Around 40%-50% of married couples in the United States get divorced, according to an article by the American Psychological Association. Marriage can be a beautiful thing, but, sometimes, couples face challenges that seem unsurmountable. In such situations, it could be a good idea to consider marriage or couples therapy.
Are you hesitant to seek therapy? It might be due to the various misconceptions surrounding couples therapy. So, here are some of the most common myths busted.
1. Only Crazy People Seek Couples Therapy
Many people believe that only those diagnosed with a severe psychotic disorder seek therapy. The reality, however, is that therapy works excellently for everyday life problems, such as marital discord, relationship stress, anxiety, grief, depression and more. It helps people learn helpful coping techniques and ways to overcome specific issues. According to a survey by the American Psychology Association, 27% of Americans receive mental health treatment or therapy. It was also found that couples, on average, tend to wait for at least six years before finally seeking help, during which time, the existing problems only intensify, according to experts at Linda Charnes, a leading marriage counselor in New York.
2. Couples Therapy is for the Weak
This is one of the biggest issues surrounding couples therapy. Many couples think that they should be able to resolve issues on their own, without any external help. Getting help from marriage counselors is often seen as a sign of weakness. In fact, asking for help is the opposite of weakness, since it requires more strength to move out of your comfort zone. Going to therapy shows that you are strong and ready to take a deeper look at your own thoughts and behavior, and challenge them to improve your life.
3. Couples Therapy Takes Forever
Therapists who followed Freudian psychoanalytic methods several decades ago, used to see the same patient three to four times a week for several years. But times have changed now. Most forms of therapy are considerably shorter, with 10 to 20 sessions normally being sufficient even for problems that have lingered on for years.
4. Marriage Counselors are Mediators
Mediators are specially trained individuals who work in the field of dispute resolution. They are neutral facilitators who neither judge not interfere in the process, except to move it along. On the other hand, marriage counselors do take a more active role, guiding couples to look at the root cause of their conflicts and learn coping strategies to overcome them.
It is the myths surrounding couples therapy that becomes a hurdle to people working on issues early and resolving them to achieve a stronger marital bond. If you or a loved one are experiencing difficulties in marriage, it is best to seek help as early as possible.