Does Couples Counselling Work?

“…A Minute To Learn… A Lifetime To Master.”

I’m often asked if couples counselling works?

And I reply with something along the lines of:

“It works really well if you’re prepared to do the work required.”

And that often comes as a disappointment to most people.


Because they’re disappointed they’re going to have to work.

In my experience – I blame the Internet – too many people think all they have to do is give me a big chunk of cash, sit with me for a short period and then somehow their relationship will be fixed.

Like magic.

Yes, it’s true that 5 Face to Face sessions or one couples counselling intensive with me is all it takes to teach you the tools that will change your relationship for the better…

…But you’re going to have to keep using those tools consistently for a lot longer than 5 weeks or two days if you want to see permanent improvement in your relationship.

Now listen very closely: Nobody can “fix” your relationship in such a short time.

There’s no “Magic Pill” to overcome the massive energy your harmful habits have.

But I can give you the right tools…

…Show you how to use them…

…And when to use them.

And do it all in a short amount of time.

And then you and your partner leave, confident that if you keep up the momentum you’ve built in our sessions, you can fix your relationship – Together.

Of course:

Your Relationship Is Unique

Whether couples counselling works also depends on your specific situation.

Here’s an example…

…Think of a camp fire.

If the embers and ashes go cold, no amount of blowing on it is going to bring the fire back to life.


…If there’s even just a little spark left then it is possible to breathe new life into that and for a new fire to start.

It’s the same with your relationship.

For couples counselling to work, both of you have got to want to make it work.

And that’s not always the case.

Some people come to therapy simply because they’re fed up with their partner nagging them.

Others come knowing the relationship is going to end.

Wait a minute.


Did I just say that?


It’s true.

Some folk come to couples counselling, even though they know their relationship is likely to end.

So why do they come?

Now that’s a good question and one that bothered me for quite a while when I first became a couples counsellor.

I remember asking my supervisor and they told me:

They come, so they can – hand on heart – tell their children, their family and their friends they did everything they could to make it work:

“Hey, we even went to therapy.”

Can Couples Counselling Fix Every Relationship?

In my experience, not all relationships can or should be saved.

When I started as a relationship counsellor, I thought my job was to fix every couple I met.

I soon learned this was neither possible nor in the best interest of the couple.

Yes, you’re right.

It is complex.

Which is why I specialise in working with couples only.

In my experience there are 4 situations couples find themselves in where couples counselling is unlikely to work.

Because they need to do other things first.

Which is why, every exploratory call, or first session involves screening.

If you’re relationship matches one of the 4 situations, I’ll signpost you in the right direction and give you a refund.

If it doesn’t…

…We’ll get started with an investigation of you, your partner and where your relationship is getting stuck.

Why Couples Counselling Is Like Chess

Think of couples counselling with me like learning how to play chess from a really good teacher.

I can teach you how to play pretty quickly.

I can teach you:

  • How each piece moves
  • When to use a particular piece
  • And strategies to help you win

Like chess, the ‘How to…’ and the ‘When to’ of couples counselling is quickly learned.

But – also like chess – you know it’s going to take time and effort to develop the skills required to get really good at it.

And nobody can do that heavy lifting for you.

Couples counselling with me is the same.

  • I’ll investigate where your relationship is getting stuck.
  • I’ll use my expertise to choose the best tools to get it unstuck.
  • I’ll teach you how to use those tools.
  • I’ll teach you when to use those tools.
  • I’ll encourage you, support you and help you to use those tools on your relationship

And then you’re off on your own.

Then it’s up to you to keep putting in the practice required to develop the skills necessary to get really good at this stuff.

Because the tools work.

Not because I say so.

But because the evidence says so.


The tools I teach are fast and simple to learn.

But mastery of them takes time and consistent effort.

So let’s look at that question again.

Let’s consider:

Does couples counselling work?

And now you know why I say:

“Yes, if you’re prepared to do the work required to master the tools I give you.”

What now?

Well, if you like the idea of mastery and are prepared to put in the effort necessary…

…You can discover more about how I can help you by visiting the links below:
Face to face couples counselling
Online couples counselling
Intensive two-day sessions click here