Marriage Counseling Relationships

Solution Focused Counseling helps Marriages

How Solution Focused Counseling Works: When couples come to counseling to resolve marital issues, they often hope the therapist will be able to help the other person realize how wrong they have been and admit to it, then do things differently from now on. Unfortunately, it doesn’t really work that way. I’ve rarely observed someone who can easily admit they were wrong. They usually get defensive. So don’t go into marriage counseling expecting that you’ll get some satisfaction from your spouse admitting they were wrong.

Solution Focused Counseling is one of the best forms of marriage counseling. Solution Focused Counseling puts an emphasis on building on what is right with your relationship first. We call this doing more of what works. Another useful tactic is to talk about positive changes you’d like to see, rather than talking about what is wrong. Here’s what you should expect to do.

Do This Instead:

Go into marriage counseling expecting to talk about what is currently going well so you can get your spouse to keep doing things that work, or even do more of what works. Then, be prepared to talk about the positive things you’d like to have in your relationship in the future. It’s easier to get your spouse to agree with doing positive things in the future. This is especially true if you’re willing to do things they’d like to see as well.

When we do this in marriage counseling, the sessions are more productive. There is no arguing, or bitterness when you leave, but rather hopefulness, and motivation to try some new things. One other thing that helps a lot is to revisit the time of your courtship and recall all those things you used to do for each other at the beginning to let your spouse know how much they meant to you. Good marriage counseling will make use of these successful times to help build on the things that are going right in your relationship rather than focus on the negative.

In my Grand Rapids counseling office, I offer marriage counseling using solution focused brief therapy. This form of therapy focuses on doing more of what’s going right in your relationship and building a better relationship by talking about what positive changes you’d both like to see in the near future. For more information contact me at 616-914-9874 or visit my website at

To Learn More:

Gary Watson is a Solution Focused Therapist in Grand Rapids Michigan.  He provides counseling for couples, teenagers, and adults.  He provides counseling for anxiety, depression, stress, college and work stress, and relationship problems.  For more information, please visit the website at