It is difficult to determine the true effectiveness of marriage & family counseling. Each family will have unique difficulties and strengths which will determine if marriage & family counseling is effective.
Many people ask, "does marriage counseling work," and the answer will depend on many factors. First, each family member will have differing personality characteristics which will effect their response to therapy.
In addition, "does marriage counseling work," is only answered by a couple's specific desired outcome. In some cases, it works because couples decide to separate in an amicable manner and it others, it works because couples decide to stay together and experience a stronger bond than ever before.
In reality, couples that decide to separate may find that it was the best decision but one they could not make on their own. In either case marriage & family counseling can help couples decide on the best course of action for their relationship.
When individuals ask, "does marriage counseling work," the answer is that for many people it does. Marriage counseling works for families that are willing to put in the effort and time required for achieving the right results for that family.
For some families, the time required is brief but for families with extensive problems, many sessions may be required. However, there are some factors that influence when marriage & family counseling does not work and when it does. Marriage counseling works for young couples that are still in love and willing to change.
Those couples are more likely to be open to changes that may be necessary to save the relationship. However, marriage & family counseling is not likely to be effective for couples that are no longer in love and simply staying together for the children.
Yet, those couples may experience some benefits anyway. In fact, couples that separate, often find that they handle the situation better after they have gone through marriage & family counseling. Each relationship has unique circumstances, with individuals that respond to those circumstances in unique ways. The point of counseling is to help each spouse handle issues in a more effective manner. If couples simply learn to communicate more effectively, they generally experience a positive outcome.
While there are some couples that will experience no benefit from marriage & family counseling, most do. In some cases, couples do not achieve a desired outcome, but they are still able to effectively move on from the situation with better communication skills and an eventual increase in self confidence. In any case, counseling can be beneficial for individuals to better understand each other and to understand individual's responses to difficulties within the family.
In fact, many people find that counseling helps them become more empathetic and sympathetic, which often results is a closer bond among family members. In addition, many individuals leave counseling with a better understanding of themselves, and why they respond to conflict the way they do. Overall, marriage & family counseling is beneficial for family members that take part in sessions.