All relationships go through difficulties. Even the most seemingly successful couple will experience a breakdown, from the complex to the mundane. It’s important to talk about these issues as they come and not let them get any bigger. And for couples seeking positive changes and to move forward from the problems, a professional counsellor’s expertise would certainly resolve matters.

New findings from the Australian Institute of Family Studies reveal, though, that not all couples are helped with professional counseling.

Couples in Distress

The Australian Institute of Family Studies (AIFS) share that counselling failed to help 25 to 30 percent of couples. That translates to more than one in four couples, which might not seem like much but should indicate that something in the process is preventing this type of professional counselling from having a positive impact.

Experts point out that couples who are in greater distress more than other couples show very little improvement after relationship counselling. Adding to the failure of professional counseling for couples is the element of domestic violence. Couples, or at least one person in the relationship, are also less likely to benefit from counselling without the capacity for self-reflection – a key aspect of problem solving in any relationship.

Another reason that leads to failure in couple’s counselling is the stigma attached to getting professional help. This is especially true of married people, who find that seeking counselling means that something has gone terribly wrong; that counselling may mean the end. Unfortunately, in an effort to prevent this, couples who avoid marriage counselling actually end up splitting. The AIFS research reveals that 40 percent of married people who divorced did not get counselling prior to the break up.

Counselling Revives Relationships

The Household Income and Labor Dynamics reveal the strong issues that predict a marriage breakdown:

  • Poor mental health;
  • Dependent children;
  • A partner who smokes, and
  • Domestic violence.

With marital problems affecting work performance, mental health, social relationships, and the kids, it’s astonishing that only one in five couples reach out for professional counselling.

But counselling can help married couples or couples living together sort out any issue in the relationship. Counselling is especially effective for couples that are committed to making the relationship work. It is also successful for couples that believe in the value of therapy, that they have a good relationship with their therapist, and that they know the benefits it will provide.

Seeking professional help is a healthy and proactive way to recognise that an issue between two people needs attention. In fact, taking this step allows couples to renew their commitment to the union — that they want to do everything they can to make it better, and not just make it work.

While it is helpful to talk to friends or family about relationship issues, couples are more likely to get greater insight from a trained and experienced counsellor. Counsellors deal with different relationships every single day, and thus, have a deeper understanding of the unique challenges couples face.

With the right mindset and the right counsellor, couples have the power to move forward in the relationship, without the anxiety, with more confidence, and a newfound appreciation for his or her partner.

If your relationship or marriage is experiencing problems, search Australia Counselling for a professional relationship counsellor in your local area.