Busting Three Myths about Marriage Counselling

By Mindfront Shanghai Centre 2021-11-01 20:02:52

Marriage counselling, also referred to as couple therapy, is very different than what is usually portrayed on television. If you are considering couple therapy here is what you need to know: what it is, how it works and what you can expect. 


1) If you go to counselling, everything will be fine.

As a therapist, we cannot perform magic. We work with our clients to help empower them to build strength or capacity to make decisions on their own. Therapists have to stay unbiased and neutral so the couple must put in the hard work and together come up with some goals that they’d like to achieve from upcoming therapy sessions.

Sometimes therapy allows the couple to see that having a harmonious home is important and to accept divorce as an option to restore that harmony. This is particularly true for couples that have children because a dysfunctional and unhappy family is harmful for the child.



2) Therapists will fix everything wrong

Therapists are not mind readers. I work with couples together as one unit to learn about them. We need to work together to know each of them, so that means we need to talk and share. And everything that happens in that relationship must be resolved between the two of them. Our role is to see the issues of what is going on. If one person has an ongoing mental health issue, I will refer them to see another therapist. If there are unhealthy communication patterns between the couple, we can help them plan and slowly improve their communication skills.

3) I want therapy to change my partner’s behaviour.

If you want their behaviour to change and you bring that person to therapy, but you just sit there and let the therapist fix the issue, that is not couple’s counselling. Rule number one for couple therapy is both parties give consent for therapy, agree to the session and be prepared to do some work.


What kind of couples should seek marriage therapy?

Marriage counselling is not only for people who are married. It is for any couple who are in an intimate partnership. Of course for a couple who seek counselling, there should still be a bit of love between them to try and make the relationship a harmonious one. If one person in the relationship already suffering from a mental wellness condition, it is recommended they begin therapy by themselves as that could have an impact on the couples’ relationship. For couples who are in an aggressive relationship where one person’s safety is in jeopardy, it is more important for the victim to find a safe place.

Does marriage counselling involve children?

Every couple will have difficulties in a relationship, and you don’t have to let the kids know every detail, however if the decision is a divorce, then the couple will need to let their kids know what is going on because they are also a member of the family. 



Sophie Deng, LCSW

Deng is a New York State licensed psychotherapist with over 4,500 hours of experience in the last five years.

Mindfront Shanghai Centre 
Address: 18F, 68 Yuyuan Road
Phone: 6718 8883