What is modern-day Marriage Counselling anyways?
Marriage Therapy encompasses couples counselling, conflict resolution, communication strategy, romantic support, and sex therapy within a relationship with one or more people to facilitate behavioural change and emotional understanding of ourselves and our partners.
Relationship counsellor and relationship therapist are used interchangeably and have the same regulatory license as individual therapists (Registered Clinical Counsellors in BC or Certified Canadian Counsellor across Canada). Having these licenses dictate that the therapist has a Master’s Degree and above and is held accountable to a professional organization ethically and legally. A relationship therapist has this/these license(s) and has additional training in therapies specific to relationships like Gottman Therapy or Emotion-Focused Therapy (EFT).
Relationship therapy is not the stereotypical couples counselling where the therapist shames you for your mistakes, prescribes unsolicited sex exercises, chooses sides, or pretends like they know your relationship better than you do, and it’s not only for relationships that are doomed to begin with. Much like individual therapy, relationship therapy is about quality of life. Often relationships can make it through a crisis without the support of a counsellor, however having a counsellor speeds up the healing process, increases efficiency of communication and helps partners decide what to prioritize from a neutral standpoint.
Relationship counsellors can have specializations underneath the umbrella of relationship therapy. For example, a relationship therapist could be well-versed in navigating familial conflict, sex, trauma, or parenting. Often these concerns overlap, and a relationship therapist typically has experience in multiple commonly related areas.