When Should a Couple Seek Counseling?

Couples often ask, “When is it appropriate to begin couples counseling?” My answer used to be, “Six months ago.” I now realize that I was wildly optimistic. One researcher calculated the time between when a couple experienced significant relationship distress and the time that they came in for counseling was six years!

It is often very challenging to start couples counseling. Couples, especially those with busy work schedules and children, often put off coming to counseling either because they are too busy with their daily schedule or it is hard for them to admit that their relationship really needs help. Often, couples are hesitant to talk about issues for fear of opening a much larger “can of worms.” Sometimes anger and resentment is so strong that it is challenging to discuss even the seemingly mundane issues.

But don't wait. If things are going poorly in your relationship avoiding the issues will not help and often results in further deterioration of the relationship.

What are the signs that it is time for a couple to seek counseling? Here are a few to look for:

  • Feeling distant from your partner
  • Increase in arguments, arguments over the same issues, or one or both partners have mentioned "divorce"
  • Lack of affection or no physical intimacy
  • Lack of interest
  • Avoiding spending time with each other
  • Poor communication, "he/she doesn't listen"
  • Feeling unsupported
  • Infidelity
  • If you recognize even one of these signs, the time to take action is now. Don’t wait until the relationship deteriorates even further. People that come in for help sooner rather than later can get the help that they need to improve their relationship. Often counseling and/or a relationship workshop can improve the skills needed to create and maintain a healthy, happy and fulfilling relationship.

    If you have any questions or would like to make an appointment, please call 413-992-7667.