Couple Counselling vs Mediation

You are having serious problems in your marriage – do you need couple counselling or mediation?

I receive a number of queries regarding the difference between couple counselling and mediation – people seem unsure about which option to choose when they are experiencing marital problems.

What is the difference between couple counselling and mediation?

Couple counselling is usually embarked upon when partners either want to work at improving their relationship or want to come to a decision regarding whether or not the relationship can be saved.

Mediation, on the other hand, is appropriate when  a couple have a serious disagreement regarding an important matter in their relationship. Such an issue makes it very difficult to move forward in their relationship. Mediation in this context is an effective option for individuals in any close relationships, not only intimate ones. Siblings, parents and their children and even close friends can benefit from mediation when they hit a roadblock in their relationships.

What are the issues to consider when deciding on couple counselling and/or mediation?

Do you feel that your relationship can be saved? Do you want to work on the marriage? Does your partner feel the same way? (Commitment on the part of both parties is essential for any chance of success as work needs to be done on both sides).

Sometimes couples wait to long before they come for help – often the relationship has deteriorated so badly, too much as been said and sometimes actions have been taken such as initiating an affair that reconciliation becomes a herculean task.