Who Goes to Couples Therapy? Should We?

I hate that couples who go to couples therapy can get a bad rap. If you hear of a friend or neighbor going to couples therapy, your immediate reaction may be judgmental, like “I guess they have major issues!” I find a lot of times couples keep secret from their friends, family members, and their kids that they are attending therapy. I get it. No one wants to be judged. No one wants their marriage to be seen as flawed, broken, inadequate, failing. So, I’m here to set the record straight. As a marriage counselor, I can speak firsthand to this question: Who goes to couples therapy? And I hope the answer dispels any judgment you may have against your own relationship or someone else’s. I hope the answer gives you permission to seek anything that can have a positive impact on your relationship without fear of judgment.  

Motivated Couples

Motivated couples come to couples therapy. I am consistently impressed with the motivation partners can have to improve their relationships. Couples do the hard work of shifting unhealthy patterns (mostly ones that were passed to them by generations before them) to healthy patterns. These couples refuse to settle for complacency or “good enough” relationships. They want a thriving one. It is inspiring to see how willing partners can be to put time, energy, and money into this part of their lives and then experience the positive impact their efforts can have on their own well-being and that of their family.

Often couples that come to therapy aren’t struggling any more than the next relationship, they are just motivated to grow as a couple and improve their lives.

Humble Couples

It takes humility to say, “We need help.” Humility is one of the most endearing attributes in another human. Think about people in your life that have humility. They don’t boast or brag. They are willing to say “I’m not perfect” and “I have areas in my life I can improve upon.” Those people are admirable. Those people come to couples therapy. Those people are humble enough to say, “Since I know I’m not perfect, I want to grow and change in ways that strengthen my relationships.” 

Couples that come to therapy aren’t struggling any more than the next relationship, they are just humble see their limitations and ask for help. 

Wise Couples

I encourage my couples to let their kids or safe family members know they are in counseling. Why? Because seeking help from healthy places is such a good model.  I love when my clients’ children, siblings, or parents see them going to counseling and learn that 1) getting help is normal; 2) getting help is healthy; 3) getting help is nothing to hide, in fact, it is something to be proud of, even respected. They teach by example, sharing the message that no one has it all figured out and it is absolutely normal and encouraged to seek resources to help.  

Couples that come to therapy aren’t struggling any more than the next relationship, they are just wise enough to use healthy resources to help.

Affected Couples

Researchers understand now, more than ever, how we are impacted by our environment. We understand that experiencing trauma or difficult circumstances in our upbringing can affect us–and our relationships–in the long run. Oftentimes, couples who come to therapy are making courageous efforts to deal with how they have been personally affected by difficult things in their lives. Being affected is normal and expected. Couples who take healthy steps to deal with that impact deserve admiration and respect.  

Couples that come to therapy aren’t struggling any more than the next relationship, they are just brave enough to deal with how they have been understandably affected by some hard situations.


I am honored to work with such motivated, humble, and wise couples who take such courageous steps—steps that ensure the ways they have been affected by the hardships of life are handled in a way that promotes not only their health and well-being, but that of their family’s and the generations beyond.  

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