Law Offices of Lisa Stern
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Tips for couples therapy

Thousands of Michigan couples visit marriage counselors, hoping that professional therapy will help them overcome their problems and preserve their marriages. However, only a portion of these couples is able to resolve their issues and ultimately choose to remain together. Divorce is a natural step for husbands and wives that have grown further apart or developed serious communication problems, potentially saving both parties from a dysfunctional or unhappy marriage. Struggling Michigan couples may wish to pursue couples therapy in an effort to rekindle their relationships, but they should also be aware that divorce might be in both of their best interests.

Married couples that do choose to try counseling should ensure they are properly prepared for the often-arduous process of repairing their damaged relationship. Experts say that the majority of couples who enroll in couples therapy do so six years later than they should have, which can make it difficult to overcome the emotional rifts that have developed between spouses.

That said, therapy is still a valid choice if both parties are open to preserving their marriage. If the couple decides that they no longer wish to remain together during the course of counseling, then they may begin the divorce process with no apprehension.

It is important to remember that counseling can be just as difficult or even harder than divorce, as it requires both spouses to confront painful feelings that they may have kept hidden for years. A couple should be prepared to delve deep into their emotions and challenge themselves before they seek therapy.

Both spouses should inform their counselor whether they wish to stay married or pursue divorce at their first session, as this helps the counselor to strategically approach the couple's problems and help them both emerge happy and healthy from therapy. In some cases, a counselor might even agree that divorce is a good idea and will help the couple end their relationship with the least amount of pain or bitterness possible.

Source: Huffington Post, "Marriage Counseling: How To Succeed At Therapy" Dr. Bonnie Ray Kennan, Jul. 13, 2013

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