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Does Marriage Counseling Work If One Partner Won’t Work At The Issues?

A common problem that couples and couples counselors face in marriage counseling occurs when one member of a couple is willing to work on the relationship and the other is not.  Many people may think that if they can’t convince their spouse to join them in marriage counseling, that it won’t work.  Fortunately, this is not always the case.  The approaches in marriage counseling are constantly being redefined to account for challenges and find ways to provide help to those who need it, regardless of their circumstances.  While marriage counseling works best when both partners agree to participate together, there can always be an alternative approach if needed.

At Proliance Center, we approach marriage counseling from a Systems perspective.  What this means is that we believe that although the couple is made up of two individuals, they exist together as a working system, where each individual affects the other.  Similar to the system of a family, when one member makes a change, it changes the dynamic of the whole family, or system.  Therefore, in marriage counseling, the same rules apply.  If one member of the couple makes a positive change, it has the potential to positively change the couple.

It is not uncommon here at Proliance Center for marriage counseling to take place, or at least begin, with just one member of the couple.  In these situations, the therapist works with the individual to help them make positive changes in themselves as well as their approach to their spouse, which can result in a shift in the marital relationship.  Marriage counseling Sessions are often focused on improving individual communication skills, defining goals for the relationship, and addressing how the individual might contribute to existing problems.  What we often find is that the changes the individual makes can either “rub off” on their spouse, or in some cases, be an inspiration to their spouse to begin attending marriage counseling.

The important aspect to recognize is that couples counseling can be provided in a variety of capacities and there is no mandatory structure in order to see results.  Here at Proliance Center, we can assess your needs and work with you based on your capabilities in order to help you make progress and positive changes.  

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