If you’re part of a couple in distress, you may feel that there’s no way out of your troubled relationship. Myths about the low success rates of couples therapy and counseling only make your situation seem worse than it is. Recently, New York Times columnist Elizabeth Weil reinforced that unfortunate impression in her column “Does Couples Therapy Work?”  She concludes that, even regarding the most effective methods: “Both types of therapy are structured, and the results of both are well documented, at least in follow-ups for a few years. Still, the entire field of couples therapy suffers from a systemic problem.” The problem she refers to is real enough- couples often wait until very late in the game to seek intervention and by then, one or both may have decided to call it quits. It’s also true that, as she observes, being an effective couples therapist requires different skills than the skills demanded by being an effective individual therapist. Nevertheless, the data largely refute Weil’s claims.  When properly conducted, couples therapy can have demonstrably positive effects.

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