Wanna Know the Techniques Counselors Use?


If you feel like your world is falling apart around your marriage or relationship, you’re probably thinking about where you can look for help.


Family Therapists/ Marriage Counselors/ Couples Therapists/ & Relationship Coaches have an array of different methods and techniques to pull from to help you reach our goals.


As a strategist, I believe there is no cookie cutter method for therapy. I prefer an eclectic, holistic approach which draws from only proven, results- oriented techniques. Though situations maybe very similar, people are different.

If everyone were the same, it would be so simple everyone would have the perfect relationship~ with, well, everyone!

FAQ's  -  Stats and Success Rates  -  Tips for a Thriving, Happy Marriage  Common Myths -  How to Get the Most Out of Your Session  -  Couples Counseling Techniques and Methods  -  What to Expect?  -  How to Get Your Spouse to Join Couples Counseling

Here are a few of the best types of marriage counseling for some common situations. 

1) Couples Counseling


At the most basic level, it’s important to seek one of the types of marriage counseling that focuses on working with both of you at once.


While individual counseling might help one or the other of you to overcome personal issues that could well affect your relationship, looking at your relationship as a whole is a job for the couple as a unit, not as individuals.


Most marriage counselors know this and will only work with an individual if the partner has agreed to join sessions later. However, it’s preferable that you both be involved from the beginning of the process with limited individual sessions.


2) Family Therapy

If it is difficult to get your partner to agree to couples counseling or there are wider problems within your family, you might want to consider one of the types of marriage counseling that involves the whole family.


Family systems therapy can be used at anything from an individual level to a full extended family.

Family therapy might look at ways that individuals in a family take on or are assigned roles in everyday life, how those roles make them feel, and how to move the roles around if members of the family are unhappy with their places.


It can be useful to combine family therapy with other types of marriage counseling, such as more traditional couples therapy, in order to get a broader picture of the problems and hence possible solutions.

3) Religion-Based Counseling

If either of you is a member of a religious community, it might be useful to look into the types of marriage counseling that your faith group can provide.


Many people find the concept of support from a higher power and its earthly representatives reassuring in times of crisis. Organized religions are also generally very supportive of stable marriages and often provide resources to support these in times of trouble. No matter what your religion, you can find help by speaking to your clergy.


At a minimum, you can choose from local marriage counselors or marriage therapists who come from a similar religious tradition.

FAQ's  -  Stats and Success Rates  -  Tips for a Thriving, Happy Marriage  Common Myths -  How to Get the Most Out of Your Session  -  Couples Counseling Techniques and Methods  -  What to Expect?

4) Imago Therapy


Your partner may be reluctant to commit to counseling if he or she believes that all types of marriage counseling are based on standard psychotherapy talking cures. Fear of criticism or of being asked to talk about feelings that are difficult to put into words can be very off-putting.


Imago Relationship Theory seeks to avoid this by looking at how couples form relationships based on their individual weaknesses and how these are mirrored in the choice of partner.


It is a way to heal these needs without assigning blame and can be very successful in terms of helping couples rethink their dynamic. Marriage therapists who use this technique generally subscribe to the relational model of psychotherapy as opposed to the individual model, further reducing pressure on any reluctant individual.


Sessions are based on conversations between the couple, not on external techniques or theory. By using this technique, marriage counselors are promoting the idea that the couple’s needs are what matters rather than seeking a particular outcome or vindication for either partner.

5) Marriage-Friendly Therapy

While you would hope that most counselors would provide marriage-friendly therapy, it’s a sad fact that many marriage therapists are actually trained initially in the individual model of therapy.


They therefore have a tendency to put the happiness of individuals above the happiness of the couple or family as a unit. This can lead to situations, such as after one partner has had an affair, where couples are advised that the work required of them individually is too great and that they may be happier apart.


While this may help the members of the couple as individuals in a more rapid time frame, it is done at the expense of their relationship and often creates wider problems within the family.


Choosing from the types of marriage counseling that focus on repairing and sustaining relationships rather than seeking quick fixes for the individuals in those relationships can help to avert this, so it’s an important question to ask before you choose your counselor.

6) Brief-Tailored Programs

Many types of marriage counseling come as fixed programs, with time-frame from only a weekend to a few weeks.


While fixed programs can be helpful in identifying the issues within a marriage, resolving issues properly for permanent relationship growth may require a long-term commitment from you and your partner.

We could easily compare this techniques to dieting: you put weight on over a long period, and it needs to come off slowly for long-term results.


Similarly, if your relationship appears to have issues that have developed over a long period rather than being precipitated by a temporary crisis, you may want to look at therapists who can offer types of counseling that stretch over months or even years to support you as you and your partner make the gradual but vital changes that will keep your marriage alive.


7) Gottman Method

For over 30 years, the Gottman Method has been tested and proven, both in clinical settings and in real life. This is a method that uses specific couples counseling techniques to increase closeness and intimacy.


One of the powers of this method is to work out resentments that couples often build up over time. This emotional cleansing can act as a reset button for the relationship.


The expression of respect and admiration, something that was instinctive when you first met, can once again become part of every day together. The Gottman method recognizes that conflict will always exist. In this type of therapy, you learn to manage the conflicts, rather than trying to fix each and every one of them.

8) Narrative Method 

This technique involves telling a counselor about your story and then getting help rewriting the negative aspects of your life together.


The most important take away here is that each spouse learns that problems and issues don’t define the person.


It allows you to view your issues from more than just a personal perspective. Since you’re able to pull them out and “put them on the table,” you can view your issues and concerns from political, social, and religious perspectives. This technique is excellent for allowing you and your spouse to see the issue in the context of your life.

FAQ's  -  Stats and Success Rates  -  Tips for a Thriving, Happy Marriage  Common Myths -  How to Get the Most Out of Your Session  -  Couples Counseling Techniques and Methods  -  What to Expect?  -  How to Get Your Spouse to Join Couples Counseling

9) Insight-Oriented 


This therapy is geared toward helping you and your spouse change how you view your relationship and begin to look at each other in a more objective light.


If your spouse made a purchase and you look at that as the reason for all of your financial troubles, for example, insight-oriented therapy can help you to understand why you react in that manner and then develop strategies to change that going forward. Most of the early sessions will involve observation and data collection.


10) Behavior Modification  


If there is any physical, emotional, or financial harm occurring in your relationship, then behavior modification therapy might be right for you.


This type of therapy follows a solution-focused therapy model that tries to ensure that neither of you continue to focus on destructive behaviors. Initial sessions will focus on actions rather than emotions or feelings.

11) Communication Coaching 


The goal behind communication coaching is to help you to use active listening and empathy when communicating with your spouse. It fosters healthy and productive communication so that you both can feel free to express your feelings without fear of retaliation.


No two situations are alike, so each therapist will employ this therapy specifically tailored to your individual situation. This method is one of many techniques that improve communication.

12) Attachment Based/Behavioral Therapy 


If you have a relationship that is emotionally distant with little productive communication, this type of therapy might benefit you the most. Your counselor will first study how you interact with each other, and then will work with you to express your emotions freely to create a healthy bond between the two of you.

13) Relationship Strengthening 


Couples who genuinely love each other but who have just lost their way might benefit from the types of therapy that focus on strengthening the overall relationship. This type of therapy can take many different forms by using aspects of behavior modification or emotional insight to make it happen.

14) Emotionally Focused Therapy or EFT 


EFT has proven to be a powerful approach for couples dealing with infidelity or other more traumatic incidents, both current and past. Neuroscience also intersects attachment theory and EFT. More recently produced MRI studies demonstrate the significance of secure attachment.

Picking the Right Type of Counseling


If you have just been overwhelmed by the sheer amount of information, you are not alone. While it might seem like you need to sit down and figure out what type of marriage counseling you should use, very often, it’s the counselor who will listen to each of you and will choose a method based on their preference.

Free 15 Minute Consultation!

Call Now



April Lendoiro, LCSW & Relationship Strategist

Project Building Blocks

Orlando, Florida 32826


Call NOW: 1-800-457-0233
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