5 Different Types of Marriage Therapy

5 Different Types of Marriage Therapy

5 Different Types of Marriage Therapy

There are various approaches to marriage therapy, and choosing the suitable method for your relationship depends on your goals. Most therapists are trained in many modalities and can integrate specific techniques depending on the marriage. In many cases, the therapist you choose to work closely with may be more critical than the type of therapy they use to help you. Whether you are looking to improve communication, learn to navigate your differences as individuals, build trust after betrayal, or increase intimacy, marriage therapy is a powerful tool.

It has been in existence since the 1930s, but it didn't gain maximum popularity until the 1980s, when new approaches became available. There are many approaches to marriage counseling, and experts report that choosing the right one for your relationship ultimately depends on relationship goals. Our marriage counselor in Orlando explains the following common types of marriage therapy:

Solution-focused therapy

Solution-focused therapy is best suited to spouses primarily looking to fix specific problems instead of spouses who experience a wide range of issues. One study reveals that short-term solution-focused marriage therapy can significantly reduce "couple burnout," an emotional, mental, and physical condition involving a lack of interest or attachment to your spouse. In addition, a solution-focused style helps invite couples to envision the positive changes they long for. Then, the patients and therapists outline and concretize actionable steps designed to achieve a couple's goals together from this creative vision.

Narrative therapy

Narrative therapy's philosophy is that the stories you and your spouse tell yourselves shape your behavior and decisions towards one another. This evidence-based technique is characterized by correcting negative or self-defeating narratives that might be undermining your marital dynamic. First, a therapist helps spouses see what mistaken themes and beliefs from their lives contribute to their marital bond deterioration. Then, they are guided to create a healthier new narrative that addresses and honors one another's needs while creating greater harmony and intimacy during the process.

Imago relationship therapy

The Imago method of therapy views the spouse's problems as the result of unhealed wounds and unmet childhood needs that later become pain points, conflicts, or sensitivities in adult relationships. The premise of this therapy is that each spouse has experienced certain things in their childhood that cause them to form individual perspectives about what relationships look like. The ultimate goal is to consciously address these images to quickly identify negative behaviors, feelings, and thoughts to help you better understand your childhood experiences that impact how you behave towards your spouse. This therapy revolves around a three-step process of mirroring, concern, validation, and empathy expression. One study discovered that spouses experience significant increases in relationship satisfaction after completing 12 therapy sessions.

Emotion-focused therapy

This therapy developed in the 1980s is one of the most tested and researched types of marital therapy. Through this therapy, a therapist often has spouses share specific problem events in their relationship and then works closely with them to explore, identify, and make sense of any underlying emotions that contribute to the problems. For example, it can be challenging for spouses to address their most vulnerable feelings when they are stuck in apathy, resentment, or anger. However, once they can access deeper emotions, like fear, hurt, or sadness, they begin to understand their unmet needs revealed by these more profound emotions.

Discernment counseling

This technique was developed in 2008 for conflicted marriages where one spouse hopes to save their relationship while the other spouse slants towards bringing it to an end. Their short-term therapy approach aims to clarify when ambivalence prevents spouses from engaging fully or reaping any benefits of marriage therapy. The primary goal of discernment counseling is helping spouses discover every option available for consideration before making an ultimate decision about their relationship's fate.

These are just a few types of treatment provided by a marriage counselor in Orlando. Call us today for more information.

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Heather Oller

Heather Oller is a licensed Orlando therapist at Orlando Thrive Therapy, Coaching & Counseling who specializes in counseling Orlando couples, individuals, and families who are seeking changes in their lives. She has been a mental health professional for over 17 years and is a practicing Orlando counselor that specializes in conflict resolution for couples. You can contact her for an appointment or call 407-592-8997 for more information.