The Truth About Marriage Counseling Success Rates [Real Statistics]

Marriage counseling is a popular option for couples struggling in their relationship. They seek professional help to improve communication, resolve conflicts, and ultimately save their marriage. But what are the success rates of marriage counseling? The truth may surprise you.

According to various studies, the success rates of marriage counseling vary widely. Some studies suggest that up to 75% of couples who undergo counseling experience significant improvements in their relationship. However, other studies show much lower success rates, ranging from 20% to 50%.

So why such a wide range of success rates? One reason is that success is difficult to define and measure. Some couples may consider their marriage counseling successful if they can communicate better, even if they decide to separate. Other couples may only view their counseling as successful if they can stay together and rebuild their relationship.

Today, we will explore the truth about marriage counseling success rates so you can make an informed decision. We will also dive into the different types of marriage counseling and their effectiveness.

What Are The Marriage Counseling Success Rates?

Marriage counseling can effectively improve communication, resolve conflicts, and strengthen the relationship between partners. While success rates may vary depending on various factors, such as the nature and severity of the issues being addressed and the level of commitment from both partners, research has revealed that couple counseling can be useful for many couples.

Here is an extensive list of statistics on marriage counseling success rates:

  • An astounding 90% of couples who work with an expert couples therapist report improving their emotional well-being after therapy completion. (Source: American Association of Marriage and Family Therapists)
  • Approximately 70% of couples who seek marriage counseling achieve successful outcomes. (Source: Journal of Marital and Family Therapy)
  • Remarkably, 66% of couples experience improvement within 20 sessions or less, but most couples leave therapy within 12 seasons. (Source: American Association of Marriage and Family Therapists)
  • Couples tend to delay seeking counseling for their relationship issues for an average of 6 years after the problems first emerge. This insight sheds light on the importance of taking proactive measures to address the issues in a relationship before they escalate further. (Source: The Gottman Institute)
  • Therapy can enhance a couple’s overall satisfaction with their relationship, foster the development of healthier coping mechanisms, and strengthen their emotional and physical connection. (Source: APA PsycNet)
  • About 50% of married couples have pursued marriage counseling. This insight sheds light on the fact that many couples recognize the importance of seeking professional help to navigate the challenges that arise in a marriage. (Source:
  • Couples counseling can offer hope even to those deeply troubled and long-suffering couples whose relationship has been severely damaged by extramarital affairs or other serious injuries. (Source: The New York Times)
  • Behavioral Couples Therapy (BCT) can provide initial improvement for around 50% of couples. (Source: The New York Times)
  • The researchers assumed that in-person therapy and online therapy were equally effective. Surprisingly, not only was their assumption validated, but the results of online therapy even surpassed their initial expectations. (Source: Science Daily)

Expert’s Opinion About Marriage Counseling Success Rates

Expert's Opinion About Marriage Counseling Success Rate

Let’s discover some of the prominent experts saying on couple counseling.

  • Dr. John Gottman, a world-renowned expert on marriage and relationships, has said that “couple therapy can be very effective in helping couples improve their communication, resolve conflict, and build a stronger, healthier relationship.”
  • Dr. Susan M. Johnson’s research has yielded an insightful discovery that within 8 to 12 sessions, most couples have mended their emotional wounds and restored their trust.
  • Dr. Sue Johnson, a psychologist, and author of the book Hold Me Tight, has said that couple therapy can help couples to reconnect and rebuild trust, even after years of conflict.
  • Risa Ganel shares that going to couples therapy to say you’ve “tried everything” but not having a genuine willingness to try is a recipe for failure. This insight sheds light on the fact that many couples are becoming disappointed. Still, they should be hopeful because they begin improvement. 
  • Dr. Stan Tatkin, a psychologist and author of the book Wired for Love, has said that couple therapy can help couples learn how to regulate their emotions and respond to each other more compassionately and understandingly.
  • Dr. Kathy A. McMahon offers valuable insight into the swift and adept approach couples therapists must take to facilitate positive changes in their clients’ communication habits. She says this is precisely why they are often called “ninjas” in therapy.
  • According to psychologist Joel Block, Ph.D., many couples may find couples therapy helpful since only a few men and women have been introduced to the techniques that promote enduring relationships.
  • Joel Block reveals that in severe cases, couples may see the therapy process as a court, with the therapist playing the role of a judge who will hopefully fix their partner. However, it is crucial to note that this is not the intended purpose of marriage therapy.

What Affects The Marriage Counseling Success Rate?

The success rate of marriage counseling can be influenced by a variety of factors, including:

  • Willingness to participate: Both partners must be open and willing to participate in the counseling process to succeed.
  • Timing: Seeking counseling early in the relationship, before problems become too entrenched, can increase the likelihood of success.
  • The therapist’s approach: Different therapists may have different approaches to counseling and may use other techniques. Finding a therapist who is a good fit for you and your partner is important.
  • The severity of the issues: Couples with more serious or complex problems may require more intensive therapy or longer-term treatment to see improvement.
  • Communication skills: Couples with strong communication skills are more likely to benefit from counseling, as they can better express their emotions and needs.
  • Follow-through: Couples who commit to attending regular counseling sessions and doing homework assignments outside of sessions are more likely to see positive results.
  • Outside stressors: External factors such as financial, work-related, or family conflicts can make it difficult for couples to engage in counseling and negatively impact the success rate fully.

Couples can increase their chances of experiencing positive outcomes from marriage counseling by considering these factors and working with a qualified therapist.

Types of Marriage Counseling For Successful Results

Couples have several options in choosing types of therapy for marriage counseling success rate. Let’s learn details about the top 3 types of couple therapies.

1. Individual Therapy

Combining individual and couples therapy is an effective approach to marriage counseling success rate. Individual therapy allows partners to tackle personal issues affecting the relationship while improving communication patterns and building self-awareness.

Finding an LPC or a therapist trained in both types of therapy is essential for successful outcomes in marriage counseling work. The right counselor will use therapeutic relationships like Gottman Method or Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT) for more secure attachment and compassion towards each other.

Addressing intimacy issues with an experienced mental health professional through weekly sessions can help overcome distress caused by infidelity or addiction.

2. Couples Therapy

Couples counseling, also known as couples therapy, is a form of counseling that aims to resolve conflicts and improve communication patterns between partners. The therapeutic relationship between the couple and the counselor is crucial for the success rate of marriage counseling.

It’s good news that research shows that couples who work with therapists have a higher success rate than those who don’t seek mental health professional help.

Couples work with therapists such as Gottman Method therapists during weekly sessions to learn how to communicate their emotional responses with compassion and empathy. The aim is to have a more secure attachment through building intimacy and affection while addressing issues such as infidelity or addiction.

3. Family Therapy

Family therapy is a highly effective marriage counseling involving all family members. This approach identifies and addresses underlying issues causing relationship stress and improves communication and relationships between all members. Compared to other types of marriage counseling, family therapy has a higher success rate in achieving lasting positive outcomes.

To ensure maximum effectiveness from this type of therapy, seeking a qualified therapist specializing in family therapy is crucial. Strengthening communication skills and relationships within families can ease stress and promote healthy connections for everyone involved.

How to Increase Marriage Counseling Success Rate?

How to Increase Marriage Counseling Success Rates

Attending all scheduled therapy sessions is crucial to improve marriage counseling success rates. Couples should be willing to work on their relationship outside of sessions and incorporate other forms of therapy or support, like individual or group counseling.

Choosing a therapist specializing in couples counseling and who has experience handling specific issues is essential. Communication plays a vital role; hence, being candid with the therapist about concerns and goals is necessary.

Commitment to the Process

Investing time, effort, and resources into counseling is critical to achieving success in marriage counseling. A therapeutic relationship built on trust and compassion helps establish a more secure attachment between couples.

During therapy sessions, couples learn communication skills and identify patterns of contempt or resentment that may have led to distress or infidelity. Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT) or the Gottman Method are types of therapy that many American Association of Marriage and Family Therapists recommend for couples work.

Positive Attitude

Approaching marriage counseling with positivity and commitment is critical for increasing its success rate. Factors like couples therapy, individual therapy, intimacy issues, the Gottman method, EFT, and psychiatric support can influence positive attitudes.

A counselor with expertise in marriage counseling work and emotionally focused therapy can help improve communication patterns and build more secure attachments.

Consistency through weekly sessions or online counseling can also help overcome barriers like infidelity or substance abuse. Following these steps can increase your chances of having a successful marriage counseling experience.


A single factor does not determine marriage counseling success rates. The right counselor, the type of therapy used, and the commitment of both partners are crucial elements that determine the success rate. Finding a qualified therapist who can guide you through the process effectively is important.

If you’re struggling in your marriage, take your time to seek help. Make an appointment with our experienced therapists today, and take the first step towards creating a happier and more fulfilling life together. Remember, a positive attitude and commitment to the process can increase your chances of success.

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