If dealing with marital issues, separation or even possible divorce, marriage counseling may be a solution to help return harmony to a relationship. Browse our directory of licensed local marriage counselors for help finding a marriage counselor near you. Continue reading...
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What Makes a Good Marriage Counselor?
With the number of Marriage Counselors available, each with their own personality and methods, it sometimes seems to be a daunting task finding one that fits well with each couple’s individual issues. Though it may be necessary to try a few different counselors before finding one that both spouses feel comfortable with, it is possible to narrow down possible counselors by thinking of a few criteria.
- Credentials – Though a long list of credentials does not necessarily mean that a counselor will be the right fit for you, or even a good counselor, it is important to consider whether you feel you will be best served by someone with their Ph.D. or if credentials aren’t as important as finding someone you find personable.
- Fees – Fees for counselors can vary by more than a hundred dollars depending where you go, so if money is an issue, shop around. Keep in mind, the higher a counselor’s credentials, the more expensive he or she is likely to be.
- Location – Reconciling a marriage can’t happen all in one day, so marriage counseling often takes place regularly over a period of months. If the counselor’s office isn’t convenient, it will be harder to get yourself to go consistently.
- Spirituality/Religion – While many counselor’s don’t let their religions affect their professional life, it is possible to find specifically religious counselors that will pray for you, may ask you to commit to praying for your marriage and bring religious teachings into sessions. This method is neither better nor worse than secular methods. It is just deciding what is right for you.
- Comfort – Most importantly, you and your spouse have to be comfortable with your counselor. If your counselor’s personality or methods make you uncomfortable, it will be harder to open up and speak honestly, one of the most important steps of Marriage Counseling.
What is Marriage Counseling?
Marriage Counseling is a specialization in the field of Family Counseling that deals exclusively with spousal relations. Also referred to as Couples Counseling, Marriage Counselors often take a holistic approach to help heal struggling marriages, looking at all parts of a relationship rather than just one specific issue.
Unlike many versions of mental health counseling, Marriage Counseling nearly always takes place with both spouses present rather than being a one-on-one setting. This allows a counselor to both observe how both spouses interact with one another, giving the counselor more insight to the relationship, and act as a mediator when fostering communication between spouses. Communication issues often underlie many marital problems, thus counselors will often use sessions as a place to foster communication between both spouses in a setting that will not allow for one spouse to speak over the other or allow the conversation to dissolve into a shouting match.