indicated improvement in children’s behavior
58.7% showed improvement in children’s school performance
[*] Excerpted from "Clinical Practice Patterns of Marriage and Family Therapists: A National Survey of Therapists and Their Clients", Journal of Marital and Family Therapy--Volume 22, No. 1

While the above study provides raw data that supports the effectiveness of marriage and family counseling, a very interesting discussion on the question "Does Couples Counseling Work" from a public forum devoted to this topic offers a less clinical, but still positive view. Based on what seems to be a very honest and frank discussion among couples "who've been there," the answer to the question of whether or not marriage counseling is effective is a positive one. Read these posts on the Berkley Parents Network.

Regardless of the studies and opinions which seem to support the effectiveness of marriage / couples counseling, there are those who question it's effectiveness. An article on the portal, had this to say:

The science of marital counseling is being studied in great detail these days. Research is showing that it is not as effective as people think, that women seem to get more from it than men, and that it might not have a lasting effect on the couple's marriage.

What type of couple gets the most from couple therapy? The answer is young, non-sexist, still in love, open couples.

Which couples receive the least from therapy? Some factors that can make couple therapy unsuccessful include couples who wait too long before seeking help, and often one or the other is set on getting a divorce and is closed to any suggestions that may save the marriage.

Excerpted from the portal

Unfortunately, the data supporting the above-mentioned research is not specifically cited in the article. The article seems to imply that couples who seek counseling because they want their relationship to work are more likely to succeed with marriage counseling than are those who enter into counseling with the (perhaps hidden) truth that they already want out.

This article is free for republishing
Shelly Phegley is a staff writer at The National Directory of Family and Marriage Counseling View profiles of family and marriage counselors nationwide. Articles & resources to help couples and families locate and evaluate a couple’s counselor.


posted by Beebee @ 7:55 PM   2 comments
Friday, May 9, 2008
The Key to Great Romantic Relationships
The Key to Great Romantic Relationships

I’ve been engaged 3 times - only married once. The first time was to my high school sweetheart - a few short weeks before the ceremony - right before his college graduation - he broke my heart. He left me for another man. Uh-huh, you heard that right. Suffice it to say, we made our way back to each other six years later and have maintained a platonic friendship for many years (we send birthday and holiday cards to each other).

The second time was a rebound off of the previous situation - what was I thinking???

This time there was a wedding - and just as I was about to divorce the guy 2 years later, I found out that my marriage wasn’t legal to begin with - so I got an anullment for sixty bucks.

I spent the next 10 years of my life dating a few guys but I never felt empowered in my relationships with them. Right before I moved out west, I was dating a guy who was 20 years older than myself. One Sunday afternoon, he sat me on his knee (like a daughter) and gave me the talk that I wish my own father had given me around age 14 or so. He taught me what I needed to know about how men think and how to maintain my own standards and self-esteem regarding dating relationships. (By the way, he’s a published author on relationships).

Let me tell you, my whole world changed after that afternoon. I learned that I now had the key to attract the types of relationships I desire - be they of a personal or of a business nature. No longer did I feel like a victim of romantic circumstances! I felt like a caterpillar who had just metamorphed into a monarch butterfly. To this day, when I remember to follow this advice, things always turn out great.

So, what I share in my book, Love & Diamonds In 90 Days ( is what I learned about harnessing my own power as a woman - especially as it relates to relationships. And, I show single women how to do the same thing for themselves. Many of my readers have applied this method to their lives and succeeded beyond their dreams!

When you truly understand and apply this key to great relationships, the world will treat YOU right.
Author Info:
Holly Stabin created a method for single women to safely and sanely use online and offline personal ads in her book, Love & Diamonds In 90 Days. Mrs. Stabin lives in Arizona with her husband of 14 years.


posted by Beebee @ 2:07 AM   0 comments
Previous Post
Holla! Holla!