This blog post, "Why Marriage Counseling Doesn't Work," by Erica Manfred, author of "He's History You're Not: Surviving Divorce After Forty," was on the Huffington Post. You can read it HERE.

I felt compelled to respond and did so in the following letter:

As a psychotherapist with extensive training in marital and family therapy, and with over 30 years of experience working with couples, I have to say: "Wow, Erica, your bias is really showing!" While your statistics accurately reflect the reality that many people who come for couples counseling do not end up staying together, and while I do agree with you that "most therapists aren't good at it," the judgment that you make that "most marriage counseling doesn't work" because "thirty-eight percent" end up divorced is extraordinarily misleading and misguided. What many studies do in fact confirm is that most people who get divorced are happier as individuals and better parents to boot than they were before the split. The Emotionally Focused Therapy "success rate" claim that you site is exactly that - a "claim," skewed by their interpretation of the data. If you measure the success of any kind of therapy by the happiness and functionality of the people who sought said therapy, not by some arbitrary, societally-induced investment in couples sticking it out in a marriage, then the statistics change, don't they?
Peter Loffredo, LCSW

1 comment:

Diva Carla said...

Your blogs are so commentable.

The writer assumes a therapist is there to fix something broken, rather than to assist people in navigating a life that isn't working for them. With so many desires and wills involved, who knows how the play will end. Do both people have to be happy with the outcome for there to be success? Or is one happier person enough? For the marriage to happily succeed, both partners must desire and be committed to that outcome, and willing to take responsibility for it. And the foundation they are building on had better be worthy, not built on abuse or manipulation.


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