5 Common Marriage Counseling Misconceptions
- Only Weak Couples Get Counseling
- You Don't Need Counseling
- Marriage Counselors are Mediators
- Marriage Counselors Give Each Party Equal Time
- The Marriage Counselor Will Tell Us What to Do
For about as many years as marriage counseling has been around, there have been myths about marriage counseling. What many people don't realize is that a marriage counselor is not just "some stranger sitting behind a desk" ready to listen to strangers. They are trained professionals who usually have earned a marriage and family therapy degree and are highly qualified to offer their services to couples having marriage difficulties. It's important to understand how marriage counseling works. Here are five myths about marriage counseling.
1. Only Weak Couples Get Counseling
This is probably one of the biggest marriage counseling myths. Many couples think that they can solve whatever problems they may be having without the help of what they consider an outsider. They feel that only someone who's weak needs the help of a doctor, counselor or any type of third party. Some of the most successful people in the world use the services of counselors, therapists and coaches. It doesn't mean they're weak but strong enough to realize they might need help.
2. You Don't Need Counseling
The unfortunate thing about a person or couple thinking they don't need counseling is that they don't often get it until it's too late, and they really don't need it anymore. Many people wonder what a counselor can do that they can't do on their own. They often try to set their own goals and ideas of what each person needs to do to make the marriage better. A counselor is a trained professional who has worked with all types of couples with all types of problems. They've pretty much seen it all and have the experience and knowledge needed by many couples. At the very least, a marriage counselor is going to be a neutral party.
3. Marriage Counselors are Mediators
This is another very common myth about marriage therapists. They assume that because they listen to both parties, that they're mediators and can act as mediators. Mediators are specially trained to work in the area of dispute resolution. Marriage counselors are not. Mediators listen to both parties but have no real opinion on what's wrong. They just help the two parties find a resolution. Couples with marital problems often have issues that cannot be resolved. The marriage counselors do have an opinion on the problems and on how they can be resolved based on years of experience. Unlike mediators who remain neutral, marriage counselors do not always remain neutral.
4. Marriage Counselors Give Each Party Equal Time
This is an untrue thing about marriage counseling because each person is different. Whereas one person may be a talker, the other may be quiet and reserved. If a marriage counselor allowed each person the same amount of time to talk, the couples might believe the marriage counselor would take sides. While the marriage counselor may encourage both parties to talk and hash out their feelings, the counselor cannot always give each person the same amount of time and attention. Marriage counselors often encourage couples to talk and listen to each other.
5. The Marriage Counselor Will Tell Us What to Do
If only it were that easy, all couples having problems would rush to a marriage counselor. In most cases, the counselor will listen to both parties, help them understand what went wrong and try to suggest ways to make the relationship better. A good marriage counselor will not tell a couple that they should stay married or should get a divorce. That is a decision that should only be made by the couple.
Working as marriage counseling can be very interesting and rewarding for the right individual. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics states that marriage counselors and therapists are very much in demand. They predict a job growth of 23% for marriage and family therapists, particularly those with marriage and family therapy degree and ample experience.