Does Marriage Counseling Work?

According to an article published by the Journal of Marital and Family Therapy, the answer is: Yes, marriage counseling is effective in helping couples deal with their problems. This article provides some objective information based on data obtained from a national survey of marriage and family counselors and their clients.

The research was an attempt to discover, on a more scientific level, the effectiveness of couples counseling.  In the research, clients of marriage and family counselors from 15 different states reported on their experience with counseling. The findings indicated that clients were very satisfied with the help they received and felt it improved their relationship.

Specifically, 526 marriage and family counselors and their clients were surveyed from 15 different states.  These couples reported the following:

  • 98.1% rated services good or excellent
  • 97.1% got the kind of help they desired
  • 91.2% were satisfied with the amount of help they received
  • 93% said they were helped in dealing more effectively with problems
  • 94.3% would return to the same therapist in the future
  • 96.9% would recommend their therapist to a friend
  • 97.4% were generally satisfied with the service they received
  • 63.4% reported improved physical health
  • 54.8% reported improvement in functioning at work
  • 73.7% indicated improvement in children’s behavior
  • 58.7% showed improvement in children’s school performance

Data excerpted from "Clinical Practice Patterns of Marriage and Family Therapists: A National Survey of Therapists and Their Clients", Journal of Marital and Family Therapy--Volume 22, No. 1

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