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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a question for those couples who've been going to a marriage councillor together. How many times do you think you will need to go? Do you think regular visits it will be required for as long as you are together?

We've gone to a marriage councillor about a dozen times since we first started having sessions with one about five years ago. Somewhere my wife has gotten this idea (says it like it's a fact) that most couples are able to fix things within six sessions. I think this isn't true. She says it like it's proof we're doomed to fail and justification for her lack of interest in the relationship.

I think in our few hours of sessions with a MC we've certainly worked on a few things but I think she's hardly opened up and admitted very little of what goes on at home. I see some long and enduring psychological support needed, but the hard and sad truth is it's up to her to allow or seek help.

So what do you think is the truth? Do most couples go for a few weeks and then they've 'worked it all out for good'? Any thoughts?
 

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Where she's getting the 6 sessions number is the consensus is the marriage should be improving within 5-6 sessions. If it's not that means either you've got a bad therapist or an unwilling, uncooperative or otherwise broken spouse.

For the record we did MC and she saved our marriage. In my case MC quickly turned to IC for me as I was the one with the most baggage and issues. Within 6-12 months I was like a completely different person.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Where she's getting the 6 sessions number is the consensus is the marriage should be improving within 5-6 sessions.
I take it that you agree with this idea then that after 6 sessions there should be some improvement (which of course is a relative thing... not every issue will be solved forever more).

What do you mean by 'the consensus'? Who's consensus? Is this something that psychologists are saying somewhere?

Is there a consensus here on TAM? Do most people here on TAM agree this is true?
 

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Hmmm.. I can't count that high. :( Since May 2012, once a week almost. I guess that would put it at around 36 sessions or so... Still going. :( I just keep getting told that there isn't a formula for the number of sessions or length of time. I'm almost at my wits end with all of this counseling and not seeing much improvement from my wife. I know I've changed, but haven't seen much from her. It is the same thing it seems every week, we have a good session, then it seems like nothing changes at home from her. Going to another session later this morning where I think things are not going to go well.
 

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I take it that you agree with this idea then that after 6 sessions there should be some improvement (which of course is a relative thing... not every issue will be solved forever more).

What do you mean by 'the consensus'? Who's consensus? Is this something that psychologists are saying somewhere?

Is there a consensus here on TAM? Do most people here on TAM agree this is true?
I've read over 300 self help books and 'consensus' is there should be movement after 5-6 sessions.

I didn't say SOLVED I said movement. And movement is defined in there have been positive changes and you believe the therapy is working.

If you see no improvement it's either a patient or a therapist problem. There are lots of bad therapists out there that will happily take your money while you see no improvement whatsoever. There are also spouses who refuse to see that there is anything wrong with them.

I've read stories on here of people paying thousands of dollars for years of therapy and having little improvement. That was not my experience however I had a great therapist and I was willing to do the work. This is a successful combination.
 

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I've read over 300 self help books and 'consensus' is there should be movement after 5-6 sessions.

I didn't say SOLVED I said movement. And movement is defined in there have been positive changes and you believe the therapy is working.

If you see no improvement it's either a patient or a therapist problem. There are lots of bad therapists out there that will happily take your money while you see no improvement whatsoever. There are also spouses who refuse to see that there is anything wrong with them.

I've read stories on here of people paying thousands of dollars for years of therapy and having little improvement. That was not my experience however I had a great therapist and I was willing to do the work. This is a successful combination.
I agree that there should be some positive change after 6 sessions or so. I can't bring up the fact, or when I do I get the whole "you are rushing me / this process" and she goes back into bitter mode. I think I'm going to bring this up this morning again. All we are doing is spending thousands of $$ that we don't have to go around in circles. The counselor sees this and trys to go at things in different ways, but he hasn't made her state what is exactly holding her back from moving on with life.
 

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I don't think 6 sessions is right. It is not a flu or a virus, you can't take antibiotics for a week and be done with it. For us, after 6 sessions, some things had gotten a little better, but others had gotten worse. I think by 6 sessions, you should have a solid understanding of what the root problems are and what you both need to work on. But getting through those can take a lot longer, depending of course on how bad things were to start & how long they had been that way.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thankyou SO much everyone for your replies, it is precisely what I was needing to hear.

We saw some positive changes happen even just as a result of having had even just one session with the therapist. Althought nothing was 'fixed' permanently exactly. At the time it seemed like it was the end of the relationship for us, but here we are still together years later, and I'd say largely because of having regularly seen the psychologist together. We are certainly needing to go back. And I do encourage anyone thinking of seeing a psychologist for couples therapy to do it. It has been worth it for us.
 

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So what do you think is the truth? Do most couples go for a few weeks and then they've 'worked it all out for good'? Any thoughts?
I think the counseling industry caters to women and is challenged to produce any outcome other than unilateral change in the man's behavior. Most of the time, that's all it takes.

I would suggest some kind of marriage enrichment program. The cost is lower, the delivered product is less biased and it's easier to justify a seminar every 6 months than six months of counseling
 

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I think the counseling industry caters to women and is challenged to produce any outcome other than unilateral change in the man's behavior. Most of the time, that's all it takes.

I would suggest some kind of marriage enrichment program. The cost is lower, the delivered product is less biased and it's easier to justify a seminar every 6 months than six months of counseling
What exactly is "marriage enrichment"?
 

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The key is the investment you and your spouse make in the sessions.

First marriage counselor: 8 sessions. After that my wife refused to go back.

Nothing was resolved. I felt we were making progress but as soon as my wife had to confront HER issues, she refused to go back. She felt we could figure out our own problems. In reality, she felt that I was the one that had to work out MY problems.

Fast forward four years after my continuing to ask that she go back to marriage counseling with me. She has asked for a divorce and I agree. She realizes that wasn't really what she wanted and wants to stay together. I make marriage counseling a requirement to stay married.

Second marriage counselor: 6 sessions. This time my wife is fully committed. We make great progress. Could have stopped at five sessions but MC wanted to do a wrap-up session.

Why was the 5 sessions more productive than the 8 before? Involvement, willingness to look into ourselves and fix ourselves and the marriage.

You can go to 100 sessions but if one party is there just to watch the other get beat upon, it won't work.
 
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