Marriage Counseling – Does It Work?

If your marriage is in trouble, you have probably considered some kind of marriage counseling. But will it help you? Or will it make things worse? It is it worth the investment of money and time?

Just like me you simply want to know: Marriage counseling – does it work?

Marriage counseling - Does it work?
Marriage counseling – Does it work?


When I ran out of people that could give me the answer for this question (some said it works wonderfully, others said not at all), I started  looking for actual numbers – The statistics of marriage counseling success. This article finally gave me the answer. I am happy to share it with you now:

Marriage Counseling – Does It Work?

In a review of the literature through mid-1996, Pinsof, Wynne, and Hambright (1996: Pinsof & Wynne, 1995) concluded that significant data exists to support the efficacy of family and couples therapy and that there is no evidence indicating that couples are harmed when they undergo treatment.

Research outcomes on couples counseling suggest the following:

  • At the end of couple’s therapy, 75% of couples receiving therapy are better off than similar couples who did not receive therapy.
  • Sixty five percent of couples report “significant” improvement based on averaged scores of marital “satisfaction.”
  • Most couples will benefit from therapy, but both spouses will not necessarily experience the same outcomes or benefits.
  • Therapies that produce the greatest gain and are able to maintain that gain over the long amount of time, tend to affect the couple’s emotional bonds and help the spouse’s work together to achieve a greater level of “differentiation” or emotional maturity.5 The original article is here.

So, there you have it. When searching for how to save marriage, keep in mind that in MOST cases, marriage counseling works. In some cases it doesn’t work because the couple goes to therapy too late to really solve their issues. But, even in these cases, marriage counseling will help you finally decide whether to keep your marriage or end it, a heart breaking question that is too hard to answer by yourself.

marriage counseling alternatives

Marriage Counseling – Are There Other Options and Alternatives?

If you are hesitant about going to a therapist, there are more options out there. These options are usually quicker and always cheaper. The first alternative is to get marriage counseling online. Online marriage counseling is not any less effective than face to face counseling, but it’s much less expensive.

The second alternative is a Free E-Course written by various family therapists. In such a course you will receive free, but still professional advice about many aspects of marriage problems – straight to your e-mail daily. On the top right of this website you can receive an excellent e-course that has helped my marriage a great deal.

The Marriage Sherpa Free e-course

The Marriage Fitness Free e-course

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