All human relationships experience stress and conflict and couple relationships are no exception to this rule. When couples experience relationship problems, many seek professional help through counselling and therapy services. A couple counsellor (also called a couples therapist, marriage counsellor, and marriage therapist) evaluates relationship problems and offers strategies for resolving them using psychotherapy.
Couples counsellors and therapists are licensed professionals who are often trained in several forms of Counseling including individual, couples, and family Counseling. However, counsellors who work with couples may specialize in this form of therapy and obtain specific training and accreditation. For example, most states have licensed marriage and family therapists (MFTs) who have specific training in couples counselling and often specialize in this form of counselling.
Couples counsellors focus on several areas to help couples repair their relationship. They diagnose relationship problems (as well as individual psychological issues that may be contributing to these problems); create treatment plans to treat those relationship problems; explore the dynamics involved in these problems and their causes (including past issues that may influence the present); and create new, more positive relationship experiences for couples. For example, many couples counsellors teach communication skills to help repair current relationship problems and address future problems that may arise.
Couples-based counselling typically involves a finite number of sessions (typically between 50 to 90 minutes in duration) between the professional and the couple. During these sessions, the counsellor will help the couple deal with their presenting issues such as communication problems, parenting issues, infidelity and trust issues.