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What's Involved in Marriage Counseling

By Sue Taylor

So you have come to the decision that in order to save your marriage or at the very least improve it, you need to get some professional help in the form of counseling.

This is obviously not a step to be taken lightly and in many cases one partner desires the counseling more than the other. It is important that the partner who is least keen on undertaking a marriage counseling program is at least prepared to be open to attending the sessions, listening and ultimately to open up and share. Counseling of any description can be a confronting, uncomfortable and in some cases a hurtful experience. The counselor will often touch on or bring up things that in many ways you would rather stayed buried.

It is important that the marriage counseling that you receive is from someone you feel comfortable with and trust. As far as you are able, check the credentials of the person who will be counseling you. It is also important to be clear in your mind as to what you wish to achieve out of the counseling. Ask yourself, why do I want counseling? What do I hope to achieve? What am I willing to put into the sessions?

Some people who undergo marriage counseling, even some of those who instigate the counseling are not actually willing to change themselves. They are in blame mode, they want their partner or environment or circumstances to change and cannot see that in order for the relationship to work, they need to change also. Change can create anxiety as it will often involve moving outside one's comfort zone. A good counselor will recognize this type of person and guide them through the process of making the necessary changes.

We live in a world where many of us demand instant gratification. Many people are unwilling to go through a process which will take time and need to be persuaded that the time and money expended and in some cases the pain experienced will be worth it in the long run. It important to realize that your problems probably didn't happen all at once and as such it is going to take time and commitment to resolve them.

The final factor to successful marriage counseling is having the faith that whatever issues you are experiencing can be overcome if you truly want them to be. What is the point of exposing yourself if you do not believe that things can improve? This is not to say that counseling will necessarily keep the marriage together. In some cases marriage counseling can be a useful tool in helping a couple to see that there is little point in staying together. Perhaps there is just too much baggage or perhaps the realization comes that you are completely incompatible.

Whatever the situation, it is important to be involved in the counseling process, show commitment and willingness to make changes that may be necessary to an ongoing and fulfilling relationship, be patient and have faith in yourself.

About The Author
Sue Taylor has first hand experience of marriage counseling. Her 20 year marriage has gone through many issues as marriages tend to do and she found that counseling really helped address some of these problems.

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