February 10, 2024

Marriage counseling in Virginia (VA)

A sign that says ''Virginia is for lovers''



  • Overview of marriage counseling in VA
  • Benefits of marriage counseling 
  • Types of marriage counseling in VA
  • How to find marriage counseling in VA
  • What to expect in a marriage counseling session
  • How to have an successful marriage counseling experience
Couple Wearing Brown Coat Kissing

Overview of marriage counseling in VA

Marriage is a special relationship where two people commit to being there for each other. However, it can be hard to maintain a mutually satisfying and healthy relationship. Issues such as communication challenges, parenting problems, money management, and betrayals and broken trust can leads to a sense of growing conflict and tension. Ultimately, these problems can erode the quality of your marriage over time. The good news is that marriage counseling can help you have a stronger relationship and a happier marriage. 

In this article, we’ll explores the benefits of marriage counseling, the types of marriage counseling in VA, what to expect from marriage counseling sessions, and how to have a good counseling experience. 

Benefits of marriage counseling

Marriage counseling is a type of therapy that helps couples identify and resolve problems in their marriage. By working with a professional marriage counselor, couples can learn skills needed to improve their relationship and have a stronger foundation for a happier marriage. Here are some benefits of going to marriage counseling in VA: 

We all know that communication is key and is the foundation of any relationship. Marriage counseling can help you learn how to clearly communicate, effectively listen, and how to understand each others differing perspectives. 

While you can’t avoid conflicts, you can learn to resolve conflict in a productive way. In marriage counseling, you can learn the tools to resolve conflict in a way that is healthy and actually improves the quality of your marriage.  

Couples often come to marriage counseling because the spark has died out and they are no longer feeling emotionally close to each other. Whether it’s the physical intimacy or the emotional intimacy, marriage counseling can help you reconnect, rekindle the romance, and feel close and connected again.  

There are many types of infidelity and betrayals that can take place in a marriage. Once trust is broken, it can be very hard to rebuild it. In you are in VA and a betrayal has happened, then  hope you will consider marriage counseling. The main benefit of marriage counseling for affair recovery is that it can provide a safe place to work through the pain and towards healing and forgiveness. 

Romantic couple standing outdoor

Types of marriage counseling in VA

There are many ways of working to improve your relationship as well as several types of marriage counseling in VA that are available. Bellow is a brief overview, but you can also learn more about the types of marriage counseling here

Individual counselings is where one person works with a therapist to address any personal issues that may be impacting their relationship. This is especially helpful if someone has any mental health or physical health challenges that may be impacting the marriage. However, many people also find individual relationship counseling to be helpful when their partner is not willing to go to marriage counseling with them.

Group counseling involves several couples meeting with the therapist to work on improving their relationships. People often find it helpful to meet with other couples who are sharing similar struggles and who can provide a supportive community. 

Online counseling is where couples meet with a therapist through telehealth technology. Benefits of online counseling are that couples can meet with the therapist from the comfort of their own home, from a work office, or even while traveling. Many people find it convenient to limit the time needed to travel to an in-person office, find it easier to coordinate busy schedules and can decrease the need for childcare services. 

Faith based counseling typically involves working with a marriage counselor who has the same religious or spiritual beliefs that you do. Working with someone who shares your faith allows for your faith to more seamlessly integrated into the counseling process. This is a good options for couples who want to make sure their therapist shares their values. 

Finding the right therapist can be just as hard as finding the right romantic partner. Make sure to odo your research and pick someone who is right for you.” — Elizabeth Polinsky 

How to find marriage counseling in VA

Finding the right marriage counselor can be a challenging process. So here are some tips for finding a qualified and experienced marriage counselor in VA:

It is always helpful to ask around to see who your friends, family, and colleagues have liked working with. Iff you have an individual therapist or primary care doctor, it can also be helpful to ask them who they would recommend. Ideally you want to look for someone with a proven track record of helping couples. 

There are professional organizations that have a list of marriage counselors in VA. These organizations include the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT), the Virginia Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (VAMFT), and the International Centre of Excellence in Emotionally Focused Therapy (ICEEFT). These organizations can help you find qualified marriage counselors in VA. (Note: My personal favorite is Emotionally Focused Couple Therapy. You can learn more about it here.)

Online directories such as Psychology Today, Therapy Den, and Zen Care can provide lists of licensed therapists and marriage counselors in Virginia.

Most marriage counselors don’t take insurance. However, every now and then you might find one who does. It doesn’t hurt to ask your insurance provider to provide you with a list of marriage counselors that are covered by your plan. Just know that the insurance plan may give you a list of generalist counselors, and you will want to make sure that whoever you work with has specific training and experience working with couples. You can also ask your insurance plan about your out-of-network (OON) benefits. If you have OON benefits, then you may be able to work with a therapist who doesn’t take insurance, pay up front, and then get reimbursed a portion of the fee by your insurance company. 


What to expect in a marriage counseling session

The first session of marriage counseling is typically spent getting to know the therapist, and the therapist getting to know you. The marriage counselor will ask you questions about your relationship, try to get an understanding of the challenges you are facing and the goals you would like to achieve. 

The second and third sessions are typically individual sessions where the marriage counselor will meet with you and your partner one-on-one to learn about each individuals medical, mental health, and family history.  

From the fourth session and onward, you will meet all three of you together. During the process of marriage counseling, them marriage counselor will work to help you both identify root causes of problems and develop a strategy for to address them. This may involve teaching you new skills,  practicing the skills in the sessions, and having homework to practice the skills outside of the session. 

It’s hard to know how long marriage counseling will take. Each couple is different and it depends on the problems you are facing, the level of hurt in the relationship, your goals for the counseling process, and the rate of your individual progress. While some people may have improvement after a few months, in cases of significant and long term betrayals or complex mental health problems it .may take a few years.

How to have a successful marriage counseling experience 

If you are going to make the time and financial investment in marriage counseling, then you want to make sure it is a successful experience. Here are some tips to help:

Your marriage counselor can only work with what they have got. It is going to be essential that both of you are open and honest with each other throughout the process as well your therapist. Make sure to share about your feelings and concerns throughout the process. This can help your marriage counselor identify roots of the problem more easily and then be able to help you create a plan to move forward. 

Relationships never work if they are one sided. Compromise is required for successful relationships. When both partners are willing to compromise, they can find more satisfying solutions that work for them both. 

So often couples are listening to respond versus listening to understand. Iff your focus can be on understanding first, you will get a lot further in the conversation. So make an effort to listen to understand and the validate your partners feelings even if you don’t agree with their concerns.  

Marriage counseling, and the lifetime work of investing in your marriage, are both a process. It takes patience and commitment to move towards the result you want to see. Make sure to be both patient with yourself and your partner because there will be challenging part of the process for you both. 

If you are in VA, and you are noticing struggles in your relationship, please know that marriage counseling can help! It can help you improve communication, resolve conflicts, rekindle intimacy, and repair and heal after a betrayal. While there are several types of marriage counseling, finding the right marriage counselor is the most important part of the process. Make sure to pick a marriage counselor in VA who is specifically licensed and trained to help you with your concerns. Once you have found the right marriage counselor, make sure to set yourselves up for success so by following the above tips. The goal is to have a happier, healthier, and stronger relationship. So don’t be afraid to seek help from a marriage counselor in VA if you experiencing relationship challenges. 

Looking to Start Marriage Counseling in VA?

Elizabeth Polinsky Counseling provides online marriage counseling and weekend-long marriage intensives throughout the states of Virginia, South Carolina, Arkansas, and Nevada. Click the button below to schedule a complimentary consult. 

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    About Author

    Elizabeth Polinsky is a Certified Emotionally Focused Couple Therapist (EFT) providing EFT marriage counseling in the states of Virginia, Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Arkansas, and Nevada. She also provides EFT training and supervision to therapists looking to become certified in EFT Couple Therapy. As a military spouse, she has a special passion for working with military and veteran couples, and is also the host of The Communicate & Connect Podcast for Military Relationships.


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