It is unknown where this urban myth started or when it began, but many believe that couples therapy is the proverbial “kiss of death” to a marriage. Essentially, once people go to couples therapy, their marriage is already over. Because of this, a number of spouses (particularly men) may not want to attend couples therapy.
This begs the question of whether couples therapists actually advocate for warring couples to actually divorce. In a recent huffpost.com report, therapists strongly deny pushing any parties towards divorce.
Instead, the therapists interviewed indicated that they try to stay at arm’s length when it comes to definitive decisions about the future of a couple’s relationship. They are not lawyers and not relationship expeditors who are tasked with deciding who is right and who is wrong. Rather, couple’s therapists want to provide objective means to find answers to questions and do not give direct advice regarding marital decisions.
Even if couples directly ask a therapist whether they should divorce, the therapist is more likely to redirect the question with additional questions of their own, so that the conversation focuses on how couples can continue to assess themselves and find solutions that they can implement, instead of being told what to do.
Nevertheless, if the therapist discovers that the relationship is abusive (physical or emotional) he or she will discuss tools and options to get the help they need. This may include separate therapy sessions for each party, or counseling geared towards managing emotions.
Suffice it to say, attending couple’s therapy is not the death knell to a marriage.
The preceding is not legal advice.