Marriage counseling is helpful to anyone who is married. A marriage counselor can help a couple through difficult times and they can also help a couple have a happier marriage.
However, not all marriage counselors are suited to help all marriages. You need to know what to look for when you seek out a marriage counselor. Here are the top 8 points that I would tell a friend or family member to consider when seeking the services of a marriage counselor.
1. Know Your Counselor’s Values
If you and your spouse are of a particular faith or religion, use a counselor with that same faith background. I would not recommend that a Christian go to an atheist counselor. Your beliefs and values are going to be starkly different.
Find a counselor that has your similar belief system. How do you know what their belief system may be? Look at the counselor’s website. Most will specify if they use a specific faith to guide their faith and practice.
For example, you can find counselors that use new age practices that embrace spirituality and connection with the universe. If that isn’t your belief system and instead you are a devout Baptist, then look for a counselor that labels themselves as a Christian counselor.
When it comes to matters of the heart, you want to receive life guidance, advice, and support from someone who thinks like you do. If you go to someone who has opposing views to your own beliefs, then the counseling experience will likely not be beneficial to you. Make sure that you and your spouse consider faith, religious background, and your belief system when looking at counselors that you may want to hire.
Your marriage is serious business, so take the time and effort to look at the background of the counselor you want to hire. You want to ensure that they will counsel in a manner that aligns with your personal and marital beliefs.
For example, I know a couple very close to me who went to marriage counseling after a year of marriage. This couple would describe themselves as Christians, even though they weren’t regular attenders at the time.
After several sessions with their couple’s counselor, it was suggested by the counselor that they get divorced. Thank goodness that the couple did not agree with the counselor! They did not take the counselor’s advice and remained married. They did however, feel that their time and money was wasted with that particular marriage counselor.
The marriage counselor held no personal stock in Christianity or the sanctity of marriage. This counselor focused on individual happiness and doing what is best for each person alone. This counselor did not specialize in helping marriages through their problems. His focus instead was on the individual rather than the couple.
However, this couple wanted the focus to be on their marriage, and helping them through their issues. They made it through that first year, in spite of the counselor and have now celebrated 40 years of marriage.
Their story is proof that you need to look at the counselor’s personal values before you dive into a counseling relationship and spend your money and time with someone who may not value what you value in life.