Atlanta Marriage Counseling

Marriage counseling, also called couples therapy, helps couples — married or not — understand and resolve conflicts and improve their relationship. Marriage counseling teaches couples how to communicate better, negotiate differences.

In Atlanta, marriage counseling is generally provided by licensed therapists known as marriage and family therapists. These therapists provide the same mental health services as other Atlanta therapists, but with a specific focus on the couple’s relationship problems.

Marriage counseling may last anywhere from one session to months to years, depending on the problem area and the goals of the couple. However, from my experience, most couples reach their goals in therapy in ten sessions or less. Marriage counseling usually starts off weekly but once the initial crisis or conflict is resolved it moves to every other week in most situations.

Most marriages and other relationships aren’t perfect. Each person brings his or her own premises, values, and personal history into a relationship. The patterns and expectations we bring into the relationship is learned in our family of origin and we tend to expect our partner to accept and go along with our way of doing things and are often shocked when they have a totally different method and model.

When this occurs it often triggers an escalation with each spouse attempting to control the other. If one spouse is more passive and pretends to go along with the others control, over time the passive spouse will either act out in passive aggressive manner or become depressed.

I always think of overly passive people as weapons of mass destruction in relationships because they are not clear about what they need from the other. Passive people often think their partner should be able to read their minds.

No matter the cause, conflict in a relationship can create undue stress, tension, sadness, worry, fear and substance abuse. You may hope your relationship troubles just go away on their own. But left to fester, a bad relationship may only worsen and eventually lead to more severe physical or psychological problems, such as depression. A bad relationship can also create problems at work and affect others in the family.

Issues: Marriage Counseling

Here are typical issues we see in Atlanta that marriage counseling can help you and a spouse or partner cope with:

  • Frequent power struggles
  • Loss of sexual desire
  • Affairs
  • Threats of divorce
  • Closeness distance struggles
  • In-law problems
  • Different parenting styles
  • Lack of emotional intimacy
  • Overspending vs. hoarding of money
  • Drug and alcohol abuse
  • Selfish / narcissistic behavior
  • Violence
  • Rigid gender roles
  • Conflict over religious beliefs
  • Blended families
  • Inability to control temper
  • Manic episodes
  • Child abuse
  • Marriage Counseling With One Partner

What if your partner refuses to attend marriage counseling sessions?

You can go by yourself.

If one spouse is willing to change their behavior and method of communicating this can change the relational pattern and the reactions of their spouse.

For example if a spouse who has attempted to control his partner becomes less controlling his spouse may react by being more willing to compromise. Usually after several sessions with one spouse the partner usually agrees to come in.