As with any type of counseling, the therapy will help most if all parties are truly interested in working on the issues. Couples who choose to try counseling together are often looking for ways to make themselves heard. They often feel as if they are misunderstood and want their partner to acknowledge opinions and emotions. Couples counseling offers an avenue in which all parties can explain their side of the situation and hopefully be able to fully understand one another’s point of view, even if they can’t agree. Building a positive relationship based on mutual respect and trust is the ultimate goal.
Couples counseling can help both parties gain a better understanding of how their partner feels about a particular event or situation. It can give them insights they may not be able to achieve on their own. During counseling sessions, the psychologist can maintain a level of control, objectivity, and mediation that allows the parties to get to the root of the problem without angry outbursts, frustration or statements being made that are intended to hurt or demean. Even if the couple chooses not to agree, a level of understanding can be achieved that will hopefully help them to move forward in their relationship.
Courts will often require a couple to undergo counseling or therapy before they will grant a divorce, especially if children are concerned. Children are often the victims when a divorce turns ugly. Couples counseling can help parents and children cope with the issues involved in the divorce and prevent children from bearing the guilt of an unsuccessful relationship. Not only does it help the children, it allows the couple to face uncomfortable issues and resolve unhealthy situations in which they may find themselves. Counseling and therapy can help develop new and amicable techniques for co-parenting and maintaining a healthy environment for both parents and children, especially in times of transition. When children are not involved, the court may request couples counseling if there was an issue of abuse or violent behavior on behalf of either party.