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Does couples therapy work?

| Jan 7, 2019 | Divorce |

If you and your spouse bicker constantly, find more faults with one another than attributes and are very seriously considering divorce, you may be tempted to give your marriage one last shot and enroll in couples therapy. However, before you invest anymore time and resources into what you both perceive to be a failing marriage, you may want to know if couples therapy in California is effective, and if it is, how effective?

According to Psychology Today, couples counseling, or Emotionally-Focused Therapy, is roughly 75 percent effective. The success rate is based on over 25 years of research done by the American Psychological Association. Outcome studies do not just include couples with minor issues, but those with major stress factors as well, such as military couples, parents of chronically ill children, veterans with PTSD and infertile couples. The results are positive and consistent across a variety of cultural groups.

EFT, which focuses on changing parties’ emotional responses to each other, is significantly more effective than traditional counseling, which focused more on changing behaviors and thoughts. The goal of EFT is to establish a more secure emotional bond and, given enough time, it is successful — at least, for most clients it is.

Of course, some couples are simply not compatible. The 25 percent of relationships that fall within the “failure” category are typically characterized by emotional, physical or substance abuse. If you are in an abusive relationship, you and your spouse should undergo separate therapy. Other couples that fall within the failure category have already begun the process of separation. According to Psychology Today, the process of separating is contrary to the goals of EFT.

That said, you and your spouse can improve your odds of success and avoid divorce by entering therapy with a willingness to become more self-aware and emotionally vulnerable to each other. You should also be willing to stop viewing each other as the opponent but rather as a teammate. Viewing yourselves in this manner can help you become more emotionally vulnerable to one another and increase cooperation.

The information in this post is for purely educational purposes. It should not be construed as legal advice.