If your idea of success is a fairytale romance and no fights ever, then you will not find much success. If your idea of success is gaining a deeper understanding of your partner, knowing when and how to engage with them in a positive way, even in times of conflict, and being able to work through challenging conflicts without burning the house down, then you can find success. Conflicts happen, challenges in relationships come, and all of that is okay. Therapy is really about healing the hurts that have happened and figuring out how to handle the challenges that will come.
Is there a time that couples therapy is not going to be successful? YES. If there is active domestic violence in the relationship or fear for safety, then couples therapy is actually contraindicated. Also, if there is an undisclosed secret, like a hidden drug problem, affair, financial betrayal, or the like. It is hard to build a steady foundation when there is a large secret at play. If you or your partner are not sure if you even want to be in the relationship, then you need to take a step back and make that choice first through Discernment Counseling. Therapy involves dedication, and that is difficult to do when one foot is out the door already. If you have any of these circumstances happening, then individual therapy is a good place to start to help you work through those issues before setting foot in the therapy room.
Objectively speaking, research shows that relationship therapy has a success rate, meaning some sort of positive outcome, of between 70% and 90% depending on the study and criteria. There are good odds that you will gain something from the experience. Only you can decide if it is worth it depending on what your circumstances are. If you have questions, it never hurts to ask, so reach out to us if you want to talk through some of your circumstances.