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What is the difference between couples therapy and marriage counselling?

By: Richard Boyd Copyright © 2022 March 31, 2020 no comments

What is the difference between couples therapy and marriage counselling?

It can be confusing to tell the difference between couples therapy and marriage counselling. Both are focused on improving relationships and helping couples realise the natural differences of each person in the relationship. Resolving conflict in relationships is the main reason why couples seek therapy or counselling.

There are many types of counselling and therapy practices that are geared toward improving relationships. Let me show you the differences between couples therapy and marriage counselling.

Many people use the terms marriage counselling and couples counselling interchangeably. This is due to the overlapping similarities between the two that sometimes create confusion.

Let’s start with…

Marriage Counselling

Couples typically seek marriage counselling before the wedding in preparation for entering a married relationship. Marriage counselling aims to develop conflict resolution skills and the capability to understand the differences in relationships, and to make sure that marriage is a step the couple understands. It tackles the present situation more than the past as a way of preparing for married life. Marriage counselling helps married couples understand the challenges of married life, especially when making big decisions for the family.

The marriage counsellor will serve as your guide as to which path or direction is best for your family or relationship. It also helps married couples rekindle the flame and mend the trust after suffering from relationship trauma or a breach of trust. Constant arguments, sexual issues, financial matters and divorce are a few reasons why married couples seek out professional relationship advice.

This type of counselling is usually short-term.

Couples Therapy

Couples therapy is focused on tracing the root of your relationship issues. Additionally, Couples therapy focuses on the history and past dynamics rather than the present situation. Couples therapy tackles personal issues to help both parties understand the underlying behaviour towards relationships. It involves talking about previous fights, infidelities and abuse as a way of identifying the factors that are making your relationship sour.

It can also help couples deal with serious situations such as deaths and compatibility issues. Communication issues, blended families, sexual issues and abuse are a few common reasons why people seek couples therapy. Couples therapy is short term depending on the client’s situation and progression.

How do you know which is right for you?

Talking to a counsellor about how you feel is the first step that you should do before seeking couples therapy or marriage counselling. Getting a proper assessment of your situation is vital to get the right therapy. There are also situational symptoms that you need to consider, such as abuse and trauma.

Couples therapy and marriage counselling have various similarities.  That is why it is essential to see a professional to point you in the right direction.


The progress of both depends on the couple’s participation in therapy and the willingness to resolve their conflict. It is essential to acknowledge the issues of your relationship. Be honest to yourself and reflect on the cause of your conflict. Moreover, do not rush yourself to heal as sometimes it takes time to get the right results.

All you need to do is go to sessions with your therapist or counsellor regularly.

For more information about couples therapy and marriage counselling, reach out to Energetics Institute.


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