According to research, “At the end of couple’s therapy, 75% of couples receiving therapy are better off than similar couples who did not receive therapy.” To help us understand what marriage counseling is and the benefits I have interviewed Cynthia Bunch LCSW, who is the Psychotherapist at The Center for Personal Development.
Tell me a little bit about yourself.
“I am Cynthia Bunch, a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and Psychotherapist at The Center for Personal Development in Chicago where I conduct counseling with individuals and couples.”
What is marriage counseling?
“Marriage counseling offers couples the opportunity to improve communication, enhance intimacy (both emotional and sexual) and reinforce the reasons they came together in the first place.”
“Marriage counseling usually begins when a couple is seeking closer, more sustainable intimacy, or when they are looking to navigate one of the many challenges to remaining a successful team in life. The marriage counselor is someone who can guide the discussions necessary to achieve these goals. Additionally, a marriage counselor takes a neutral stance, supporting both partners in the couple, while offering proven, researched, and tried-and-true methods for helping couples see eye to eye and resolve vital concerns. Marriage counselors also give couples the tools to forge ahead and face challenges into the future.”
When is a good time for a couple to seek marriage counseling?
“Couples can benefit from counseling at any time. Prior to marriage or a commitment ceremony, counseling can help newly engaged couples talk through issues such as how finances will be handled, ideas about parenting, long-term life goals, stress management and how to stay connected once passionate love transitions into a more sustaining, and hopefully, long-term love and commitment.”
“Marriage counseling can also be a great way to “tune-up” a relationship during times of transition such as unemployment, a new job or a new baby. It can also be of critical importance during times of struggle such as infidelity, substance abuse, etc.”
What types of issues does a marriage counselor help a couple with?
“A marriage counselor helps a couple deals with day-to-day issues that, if not addressed, can lead to larger issues. Arguments over things such as household chores can be a signal that there are larger problems lurking “under the hood”, such as one partner feeling lack of respect or understanding from the other. Marriage counselors also address issues such as financial hardship, parenting challenges, infidelity and sexual problems.”
What are the benefits of marriage counseling?
“All couples benefit from enhanced communication which leads to greater intimacy, a sense of being heard and understood in an authentic way and learning coping skills for difficult times.”
“Just as all individuals can benefit from a greater understanding of themselves, all couples can benefit from a better understanding of one another and the “inner-workings” of their marriage or partnership.”
What last advice would you like to leave for a couple that is considering marriage counseling?
“While the idea of counseling may seem daunting at first, or you may think that going to counseling means your marriage is “terrible”, the right therapist can help a couple have more joy and intimacy than they have ever previously experienced together as well as convey effective strategies for getting through the most challenging times.”
Thank you Cynthia Bunch LCSW for the interview. If you would like more information about Cynthia Bunch please check out her website at www.ChicagoTherapist.com.