Four Myths About Couples Counselling

April 14, 2023

There are many myths about couples counselling that get in the way of people seeking help. Below is a list of common myths that therapists can relate to when speaking to couples in the therapy room. Make sure to keep an eye out for these 4 common fallacies! 

Myth # 1: The belief that couples therapy is only for relationships that are in crisis.

One of the most common myths about couples counselling is that it's only for couples who are in a state of crisis, such as when a couple is on the verge of separation or divorce, navigating infidelity or when the relationship is “on the fritz”. Although the above concerns can certainly be reasons for attending couples’ therapy, there are many other areas of focus that relationship counselling can tackle.

 In fact, couples counselling can benefit any relationship at various stages in the partnership. Newer relationships may see the advantage in discussing future financial goals, topics around becoming parents or practical life challenges like moving in together.  The well-seasoned couple, however certain in their love, may need assistance uncovering what is keeping them emotionally stuck. Couples counselling can be beneficial to anyone who may feel their family of origin or past history in relationships may be getting in the way of their present companionship. Setting some early groundwork can be a preventative measure in helping any couple succeed in their future years to come.

Myth # 2: Couples Counselling is only for couples who can't communicate.

Another common myth is that couples counselling is only for couples who can't communicate with each other. While communication problems are a common reason for seeking couples counselling, it's not the only reason.

Couples may seek counselling to learn new ways of communicating they may have not tried before, see benefits communicating with a trained and impartial person, or deepen the bond by carving out a therapeutic space to actually communicate. We live in a busy, bustling world; one major benefit of counselling is the uninterrupted space for which the magic of communication is able to happen. Not all couples have the time or intentional space to work on common problems. Whether there are children around, busy work lives or day-to-day chores getting in the way, booking in a therapeutic hour is a self-care strategy that can keep the well- intentioned couple on track.  

Myth # 3:  Couples Counselling is time consuming and expensive:

Some people believe that couples counselling is expensive and only available to those who can afford it. However, there are many affordable options available, including No Fears Practicum Program that offers low fee counselling for couples.

Couples counselling, depending on the modality, is not always set out to be long term. It is okay to assert how many sessions are within your budget, benefits plan or lifestyle when booking in with a counsellor. Although most counsellors have time-frames in mind when conducting therapy, the therapy room is person centered, which means therapists must meet a client where they are at. This is inclusive of financial concerns and time. 

A strong marker of success in couples counselling is learning the ability to actively listen, validate and understand your loved one.  If both parties are coming into the therapeutic space open and willing to make changes, it may not take as long as you think to get back to a secure place in the relationship. Much of therapy is about the client putting in the effort— so be ready to work!

Myth #4 Couples Therapists aren’t Referees!

Ever worry that if you go to couples’ therapy, the therapist will take one person’s side over the other? This is a valid concern and any therapist would be understanding as to why you may think that way. In therapy, couples discuss all sorts of problems that can paint each other (or themselves) in a less than pristine light. That said, it is not the therapist’s role to place judgment on anyone. Therapists are impartial, empathetic and understanding on presenting concerns and it is our trained role to figure out the why to the what.

A therapist’s role works to uncover behavioural cycles to see why an individual behaved the way they did. In the therapy room, the details of a story are often less important than the feelings, thoughts and values that precipitated them. In couples counselling, one of the most enriching experiences is the awareness and insight each individual has into the not so great behaviours of their loved one. What this works to achieve, is empathy from the counsellor and more importantly, towards the couple themselves.

Couples counselling can be a valuable resource for any couple, regardless of the stage of their relationship or the issues they may be facing. By dispelling common myths about counselling, couples can feel more confident in seeking help and taking proactive steps to improve their relationship. With the support of a skilled therapist and a willingness to work together, couples can learn new ways of communicating, deepen their emotional connection, and overcome challenges that may have seemed insurmountable before. Remember, seeking help is a sign of strength and shows a commitment to the relationship's success.

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