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Types of Marriage & Couples Counseling

Are you or your partner considering marriage and couples counseling? Choosing to begin therapy together shows you both prioritize the relationship. Couples counseling is where so many people have learned marriage counseling techniques to build communication skills, trust, and closeness. Don’t navigate issues like infidelity or constant fighting alone.

You and your partner will join countless other couples on a journey to tackling problems in a healthier way, reducing feelings of conflict even when those tough moments occur. That being said, every relationship is unique, and there’s no one solution for any relationship. It’s a good idea to explore the types of marriage counseling to find the type of couples counseling that works best for your relationship.

Imago Relationship Therapy

For couples struggling with empathy, especially with at least one partner holding on to childhood trauma, imago relationship therapy (IRT) is a great option. This type of therapy focuses on the early childhood experiences of both partners, encouraging each person to share them. The short-term goal of IRT is to identify relationship images so that you can reveal your subconscious expectations to yourself and your partner. In the long run, this type of marriage counseling bolsters closeness with your partner because it allows you to better understand them.

The Gottman Method

This method is named for the psychologist who developed it. Dr. Gottman studied patterns in a variety of marriages to understand what marriage counseling techniques should address to help both current and future conflicts. This type of couples counseling focuses on friendship, conflict management, and shared meaning and includes numerous techniques that both partners can continue to work on at home.

Solution-Focused Therapy

Is there a specific issue facing your relationship? If so, solution-focused therapy is a great choice among the types of marriage counseling. Your therapist will take on a goal-oriented approach based on that specific issue. Every session will begin with noting the positive changes you or your partner have seen, and your therapist will encourage you toward steps that appear to be most successful. Solution-focused therapy requires a tangible problem to be effective. If you or your partner just feels a general sense of dissatisfaction in the relationship, another method will be a better place to start.

Narrative Therapy

Sometimes, couples view their relationship as the problem rather than naming the actual problem. If this is the case for you and your partner, narrative therapy may be able to change your mind. This type of marriage counseling provides the space to hear and examine a couple’s stories to identify patterns of disconnection, blame, guilt, and miscommunication. When a couple names an issue, such as miscommunication, they’re better able to separate it from the relationship itself. This marriage counseling technique encourages couples to work together as a team.

Emotionally-Focused Couples Therapy

Emotionally-focused therapy (EFT) is a short-term type of couples counseling, usually as a reaction to a sudden life event or change. As the name implies, you and your partner will focus on discussing the role of your emotions in the relationship. This type of marriage counseling can help you deal with a lot, such as unexpected trauma, infidelity, or poor communication. Did you or your partner just experience an unexpected life event, such as getting fired? If so, EFT is a good choice. Over the course of EFT, you and your partner will work to identify negative patterns and strengthen a more secure attachment.

Discernment Counseling

Discernment counseling isn’t for the faint of heart. Unlike the other types of couples counseling, it doesn’t focus on “fixing” the relationship. Instead, it’s an honest conversation with a therapist who will help you and your partner decide what you want. Unfortunately, both partners don’t always agree on a path forward, and this type of marriage counseling involves exploring all the options available. This is why discernment counseling sessions are usually just one session. If the couple decides together that they are open to further counseling, then another type of therapy may be pursued for the following sessions.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

You’ve probably heard of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) before. It’s most often associated with individual therapy, but you can actually learn a variety of marriage counseling techniques from it. In individual CBT therapy, your therapist dives into your thoughts surrounding particular issues you are dealing with. Similarly, with this type of marriage counseling, you will work to identify the thoughts of both partners during conflict to better understand why you and your partner are reacting in a certain way.

Individual Counseling

Is your partner unwilling to try therapy? Or, do you have a personal issue that is taking a toll on the relationship, requiring professional support? Individual psychotherapy can still benefit the relationship despite only one person participating. On the bright side, at least you will reap the benefits of starting therapy. Additionally, starting individual therapy often encourages an unwilling partner to eventually participate too.

Putting Your Relationship First

Researching the types of marriage counseling already puts you on the path toward a stronger bond. You care about your partner, and you see a brighter future ahead for both of you. Navigate the ups and downs of your relationship with more confidence. During couples therapy, you’ll get to learn tried-and-true marriage counseling techniques from a Licensed Mental Health Counselor.

Reach out to Miami Hypnosis and Therapy today to begin your journey to a healthier relationship. Our principal practitioner, Anna Marchenko, holds dual Masters degrees in Psychology from Columbia University. Through her studies with world-renowned psychology professors and her own work, she has developed an integrative approach to psychotherapy that can be tailored for you and your partner. Contact us today to explore these types of marriage counseling further either with an in-person or virtual therapy consultation.

Anna Marchenko

Anna Marchenko, LMHC, M.A., Ed.M. is the principal therapist at Miami Hypnosis and Therapy. She holds a bachelor's degree from NYU and dual masters degrees from Columbia University. Marchenko’s hypnosis certification is from the only hypnosis program in Florida that has been certified by the state’s Board of Education. She helps her clients by utilizing an integrative approach to psychotherapy, tailored to each individual’s mental health journey, drawing from hypnotherapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, NLP therapy, EMDR, and more.

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