Marriage Counseling vs. Couples Therapy: What’s the Difference?

Couples therapy and marriage counseling are two common recommendations for couples going through a difficult period. They are actually highly different, despite the fact that many people mistake them for being two very similar processes.

It’s common for us to confuse marriage counseling with couples therapy, and there’s a good explanation for this.

Couples therapy and marriage counseling are two options available to those who are experiencing stress in their relationship.

You will be expected to sit down as a couple and have a conversation about marriage or relationships in general with an expert or a certified professional during the process who has proper academic training. Although they sound somewhat same, they are not.

The definitions of “marriage therapy” and “couples counseling” differ, as you will discover when you look them up in a dictionary.

However, let’s concentrate on this query: What exactly distinguishes pair therapy from marriage counseling? Find out the answers to the questions, “What is the difference between marriage counseling and couples therapy?”

Is it couples counseling or marriage counseling?

What does marriage counseling consist of?

Marital counseling aids couples in overcoming the difficulties of matrimony. Regaining the relationship’s momentum is the aim. It centers on the “now” and the problems that couples frequently encounter. You can discuss your compromises and disagreements with your spouse in marital counseling.

Above all, counseling helps you both deal with your issues so that your relationship can be stronger and happier.

Another goal of marriage counseling is to assist the couple in becoming skilled communicators. Counseling can assist in restoring or reigniting the trust.

Does marital therapy have any success? Indeed, it works wonders for helping the couple manage the various stresses that arise in their relationship.

While therapies are a multi-session therapeutic process, marriage counseling is typically a short-term targeted treatment.

It may even be argued that counseling and therapy for married couples overlap, which is why people mistake one for the other.

What does couples therapy involve?

In contrast, you will need to address the core of your problems in order to benefit from marriage therapy. This entails reviewing your earlier altercations and disagreements to determine the origin of them.

It differs from couples counseling in that it may address your personal and individual problems in order to comprehend the behavior you are exhibiting in the relationship.

It is more important to ascertain the reasons than the methods.

What then is couples counseling? Counseling will provide an answer to the question, “Why do we have these kinds of problems?” and help you identify the particular area(s) in your relationship that need improvement.

For instance, therapy may be necessary for a couple going through difficult times because one of them is ill in order to learn appropriate coping mechanisms.

This does not imply that couples with issues this serious are the only ones who can benefit from therapy. To work through compatibility problems and get guidance from an expert, you can also schedule an appointment with a couples therapist.

Couples therapy is stigmatized, which is the issue. There is no benefit to this stigma.

Rather than attempting to find a solution, many couples avoid getting the necessary treatment. For fear of being judged by others, many couples choose not to seek therapy instead of giving their relationship an opportunity to improve.

It ought to be one of the first choices, but for them, it’s a last resort.

Marriage counselor versus couples therapist roles

In a couples counseling session, what do marital counselors do?

The role of the counselor in marital and relationship counseling is to listen to the issues raised by the couples and to help them have a conversation. The counselor acts as a mediator, enabling the couple to have structured discussion.

In actuality, you can get marriage counseling from a church leader.

The counselor’s job is to act as a kind of referee, keeping the couple from yelling at each other, speaking in unison, or acting aggressively toward one another.

To reduce conflicts, marriage and couples counseling can assist a couple in creating new ground rules for their relationship, provided that both sides are willing and consenting to them.

For instance, if one of you tends to be a workaholic, the counselor would advise against bringing work home in order to prioritize spending time with your family.

You could also create some boundaries with the counselor’s assistance. If both of you agree, the counselor is likely to recommend that you respect each other’s privacy by installing phone locks, for example, if one of you frequently checks on your partner’s phone without asking.

Marriage counselors may or may not be involved in these choices, depending on a number of variables.

Marriage counselors, for instance, are specialists in their field, but if mental illness is a major issue in your relationship, they must be licensed by the state to diagnose it. Some counselors are not licensed, but they are still able to provide counseling.

On the other hand, marriage or couples therapists are qualified and authorized to offer a comprehensive variety of mental health services for any problem that’s impacting the relationship.

Couples psychologists can discuss your depression experience and how it impacts your behavior with your partner during therapy.

In the event of a more significant finding, they would still need to refer you to psychiatrists.

Therapists work with clients in a highly structured manner. There are essentially four steps in the treatment:

The therapist will first attempt to center their efforts on a specific issue. It can be problems with infidelity, drug or alcohol misuse, sex, or jealousy.

The therapist will actively step in to discover a way to treat the relationship in the second step.

Step 3: The therapist will outline the treatment’s goals.

Step 4: In the end, you will work together to identify a solution, with the understanding that doing so will need a behavior change for the better.

What is the cost of couples counseling and therapy?

Marital counseling often costs between $45 to $200 for each 45 to 60 minute appointment.

A 45- to 50-minute session with a marriage therapist might cost anything from $70 to $200.

It would be a good idea to ask friends who have previously participated in couples counseling sessions with a marriage counselor for recommendations if you’re asking “how to find a marriage counselor.” Examining directories of therapists would also be a wise decision.

Another question that comes up is, “Does Tricare cover marriage counseling?” In response, it covers marital therapy if the spouse is the one seeking treatment and receives a recommendation; however, when a mental health issue is necessary, the soldier handles that.

The goals of both couples therapy and couples counseling for married couples are conflict resolution and the identification of underlying marital problems. Even if they aren’t exactly alike, both are beneficial for strengthening relationships.