There’s no doubt that communicating with your spouse can be difficult when you don’t have the same native language, especially when it comes to emotions. On top of that, finances, career life, raising kids, personal issues, and just life can put a lot of stress on your marriage.
However, couples therapy, particularly bilingual couples therapy, can give you the tools and resources needed to power through these challenges. And if you’re unsure that’s the case, carry on reading to get a solid idea of what bilingual marriage counseling can mean for you.
What Is Bilingual Counseling?
Bilingual counseling is a specialized counseling type targeting bilingual couples. Its counselors receive education and training that focuses on the specific issues of bilingual couples.
And it helps most couples explore their relationship, spot misunderstandings, modify dysfunctional behavior, and resolve any tension. This way, you and your partner can feel understood and have a healthier relationship.
Furthermore, marriage counseling is available as both in-person counseling and online counseling services, including online video calls, phone calls, and more, so you’ll indeed find the option that you prefer.
However, bilingual marriage counseling may be more easily accessible than online couples therapy. So, you’ll be able to find an online counselor who speaks the two languages. Even better, you’ll find therapists offering their services from different countries. And if you travel frequently, these online sessions might be ideal.
Not to mention, online therapy services mean that a family therapist – see also counseling for blended families – has worked with diverse groups of people, so they’re more capable of helping clients, furthering their personal growth, and improving their relationships and life of their families.
Who Should Seek Bilingual Couples Therapy?
Usually, we use the term ‘international couples‘ to refer to the target clients for this service. That means partners from different cultures, countries, or both. It can also mean clients who come from the same country and live abroad, getting accustomed to new traditions.
Why Is It Important to Use Bilingual Marriage Counseling?
There are many reasons hiring a licensed marriage counselor is the way to go, but here are a few ones:
Using Both Languages
You can hire a marriage counselor who speaks both your language and your spouse’s language fluently. This is especially helpful if one of you only speaks their mother tongue, which can cause many communication issues.
So, let’s say you’re Spanish. A counselor who can communicate with you in Spanish and with your partner in English can help you both feel more comfortable opening up. They also have experience dealing with the problems that are common for each culture and language. So, they certainly handle them better.
Tip: If you or your spouse speak the other person’s first language, your priority should be to find a therapist who can help you. However, you may not have to choose between a bilingual and compatible one because many counselors offer high-quality bilingual couples therapy services.
A professional counselor has the necessary expertise and knowledge in psychology to help couples. For instance, if they have specific expectations from one another, a counselor has the skills to help with that. Moreover, they have experience assisting married and divorced couples. So, they can provide you with insights into your marriage.
Providing Emotional Focused Therapy
Emotional Focused Therapy (EFT) can be beneficial for relationships. That’s because it enables couples to dissect cycles of conflict, thus reviving their connection. And it helps couples feel heard and respected in a relationship, which allows for healing and growth.
Of course, if you have or intend to have children, this means you get to model what a healthy relationship would look like for your children.
Personifying the Approach
The right therapist will know how to approach you and your partner. After all, how can family therapy work if anyone gets defensive? Marriage counseling is excellent because it allows you to communicate your needs to your partner without it becoming an argument.
As is the case with all types of counseling, couples counseling promises confidentiality. So, you and your partner can open up without shame or fear of judgment about your feelings, knowing that you’re talking to a reliable and trustworthy person. And this creates a nonjudgmental and accepting space.
How Does It Work?
Of course, online and in-person counseling can be different, but this is an idea of how bilingual marriage counseling might work. At first, you’ll be asked to answer inquiries about you, your relationship, and your goals.
That allows you to request a therapist who speaks your and your spouse’s mother tongue. Many services also allow you to specify if you want a therapist who’s male or female, younger or older, liberal or conservative, and more.
This way, partners have a better chance of finding a therapist who’s compatible with them. Afterward, you can set up your sessions and receive the support you need.
How to Approach Marriage Counseling to Be Successful
There are a few tips that help most people have successful mental health and marriage counseling experiences, so here are a few:
- Set Clear Goals: Your success partly depends on you specifying what a better marriage means to you. Sharing your vision with counselors can be the first step towards healing.
- Be Willing to Compromise: For marriage counseling to work, each person has to be flexible and willing to adapt.
- Put In the Work: There are no quick fixes for a marriage. Counselors can give you the skills and tools to handle challenging circumstances. Still, it’s up to both of you to work and exert energy towards having a healthier relationship in the future.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Is the Average Rate for Marriage Counseling?
Typically, professional marriage counselors can charge $75 to $150 per hour. And a session tends to be an hour, making that rate the session cost as well. Therapists will likely recommend you sign up for 3 months (13 weeks) at least with one session per week. So that’d be $1500 on average.
How Many Married Couples Get Counseling?
Marriage counseling is becoming less stigmatized, with about 44% of couples who are soon to be married going to counseling beforehand. And statistics show that they are 30% more likely to have a successful marriage than others.
What Percentage of Marriages End in Divorce After Counseling?
Married couples who had counseling had about a 40% chance of getting divorced in the 4 years after finishing their sessions.
What Are Some Questions to Ask Your Spouse During Marriage Online Counseling Services?
You can ask them what they believe is the main issue in your marriage, which ones matter the most if they want a divorce if they think your relationship is going through a rough patch, and how they feel about you. Their answer can start much-needed conversations.
All in all, bilingual marriage counseling, whether in person, on the phone, or online, is a practice dedicated to ‘international couples.’ With a mental health professional who speaks both your and your spouse’s mother tongue, you can move past a challenging phase in your relationship and build a better life. So, take a stand to revive your marriage and improve the quality of your life.