Difference Between Marriage Counseling and Couples Therapy


It’s daunting enough trying to decide whether to commit to marriage counseling – so what about when you’re attempting to choose between marriage counseling and couples therapy?

What exactly are the differences, if any, between the two?

And how might they affect your ultimate decision?

If you’re feeling overwhelmed with marriage counseling versus couples therapy options, take a deep breath. This post will explain the key differences between the two, to give you a clearer insight into what to go for with regards to your own personal situation.

Marriage Counseling versus couples therapy

There really isn’t too much of a glaring difference between marriage counseling and couples therapy, so if you do opt for one and not the other on a whim, you’re never really making a wrong decision.

Namely, marriage counseling will focus more on the present. It’s all about how to fix the relationship now, rather than looking back into the past, which couples therapy is more likely to do. Every therapist will have a different way of helping you to discover the reasoning behind your actions, and ultimately, both couples therapy and marriage counseling will help you to recreate a healthier relationship with one another.

Goals of Marriage Counseling Versus Couples Therapy

You’ll need to define clear relationship goals in both marriage counseling and couples therapy sessions, such as better communication and a change in behavior. In both sessions, your therapist will offer you support and encourage you to work together towards a practical solution.

Timescale of Marriage Counseling Versus Couples Therapy

In both marriage counseling and couples therapy, it’s usually very difficult to set an exact timescale from which to work from to see success. Some couples may be able to resolve their issues after just a few sessions, but that’s very rare. It will normally take longer to get to the very root of the issue, and actively change the way you currently communicate with one another for the better.

Focus of Marriage Counseling Versus Couples Therapy

During couples therapy sessions, you’ll likely focus on a few different things that you won’t often touch upon in marriage counseling. The key difference is that couples therapy allows you to look in depth at your own personal problems, even at things that have happened well into the past, to help the both of you to understand why you might be behaving as you are in your relationship.

Which Should I Go For?

Ultimately, if you’re making the decision between marriage counseling and couples therapy, you need to go with the one that best suits your requirements.

As couples therapy tends to be more of an intensive experience, which can often include marriage counseling sessions along the way, you’ll want to go for this one if you have some bigger underlying issues to deal with. However, either of the two will help you to recognize the problems in your relationship and work through them, so both are worth considering equally.