Increasingly Common for Young Couples to Seek Counseling

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Despite what you may have seen on TV shows like Couples Therapy, marriage counseling is not just for troubled couples. In fact, it is increasingly common for young couples to seek counseling. Whether it’s pre-marital counseling or couples therapy for a marriage that is in crisis, this growing trend speaks to the commitment many younger people have for their relationships. Couples that are serious about their relationship and willing to work on the problems can often save their marriages with the help of a licensed therapist.

According to data from the American Psychological Association, millennials are seeking individual therapy at rates double that of the previous generation. And a survey by the UK counseling charity Relate found that many of their clients under 40 were in couple therapy. young couples therapy is usually thought of as a last-ditch, final resort for married couples facing major difficulties. But post-Covid, millennials and even couples who are not yet married are hopping on the proverbial shrink’s couch in tandem, before they’re even engaged.

The reasons vary, but they often revolve around communication, insecurity about their attachment styles, and unresolved childhood trauma that has shaped their views of the world. Unlike older generations, who typically seek therapy after years of accumulated issues and resentments, these younger couples are willing to invest their time and money in their relationships, a sign of how seriously they care about them.

For these younger couples, the therapists’ techniques and exercises can be helpful for building strength in their relationships and repairing damage from hurtful words or behavior. But, like any treatment, the work is not without challenges.

As the couple therapy field grows, so does the need for new therapeutic approaches to address the complexities of today’s marriages. Some of these challenges are enduring, such as a need to consider the importance of diversity and balancing interventions that address intrapersonal, dyadic, and broader systemic sources of distress.

Others are more recent, such as a need to incorporate a more intersectional lens on couple distress and the need for therapists to develop an awareness of their own biases in working with couples (Knudson-Martin & Kim, 2020).

Regardless of the challenges, the future of couples therapy looks bright. As more couples are willing to invest in their relationships, more therapists will be trained to work with them. And more research will be conducted on the effectiveness of these models to better understand their strengths and limitations.

Before selecting a couples therapist, ask questions to determine their approach and whether it’s evidence-based. Also, be sure to find out how much experience they have with treating couples. And, when you call to schedule an appointment, don’t be afraid to tell them that you have questions about their approach before they ask if you do. This will ensure that you select the therapist who is right for you and your partner. Jillian Goltzman is a freelance journalist who writes about culture, social impact, and wellness. She lives in New York City with her corgi and is working on her first novel.