A marriage can experience many issues, from differing priorities to financial problems, from declining sexual intimacy to in-laws. But if communication breaks down or both partners have unrealistic expectations, a situation can quickly deteriorate. Some couples find it helpful to seek counseling to explore the sources of their problems and find solutions for them. Counseling also allows both partners to air their feelings about each other and the relationship–an outlet that is usually more difficult to find outside therapy.
What is Marriage Counselling
Marriage counseling is a process that promotes the emotional, intellectual, and physical well-being of a married couple. Marriage counseling aims to improve communication and enhance the relationship between partners. It involves both partners working with a counselor to analyze their relationship and ultimately improve it. It consists in working with each other and the counselor to understand the causes of their problems, explore their feelings about the relationship, and find ways to improve it.
Benefits of Marriage Counseling
- The Relationship Grows Stronger and Healthier
Working through problems with a professional counselor can help a couple patches up their relationship. Couples who complete marital counseling report that the process has enabled them to learn how to solve problems and cope with change, whether due to children, jobs, community, or aging parents.
- You are Better Equipped to Handle your Life’s Challenges
Counseling can help you develop a greater sense of personal strength and understanding. You learn self-awareness and the ability to cope effectively with life’s obstacles. And you gain insight into the feelings that underlie your interactions with your partner.
- You can Work Toward Resolving your Differences
Marital counseling is not about blaming or finding fault in others but about learning how to recognize and stop harmful patterns of behavior that lead to conflict, unhappiness, and mistrust. It is not your partner you are counseling but yourself. You come to know yourself better and learn how to stand up for your needs. You also learn how to support your partner better
- It Improves Communication
One of the biggest reasons for marriage breakdown is poor communication, and couples who attend counseling often report an improvement in this area. Communication can improve as you work through challenging situations in a supportive setting with a professional counselor. They listen and guide you through the process of resolving problems.
- It Gives you Time Away From your Problems
Instead of tackling your issues 24/7, counseling allows you time apart to reflect on the relationship and prepare for future discussions about it. As you work with the counselor, your partner does not have to be there for every debate. It can help both of you deal better with stressful events in life and address relationship issues that arise due to these stressful events.
Tips For Finding The Best Marriage Counsellor
- Get Referrals From Friends
Couples who feel supported by their friends are more likely to seek a counselor and fewer turn to therapy out of desperation. Please speak with your family doctor or other trusted sources about their recommendation for a counselor.
- Try an Internet Search for Help
It is possible to find a counselor via the internet. In most cases, it is harder to reach potential counselors with just an internet search in your hand, so do not rely on that first stop as a filter for who you are dealing with.
- Ask for References from Former Clients
If you get a referral from a friend, ask them for the counselor’s name and the date of their first session with the counselor. In many cases, former clients give excellent recommendations to therapists already working with them.
- Choose a Respected Organization that has a Good Track Record
A good counselor will be a member of a professional organization that promotes ethical standards and requires members to adhere to these standards. The organization will also have some form of examination, or at least a condition of the interview process, before accepting a counselor as a member.
- Check how the Counselor Handles Sexual Issues
A poor therapist may not be able to deal with issues of sexual abuse and sexual behaviors between sons and daughters, spouses and siblings. Sexual themes can sometimes be an issue that is extremely difficult to resolve.
- Look for a Therapist with Training in Marital Issues
A good marriage counselor will have some form of exercise in marriage counseling, whether a master’s degree or certification from an organization like the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapy AAMFT.
- Look for Professional Competence and Experience
Find someone who is well-credentialed and someone who has some years of experience. Remember, it is not just about the credentials–it is also about the therapist’s approach and ability to handle your situation.
Marriage therapy is not for everyone, but if you are interested in learning about the issues you face with your partner and taking steps to improve your marriage, you should at least contact a counselor to discuss your situation. You may find that the experience is helpful and that it helps both of you to understand each other better, resolve problems and improve your relationship. For more information, visit www.findyourtherapy.org