Through the power of marital counseling, your marriage doesn’t have to go down in flames.
As you know, the divorce rate is staggering. Just as hard to swallow is the life-long impact it has on those involved. If you’re having a hard time clinging to your vows of “‘Til death do you part,” you’re not alone. But if these promises now seem hollow, you feel you’re on a sinking ship but want smooth sailing seas once again, or you feel as if you and your spouse have lost touch and just want to reconnect, there is hope. In fact, despite how bad it may seem, these difficulties may be the beginning to a long, peaceful marriage.
However, you may not be able to do it alone. When you’ve come to the end of your rope, it may be time to try out marriage counseling. Also called couples therapy, marriage counseling can be one way to prepare for marriage, salvage marriage, resolve conflicts, and improve relationships.
Why Get Counseling?
There are a host of reasons that couples seek marital counseling. Engaged couples often want pre-marital counseling or are required by their officiating minister to have counseling sessions before wedlock. These sessions can help to prepare a couple for what to expect in a marriage as far as communication, conflict resolution, and personality differences go.
A married couple may seek counseling to improve their damaged relationship. Therapy may help to address issues such as communication problems, child rearing differences, conflict resolution, blended family issues, sexual problems, substance abuse, physical or emotional abuse, anger management, financial problems, infidelity, or a looming divorce.
How to Find a Reputable Counselor
Finding a married couple that doesn’t deal with at least one of the issues listed above is virtually impossible. If your relationship needs some mending, how do you find a counselor you can trust and will truly help your situation?
A good way to find a licensed marriage and family therapist is to ask for a recommendation from a physician, clergy member, friend, or family member.
You might also speak to a representative for you health insurance, your employer’s human resource department, or a local mental health agency.
Once you’ve decided to seek counseling, you want to make sure you choose a counselor who will meet your needs. To do this, ask your potential counselor the following questions:
- Where did you receive your education and training?
- Are you licensed?
- What experience do you have with our situation?
- Where are you located and what are your hours?
- How long are sessions and how many sessions do you expect we’ll need?
- What is the fee per session?
- Does my health insurance cover any services?
- Do you offer payment plans?
What to Expect
Marriage counseling is usually considered short-term. The number of sessions required depends on the depth of the issues being dealt with. You may only need one or two sessions to move your relationship forward, or it may take months of on-going therapy. And while individual therapy may be beneficial on occasion, it is typically beneficial if both partners attend the counseling sessions.
During the therapy sessions, your therapist will guide you through healthy ways of solving your differences, teach communication skills, and be the mediator as you work through conflicts. Going through counseling is no difficult task. It can be a humbling and even humiliating experience to have to seek the help of a marriage counselor. When it gets tough, remember that getting outside help is better than ignoring the issues or letting them escalate until they’re out of control.
Marriage counseling is most successful with couples who are still in love and are willing to change. If you wait too long before seeking help or if you or your spouse is set on divorce and unwilling to change, marriage counseling will likely not help.