The 5 Things You Learn In Relationship Counselling

Updated October 12, 2018

Reviewer Laura Angers

Does relationship counselling really work? Can therapy sessions save a marriage that is characterized by arguing and constant negativity? The truth is there are statistics suggesting that counseling for couples may help, or it may not make any difference, if the couple already despises each other's company.


While some statistics report a 38 percent failure rate for couples who attend family therapy, other sources, such as the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapists, report a 98 percent success rate in terms of satisfied couples.

The real determining factor is the attitude both partners have coming into relationship counselling. Open-mindedness is recommended as well as a willingness to listen to the other partner. Besides that, five more surprising lessons stood out among surveyed couples, who were attending therapy for the first time.

  1. This is not about he said, she said.

Most qualified relationship counselling experts know that there's no winner in a game of he said, she said. So blaming, victimization, and woe is me stories are not encouraged. This isn't about who was right or wrong, it's about repairing trust and re-establishing boundaries.


2. The first few visits are informational-don't expect major conflict.

Most couples counselors start with a simple question and answer session and ask both partners to explain their history as well as the problem. You will get a chance to talk and tell your side of things. But the first few sessions establish the tone of counselling and the goals you have as a couple seeking to work things out.

3. It's not all about "Uh huh" and "Tell me why you feel that way."

While the first few sessions might be calm, as the counselling progresses, the therapist eventually becomes a mediating force-someone who takes action and illustrates to both partners the real problems that exist in communication or personal habits. According to one marriage counselor, "the traditional passive uh huh uh huh approach is useless."


4. Relationship counselling is about starting a new relationship with each other-not continuing on with business as usual.

According to Psychology Today, the real goal of couples counseling is to change the way both partners view their relationships. It's about confronting each other, listening to each other, and then learning to see the relationship in an "objective manner." In doing this, couples learn to stop blaming each other and instead look at the marriage or relationship as a team-project.

5. There is no real difference between relationship counselling online and in-person.

Many couples are now trying the online option, since traveling to and from a clinic is difficult, especially if both partners work or have other family responsibilities.


We at BetterHelp offer features like live conferencing and phone chat, making it easier than ever before to find a time and date everyone can be happy with. If you and your partner would like to try a new approach, don't hesitate to sign up and see how easy it is to get started.

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