Marriage counseling, couples counseling, or relationship counseling, is psychotherapy to help couples resolve problems and conflict in their relationships. The process can help improve the current relationship, rebuild a damaged relationship, or in some cases, therapy can aid in making the difficult decision to end the relationship. Couples’ therapy is appropriate for those who are married, engaged, living together, or dating. All types of intimate relationships can benefit from couples counseling, gay or straight, married or not.
Depending upon the depth of the issues, couples counseling, marriage counseling, or relationship counseling is usually short term, from a few sessions to a few months. If there are serious long-term problems that have caused deeper, more painful wounds emotionally, such as domestic violence or infidelity, therapy may be needed for a longer period of time. Both parties may also benefit from individual therapy to resolve their past issues from their own family of origin or negativity lingering from past relationships.