Kristen Bell and Dax Shepard explain why they're in couples therapy

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Kristen Bell and Dax Shepard Explain Why They're In Couples Therapy


Kristen Bell and Dax Shepard say the key to their happy marriage is bringing in a professional.

Both actors -- who married in 2013 -- praised their decision to participate in couples therapy as a way of preventing problems before they become an issue in their marriage. "I noticed an actor and her husband on [a recent cover of a celebrity tabloid] that said In Couples' Therapy! The clear message is, 'Oh, their marriage is ending.' There's such a negative connotation," Shepard told Good Housekeeping. "In my previous relationship, we went to couples' therapy at the end, and that's often too late. You can't go after nine years and start figuring out what patterns you're in."

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Bell elaborates, "You do better in the gym with a trainer; you don't figure out how to cook without reading a recipe. Therapy is not something to be embarrassed about."

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Kristen Bell and Dax Shepard explain why they're in couples therapy
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - OCTOBER 01: Actors Dax Shepard and Kristen Bell arrive at the Los Angeles Premiere of 'The Judge' at AMPAS Samuel Goldwyn Theater on October 1, 2014 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - OCTOBER 01: Actors Dax Shepard and Kristen Bell arrive at the Los Angeles Premiere of 'The Judge' at AMPAS Samuel Goldwyn Theater on October 1, 2014 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - SEPTEMBER 15: Dax Shepard and Kristen Bell arrives at the 'This Is Where I Leave You' - Los Angeles Premiere at TCL Chinese Theatre on September 15, 2014 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Steve Granitz/WireImage)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - SEPTEMBER 15: Actor Dax Shepard and actress Kristen Bell arrives at the Los Angeles Premiere 'This Is Where I Leave You' at TCL Chinese Theatre on September 15, 2014 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Jon Kopaloff/FilmMagic)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - SEPTEMBER 15: Actor Dax Shepard (L) and wife actress Kristen Bell attend the premiere of Warner Bros. Pictures' 'This Is Where I Leave You' at the TCL Chinese Theatre on September 15, 2014 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by David Livingston/Getty Images)
Actor Dax Shepard and actress Kristen Bell attend the Los Angeles premiere of 'This Is Where I Leave You,' at TCL Chinese Theatre in Hollywood, California, September 15, 2014. AFP PHOTO / Robyn Beck (Photo credit should read ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images)
TORONTO, ON - SEPTEMBER 04: Actors Dax Shepard, Kristen Bell, Vincent D'Onofrio and Carin van der Donk attend 'The Judge' premiere held at at Roy Thomson Hall on September 4, 2014 in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Tommaso Boddi/WireImage)
TORONTO, ON - SEPTEMBER 04: Actors Dax Shepard (L) and Kristen Bell attend 'The Judge' premiere during the 2014 Toronto International Film Festival at Roy Thomson Hall on September 4, 2014 in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images)
Actor Dax Shepard, left, and actress Kristen Bell attend the Bloomberg Vanity Fair White House Correspondents' Association (WHCA) dinner afterparty in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Saturday, May 3, 2014. The WHCA, celebrating its 100th anniversary, raises money for scholarships and honors the recipients of the organization's journalism awards. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images
NASHVILLE, TN - JUNE 04: Dax Shepard and Kristen Bell attend the 2014 CMT Music awards at the Bridgestone Arena on June 4, 2014 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic)
WASHINGTON, DC - MAY 03: (L-R) Ronan Farrow, Kristen Bell and Dax Shepard attend the Bloomberg & Vanity Fair cocktail reception following the 2014 WHCA Dinner at Villa Firenze on May 3, 2014 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/VF14/WireImage)
WASHINGTON, DC - MAY 03: Dax Shepard and Kristen Bell attend the 100th Annual White House Correspondents' Association Dinner at the Washington Hilton on May 3, 2014 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 05: Actor Dax Shepard (L) and actress Kristen Bell attend the 2nd Light Up The Blues Concert - An Evening Of Music To Benefit Autism Speaks at The Theatre At Ace Hotel on April 5, 2014 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Imeh Akpanudosen/Getty Images for LUTB)
LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 05: (L-R) Matt Asner, Kristen Bell, Dax Shepard and Liz Feld attends the 2nd Light Up The Blues concert an evening of music to benefit Autism Speaks at The Theatre At Ace Hotel on April 5, 2014 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Paul Archuleta/FilmMagic)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - MARCH 02: Actors Dax Shepard and Kristen Bell arrive at the 86th Annual Academy Awards at Hollywood & Highland Center on March 2, 2014 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic)
WEST HOLLYWOOD, CA - MARCH 02: Actors/husband & wife Dax Shepard (L) and Kristen Bell attend the 2014 Vanity Fair Oscar Party hosted by Graydon Carter on March 2, 2014 in West Hollywood, California. (Photo by David Livingston/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - MARCH 02: Actors Dax Shepard and Kristen Bell attend the Oscars held at Hollywood & Highland Center on March 2, 2014 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Ethan Miller/WireImage)
WEST HOLLYWOOD, CA - MARCH 02: (EXCLUSIVE ACCESS, SPECIAL RATES APPLY) Dax Shepard and Kristen Bell attend the 2014 Vanity Fair Oscar Party Hosted By Graydon Carter on March 2, 2014 in West Hollywood, California. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/VF14/WireImage)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - MARCH 02: Actors Dax Shepard (L) and Kristen Bell attend the Oscars held at Hollywood & Highland Center on March 2, 2014 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Steve Granitz/WireImage)
SANTA MONICA, CA - MARCH 01: Actor Dax Shepard and actress Kristen Bell attend the 2014 Film Independent Spirit Awards on March 1, 2014 in Santa Monica, California. (Photo by Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic)
SANTA MONICA, CA - MARCH 01: Actress Kristen Bell and Dax Shepard attend the 2014 Film Independent Spirit Awards at Santa Monica Beach on March 1, 2014 in Santa Monica, California. (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images)
SANTA MONICA, CA - MARCH 01: Dax Shepard and Kristen Bell attend the 2014 Film Independent Spirit Awards at Santa Monica Beach on March 1, 2014 in Santa Monica, California. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/WireImage)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - NOVEMBER 04: Actors Dax Shepard (L) and Kristen Bell attend a benefit for Gorilla Doctors of Africa hosted by Kristen Bell at Ace Gallery on November 4, 2013 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Jason Kempin/Getty Images for Gorilla Doctors)
NASHVILLE, TN - JUNE 05: Dax Shepard and Kristen Bell attend the 2013 CMT Music awards at the Bridgestone Arena on June 5, 2013 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Taylor Hill/FilmMagic)
LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 27: Dax Shepard (L) and Kristen Bell attend a hockey game between the Detroit Red Wings and Los Angeles Kings at Staples Center on February 27, 2013 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Noel Vasquez/Getty Images)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - JANUARY 13: Actors Dax Shepard and Kristen Bell arrive at the 70th Annual Golden Globe Awards held at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on January 13, 2013 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - JANUARY 13: 70th ANNUAL GOLDEN GLOBE AWARDS -- Pictured: (L-R) Actors Bradley Cooper, Dax Shepard and Kristen Bell arrive to the 70th Annual Golden Globe Awards held at the Beverly Hilton Hotel on January 13, 2013. (Photo by Christopher Polk/NBC/NBC via Getty Images)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - JANUARY 13: 70th ANNUAL GOLDEN GLOBE AWARDS -- Pictured: (L-R) Actors Dax Shepard, Kristen Bell and Bradley Cooper arrive to the 70th Annual Golden Globe Awards held at the Beverly Hilton Hotel on January 13, 2013. (Photo by Christopher Polk/NBC/NBC via Getty Images)
SANTA MONICA, CA - AUGUST 19: Actors Dax Shepard and Kristen Bell arrive at the 2012 Do Something Awards at Barker Hangar on August 19, 2012 in Santa Monica, California. (Photo by Gregg DeGuire/WireImage)
SANTA MONICA, CA - AUGUST 19: Actors Dax Shepard and Kristen Bell attends DoSomething.org and VH1's 2012 Do Something Awards at Barker Hangar on August 19, 2012 in Santa Monica, California. (Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic)
LOS ANGELES, CA - AUGUST 14: Actors Dax Shepard, Kristen Bell and Jason Bateman attend the after party for the premiere of Open Road Films' 'Hit and Run' on August 14, 2012 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - AUGUST 14: Actor Dax Shepard, producer Andrew Panay, Open Road Films CEO Tom Ortenberg and actress Kristen Bell arrive to the premiere of Open Road Films' 'Hit and Run' on August 14, 2012 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - AUGUST 14: Actors Bradley Cooper, Kristen Bell and Dax Shepard arrive to the premiere of Open Road Films' 'Hit and Run' on August 14, 2012 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - AUGUST 14: Dax Shepard and Kristen Bell arrives at the 'Hit & Run' Los Angeles Premiere on August 14, 2012 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Steve Granitz/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NY - JULY 26: (L-R) Brian Brooks, Kristen Bell, and Dax Shepard attend Apple Store Soho Presents: Meet The Actors: Dax Shepard And Kristen Bell, 'Hit And Run'at Apple Store Soho on July 26, 2012 in New York City. (Photo by D Dipasupil/FilmMagic)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JUNE 27: Actors Dax Shepard (L) and Kristen Bell participate in a Q&A at GenArt Screening Series Presents 'Hit & Run' Powered By Vikingfjord Vodka at Downtown Independent Theatre on June 27, 2012 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Michael Kovac/WireImage)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JUNE 27: (L-R) Actors Joy Bryant, Kristen Bell, and Dax Shepard arrive at GenArt Screening Series presentation of 'Hit & Run' powered by Vikingfjord Vodka at Downtown Independent Theatre on June 27, 2012 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Michael Kovac/WireImage)
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The 34-year-old actress admits that at first she thought she had relationships "down pat" when she met her husband, but later realized she needed "a much bigger toolbox to have confrontations and disagreements with people."

Shepard, 40, agrees the differences between him and his wife is what spurred him to consider therapy. "When I met her and her friends, I was suspicious of their unbridled happiness. I thought, 'Something stinks here; they're in a cult.' But slowly I began to see her positive way of looking at the world," the Parenthood star explains. "She gives people the benefit of the doubt. There were hurdles, things she didn't trust about me, things I didn't trust about her. I just kept going back to, 'This person has the thing I want, and I have to figure out how we can exist peacefully.' So we started [seeing a therapist together] right away."

VIDEO: Why Dax Shepard and Kristen Bell Named Their Daughter Delta

The couple are proud parents to two daughters, Lincoln and Delta Shepard, and while Bell says parenting is time consuming, she calls the experience "unmissable."

"Dax hasn't gone to the bathroom solo in three months, because Lincoln is obsessed with him! But other than the sleep deprivation in the beginning and trying to figure out how not to screw your kid up, the rewards are mountains larger than the battles," she quips. "Lincoln just started singing her ABC's yesterday. I left the house and she was singing a sloppy version of it, and I just had a huge grin on my face."

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