It can be difficult to find a skilled marriage counselor who really cares about you and your marriage. When considering couples therapy, your self-esteem is often at an all-time low, and when you experience constant bickering and fighting, you may fear divorce is in your future.
You may also feel terrified and worried about the well-being of your children. If you are suffering from a difficult marriage, it is best to contact a counselor.
Qualified family counselors can have different qualifications. You should usually look for a licensed psychologist, clinical social worker, or psychiatrist who specializes in marriage counseling. These highly trained guidance specialists have seen it all and can give you expert advice.
If you’ve never consulted a counselor but want to, you’re probably feeling apprehensive. This is absolutely normal.
After all, you will be revealing some of the most intimate and personal details of your life to a stranger and it can be embarrassing and painful. But another chance at a full and loving marriage is more than worth the chance.
To get started, list the features you’re looking for in a counselor. For example, think about what you might like about your GP.
You should be most concerned about finding someone with the right credentials and with whom you have a good rapport. You may need to find someone with flexible hours who can handle a hectic schedule.
For most, it’s important to have an expert advisor with an excellent reputation and years of experience. A good counselor should treat you with respect, patience, sensitivity, and courtesy.
Before your first visit, take the time to prepare a list of questions. Choose someone you feel comfortable talking to and can have an open dialogue with.
If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask. Good marriage counselors want you to be prepared and take an active interest in the process.
If you find your counselor stiff, rigid, or difficult to talk to, consider getting a new one. You should never feel rushed, ignored, or unable to ask questions.
Let your counselor know about any anxiety or nervousness. This can help him or her to be keenly aware of your needs and often results in a better consultation.
Once you’ve decided to take this important step, here are some additional tips. For example, if the cost of treatment is paramount, check with your health insurance or workplace employee support program to see if they will reimburse counseling.
You may also be limited to a specific network of professionals. Then request the schedule and make an appointment as early as possible.
As you go through the list, keep in mind that a properly trained marriage counselor should be a psychologist, social worker, marriage and family therapist, or mental health counselor licensed in your state to practice independently.
This licensure often requires passing an oral exam and/or an extensive written exam. He or she is a graduate of an accredited graduate school and has undergone specialized training.
Another thing to look for is membership in a major trade association. These include the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapists, the American Counseling Association, and the National Association of Social Workers.
Members of these organizations often attend continuing education classes and must maintain a good reputation to remain a member. Also choose a seasoned marriage counselor, one with experience. The one with many years of experience is more inclined to make an accurate assessment and provide the best services.
Marriage counselors usually don’t believe that people should go into therapy for the main purpose of trying to change their partner. It’s frustrating, doesn’t work, and often just makes things worse!
Remember the ONLY person you can really change is yourself and sometimes it’s not that easy either! One of the most horrible mistakes you can make is marrying an incompatible person who thinks you can change them!
Also, sometimes only one person is motivated to pursue counseling or really improve the relationship. How do you deal with a difficult marriage if your partner doesn’t want to change?
What do you do if you have a spouse who has a serious behavioral problem such as compulsive drug use, drinking, spending money, being angry or unable to hold a job, verbal or physical abuse, infidelity, etc. And what if he/she is not willing to to do? go to counseling or work on marriage?
What are you doing? Some experts believe that a marriage can get much better even if a difficult partner never changes.
How? By working on yourself – by learning how to deal more effectively with your partner’s flaws i.e. don’t blame, don’t let yourself get too involved in your partner’s problems, detach yourself from the tricky aspects of your partner’s life, and even going into support groups and counseling to learn how to achieve all of this.
When your partner is uncooperative, it is imperative to assess your expectations to determine how you alone can still be a positive force in the lives of your children and your relationship. However, there are no easy answers.
Much depends on how much you are willing to sacrifice to keep your marriage from falling apart. However, most professionals would argue that if your unruly partner is preventing you from functioning properly in maintaining your physical or mental health, whether at home, at work, or with your children or friends, it may be best or even necessary to to develop you. a plan to end the relationship.
An absolute rule is not to put yourself or your children in danger by staying in an abusive relationship. The need to save lives trumps that of saving your marriage.