Like many other couples, you may have hit a bump in the road of your relationship, and are considering marriage counselling. This brings up a lot of questions, however – such as, how do I find the right therapist? How long does it actually take? How much will I need to pay? And, does it actually work? We have some useful tips for you below to help you make the right decision when it comes to getting help for your relationship.
How do I find the right therapist?
The first thing to consider is what kind of help you want – you can go to see a traditional relationship counsellor (face to face or online) – websites such as Psychology Today have useful search engines, and online therapy services like betterhelp and Talkspace offer relationship therapy. One potential drawback of this is that face to face services can be expensive, and if you aren’t a great match with your therapist, you may have to repeat the process again until you find a good fit.
Other options for relationship help include relationship coaching through online services or apps. Relationship Coaching is a more cost-effective alternative to relationship therapy, and is more focused on solutions and moving forward, whereas relationship therapy can be longer term and more focused on the past. As well as the time benefit, a major benefit of relationship coaching is that it is more flexible (often delivered by text) and cost effective than therapy – since Coaches work within fewer sessions and typically charge a lot less than Psychologists or Counsellors. Relationship coaching apps such as Relish offer yearly subscriptions for around $US100, which is less than the cost of an initial session of Relationship Therapy online.
How long does it generally take?
This is another thing that can vary widely depending on what you choose – traditional therapy can take anywhere from months to years, depending on the severity of the issues and how deep you might want to go. Many people return to their therapists over the years as needed, in times of crisis or stres – and it is not uncommon for ‘top up’ sessions where a couple will visit their therapist to help them through a difficult time. Relationship coaching is often shorter term, and for those couples who are using relationship apps, the work may be done over time as a kind of ‘maintenance’ – eg. 20 minutes per week of speaking to a Coach or engaging in lessons.
Does it actually work?
The million dollar question about any type of relationship counselling or coaching is ‘does it work?’ After all, we don’t want to invest time and money into something that is doomed to fail. The short answer is – yes – most types of relationship support are successful in improving a relationship. That said, there are some relationships that are too far gone to help – and often this is when resentment and disappointment has built up over time and the desire to improve things is low. In general, speaking with a trained professional about your relationship issues – and having both people in the relationship actively involved in working through issues – can result in great improvements to communication, intimacy and trust – as well as giving you an opportunity to take stock of the relationship and where you want to go. That said, relationship counselling and coaching is only effective when you engage – it is not just enough to show up to a session. A lot of the work is done in the day to day interactions with your partner – and in being able to make the changes that are necessary for you both to get along together.
If you’re interested in getting started with getting some relationship help, but aren’t yet ready to spend a lot of money on face to face therapy, Relish has a 7-day free trial that allows you to begin chatting with a Coach and get a sense of what Relationship Coaching has to offer.
Relish breaks down the cost and convenience barriers that often prevent people from seeking out relationship counseling by providing users access to a trained coach through their app. Relish focuses on relationship goal setting, so that you and your partner can move towards a better relationship in a super practical and methodical way.