How Long Does Marriage Counseling Take?

How much time would you be willing to spend a week to get a happier, healthier, more enriching relationship with your spouse or partner? Marriage counseling sessions typically take around 50 minutes per session, with the  average length of marriage counseling  totaling 12-25 conversations over the course of a few months. The return on this time can be transformative and Well Marriage Center is here to answer all your questions about the timing and length of marriage counseling. Here’s what you need to know!

But First…Couples Therapy vs Marriage Counseling

Before we dig into how long marriage counseling takes, we want to clarify that we do not see a difference between couples therapy and marriage counseling. We create a safe space for every relationship to be built, healed, or restored, regardless of if there is a legal marriage or a different style of commitment. Whether you call it marriage counseling, couples therapy, or some other combination of terms, the goals of reducing conflict, restoring intimacy and trust, and developing better communication are the same. Whatever type of committed relationship you are in, our team has dedicated their careers to helping couples build a better foundation for the future. 

When To Go To Couples Therapy

When a relationship is already going through challenges, setting aside time each week for couples therapy can feel like a big ask. Often, couples choose to look in the other direction and hope the phase will pass instead of seeking targeted help for long-term problems. When these issues reach a breaking point,  often the best option is couples therapy. In fact, if you’re thinking you might need therapy, it might be time to schedule an initial session. But when should you put it on the calendar? It’s important to choose a time that can regularly work for you, your partner, and your mutual schedules. If you can schedule a recurring appointment for the same time and weekday, then nurturing your relationship starts to become a healthy part of your routine more naturally. 

How Often Should You Go To Couples Therapy?

At Well Marriage Center, we recommend our couples start with weekly therapy sessions. This allows participants to start forming better habits and addressing issues in an environment of supportive accountability. After the first few sessions have laid a foundation for progress and determined your end goals as a couple, you may agree to start meeting bi-monthly, and eventually once a month or even less. This gradual decline in the number of sessions you need to attend is supported by better daily experiences in the relationship as the lessons from therapy take root and help you grow together in the right direction. However, every couple is different. Some may decide to further benefit from prolonged therapy  to truly heal and resolve relationship traumas. You should go to couples therapy for as long as it feels supportive and beneficial towards your relationship goals. 

How Long Does Couples Therapy Take To Work?

Couples generally attend between 12-25 sessions of therapy before they arrive at a place where they are satisfied with their growth. However, that doesn’t mean it takes 12 sessions for therapy to show any results. Week to week, you and your partner will be following techniques and activities in your daily life to reinforce what you have discussed with your therapist. As you grow and get more in tune through doing the work, the benefits will show up along the journey.

You’ll focus on identifying and honoring the strengths that still exist within your relationship, as well as set goals for communication, conflict resolution, and moving forward. Through these techniques, therapy can begin to reset negative or toxic patterns in your relationship from the first session onward. For some couples, these small, foundational changes may take longer to emerge because every relationship is unique. You can always talk to your therapist about your goals and timelines during a session. 

Some couples are concerned about how long marriage counseling takes to work in specific situations, like at the beginning of a marriage or when it is at risk of ending. Here are some more specific answers to common questions. 

Should You Go To Couples Therapy Before Marriage?

Investing in a pre-marriage therapy program is an excellent way to get your married life off to a strong start. Even though marriage is an exciting time of hope and planning for the future, it can also feel uncertain, overwhelming, and even confusing based on past events in the relationship. During our pre-marital program, you will meet with a Well Marriage Center therapist for as many sessions as you agree on. These conversations will be dedicated to your personal histories and dating story, any current concerns about the relationship, and the goals and plans you have set for the future. 

One thing that makes our pre-marital program unique is that we meet twice again after you are married, once around the six-month point and once around your one-year anniversary. This establishes a few neutral touchpoints for you and your new spouse to check in around goals and discuss anything new that has arisen after the knot is tied. 

Does Marriage Counseling Work After Separation

Yes, marriage counseling can work for both the couple and an individual after separation. It depends on the goals you have moving forward from the separation. If you want to reconcile and heal the relationship, marriage counseling provides a neutral opportunity to talk about what has gone wrong in the short-term and how it has impacted the long-term relationship. At Well Marriage Center, we practice pro-relationship counseling, seeking to heal and restore your relationship along with you even when you aren’t sure it’s possible. On the other hand, there might be no way to reconcile, but one or both parties need support adjusting to life outside of marriage. A licensed marriage counselor can also help with this, empowering you to figure out what went wrong in the relationship and help you avoid repeating similar issues in the future. Whether you want to fix the separation or heal yourself on the other side, marriage counseling can help. 

Well Marriage Center Helps You Keep Healing

The relationship specialists at Well Marriage Center are committed to helping you restore your relationship with each session you invest. They’ve dedicated their entire careers to helping couples just like you, whether you hope to be done with marriage counseling in just 12 sessions, or you think 25 doesn’t sound like enough. The good news is that you and your partner set the pace and get to have input about how many sessions you think you need. Whether we see you every week or once a month, we want you to leave each meeting feeling like you achieved something together and know what to work on next. That’s how healing happens–one day at a time, slowly but surely. We’re here to stick with you throughout the journey! Set up a conversation with our Intake Coordinator, Melinda, to share a little bit about where your relationship is at and where you want to go.