Counseling is a very broad term. Most people generally think of psychotherapy and psychology as the realm of relationship counseling. They don’t realize the focus of psychology is on diseases of the mind and testing for those diseases. It is my understanding that actual family counseling is barely covered in the general education of a future psychologist. It is very similar to nutrition in the educational process of a Physician. Doctors of medicine focus on symptoms and treatment rather than preventive medicine, which include nutrition and exercise.
From my point of view it is rather unfortunate that psychologists are viewed by most people as being at the same educational and intelligence level as a doctor of medicine. Medical doctors are highly trained very intelligent individuals who deserve the recognition that the prefix Dr. commands. In contrast psychologists typically have roughly the same IQ as most people and in most cases actually have less common sense because they are not faced with the typical challenges most people have (that develop common sense). Before you actually choose a relationship counselor out of the many you’ll find in a phone book arm yourself with good questions to ask.
1) Ask what specific courses they took that prepared them to help you and your significant other.
2) Ask them to define a healthy relationship so you know what their view of success is.
3) Ask them if they are able to define a path to success along with milestones.
4) Ask them how you will know if you are progressing correctly towards the goal of a healthy and happy relationship.
5) Ask them if they have ever recommended divorce to their clients and why.
6) Ask them what they consider practical grounds for a divorce.
By asking the above questions you are establishing the correct relationship you should have with any counselor. They are there to serve you in exchange for your hard earned money. They must earn your respect by accomplishing what you hire them to do. Don’t confuse psychotherapy with relationship counseling. And don’t let any family counselor confuse you either.
So what happens when you go for relationship counseling? There ought to be a tremendous distinction in your mind based on whether you are married or not, and whether or not you have children. If you are neither married nor have children the option of separation should always be considered if you find that you are incompatible. A good relationship counselor can help you determine that, whether they are a psychologists or not. If you are already married without any children and are struggling, it is very important for to learn and understand what a marriage is, and what is expected of you before the option of divorce may be considered. It is for the purpose of gaining this understanding that I have written the Lessons For A Happy Marriage. Lastly, if you are married with children the consequences of ending your marriage are so enormous that you are better off suffering the rest of your life, if necessary, rather than impacting your innocent children by breaking up their home. I developed the lessons for the sake of your children. . I do not believe God created marriage so that we could suffer. When we understand the principles of marriage and how to behave according to those principles marriage can be heaven on earth. What earthly experience could be more satisfying and heart opening than living within a loving family.
Please remember to say to the person whom you love, “I love you.”