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What's Marriage Counselling All About?

Aug 29, 2007
Most people over the age of twenty-five know at least one person whose long-term relationship or marriage has ended. Sometimes the grounds are clear and indisputable, but in many cases the story of where exactly the relationship went wrong is much less obvious - and this is where marriage counselling can play a useful role. Not just for married or heterosexual couples, the key to successful marriage counselling is believing that divorce or separation is not an inevitable fact of modern life, but that conflict itself is unavoidable (often because partners care about each other). In the cases where people believe their differences are irreconcilable, marriage counselling can be a useful way to help each person move on.

Who can benefit from marriage counselling

In the past, and in places where there is a strong family or religious tradition, if you faced difficulties with your marriage, chances are you would turn to friends or family members, or other members of the community. This everyday sort of marriage counselling could help you avoid the need to resort to more extreme measures such as a temporary separation or divorce. Ideally, expert marriage counselling can support the existing resources that individuals have available to them.

Where can marriage counseling be of use?

Marriage counseling can be of use in cases where partners are having problems talking to each other, or where people are facing a change or unexpected event that puts a relationship in a new light. It can be a way of finding out ways to deal or open up a discussion around a partner's needs, which can be hidden if communication has been difficult over a period of time. It can also be a way to address problem behaviour, such as anger or jealously issues, low self esteem in either partner, or a possibility to begin addressing a longer-term issue from childhood, so long as the affected partner is willing.

How do I choose marriage counselling?

The key thing to choosing a marriage counselor is what sort of approach they offer - whether they offer a problem-focused approach, or look to examine problems from a longer-term perspective, using psychoanalytical psychotherapy, psychoanalysis or Jungian analysis - and whether they have recognised accreditation. Some, specialist centres in marriage counselling offer flexible payment schemes to suit most budgets - particularly those that have charitable status. Those of have been around much longer, and are more likely to offer a range of services. In any case, a good provider should be happy to offer an initial consultation to get these things clear in advance.

How do I find marriage counselling?

You can find marriage counseling by looking online using a search engine and entering your area and the type of service you are looking for. Alternatively, you can try a directory that lists all available counselling in an area. Online marriage counselling is another possibility: in any case, it is important to determine in advance what your expectations are, and how much you can afford to pay.
About the Author
Shaun Parker is at the forefront of research into marriage councelling and relationship advice.
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