Marriage Counseling Versus Couples Therapy?

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April 10, 2024

When I admittedly search through Google’s SEO to see where we stand I notice the common searches for marriage counseling versus couples therapy. Two different words will give you different results. But does the language matter? Simply put, yes and no. Let’s dive into it.

Couples Therapy:

What Is It?

Couples therapy is for improving and resolving issues within a romantic relationship.

The Goal Of Couples Therapy:

At our practice the goal is usually to make the relationship stronger but sometimes the goal is just to find out whether or not the couple should stay together.

Techniques We Use:

Our therapists create a safe environment for couples to openly discuss concerns and provide guidance to develop healthier interactions. Techniques like emotion-focused therapy and the Gottman method are commonly used. Sometimes we like to see you for a first session as a couple and then see you both individually for a session. Then we will bring you back together. This is a common way of beginning therapy. From there we use modalities from family and couples therapy to help you in your relationship.

Benefits of Couples Therapy:

Couples therapy improves communication, resolves conflicts, enhances intimacy, develops healthier habits, strengthens the relationship, and can help prevent break-ups.

Marriage Counseling:

What Is It?

Typically marriage counseling is for partners who are married

Goals Of Marriage Counseling

The aim is to improve the overall health and happiness of the partnership by addressing issues and deepening emotional connection.


Similar to couples therapy, marriage counselors use theories like solution-focused therapy, cognitive-behavioral therapy, and the Gottman method to address conflicts and improve communication.


Marriage counseling improves communication, resolves conflicts, enhances intimacy, develops healthier habits, strengthens the relationship, and can help prevent divorce.

Here Are The Differences:

1. Focus of Treatment: Couples therapy focuses on the relationship between two individuals, married or not, while marriage counseling explicitly addresses issues within a marriage.

4. Techniques Used: Some marriage counselors are more religious than others. Some “couples therapists” are less religious than marriage counselors. At our practice – we take the wording with a grain of salt.

Which One Is Right For You?

You should always pick a therapist who is the best fit for you. Instead of choosing a therapist based on vocabulary, look at their specialties and how they work with their clients. Get a sense of their personality and what they bring into the space. When in doubt, request a free consult.

We believe big change starts with a single step.

Let’s take the first one together. Book a free 15-minute consultation with us to see if therapy is right for you!

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