Just like counsellors in any other field who help, guide and listen to their patients, marriage counsellors, too, play the role of a friend, philosopher and guide to people in troubled marriages. They are trained to spot problem areas and help clients get an outside perspective which might be missing. Marriage counsellors are increasingly in demand especially as the number of marriages on the verge of breaking up, are increasing.
The Role Counsellors Play Not everybody has a strong support system to fall back on when their marriage is going through a rough patch. At times like this, going to a marriage counsellor helps a great deal. A counsellor will firstly listen to a client's grievances. Most of the time, just having a non-judgemental listener helps a person feel less burdened.
The counsellor can then give an unbiased perspective on the problem. Slowly, the client feels more inclined to see both sides and becomes more willing to communicate and iron out the problems. Usually, it is advisable that both partners go to a counsellor so both of them are on the same page. The counsellor can play a mediating role and instead of playing the blame game encourages them to take ownership of their respective faults. Understanding the part that each of them had to play in things going wrong, helps partners to be more open to change and compromise. The best part of a marriage counsellor is that he or she has no vested interest in either of the partners.
Therefore, he is able to give them non-judgemental and unbiased advice. A counsellor encourages partners to talk to each other and gives them tips on how they can regain love and respect for each other. A counsellor also works on issues like self-esteem, abuse, infidelity and helps couples come to the cause behind the behaviour. When one partner is able to understand the reason behind a partner's behaviour pattern, it helps to become more understanding. Receiving support and understanding from a partner can make a person change negative behaviour patterns that have been impacting the marriage.
Choosing a Counsellor Finding the right counsellor is like finding the right mate; there has to be a basic compatibility. The whole point of going to a marriage counsellor is to find someone who can both empathise and be objective. If a couple go to a counsellor they do not feel comfortable opening up to, the whole purpose is defeated.
It is preferable that a counsellor is around the same locality so regular sessions are possible. However, this does not necessarily have to be a deciding factor. Usually, friends or friends of friends will be able to suggest one or two counsellors. This way, they will also be able to brief a person on the counsellor's calibre. Getting a contact from a directory or from the Internet is another way of finding a counsellor.
This way, a couple might have to meet a few before deciding on who they feel most comfortable with. The Qualities of a Good Counsellor To begin with, a good counsellor should have a good pedigree. A counsellor who has undergone suitable training will be equipped to handle the different problems faced by couples. However, a good education on its own does not make a good counsellor. Experience accounts for a lot and a counsellor who has been practising for a long time is definitely a better bet than one without much experience.
Good counsellors need to have the right disposition. They can neither be too patronising nor too sympathetic. They need to be objective without being absolutely detached. Clients need to be able to feel comfortable with a counsellor and yet respect their point of view. A counsellor has to have a combination of well-rounded qualities which can help people benefit from counselling. A good counsellor is one who can give clients a sense of caring and remain dispassionate.
A good counsellor is also one who will not allow personal bias or personal experiences affect his perspective of what a couple's problems are. Conclusion Just going to a counsellor does not guarantee a marriage can be saved. Both partners should be willing and make the marriage work.
If they are willing to make an honest attempt at saving a marriage, counselling can be a remarkable tool, to help them get back on track.
James Walsh is a freelance writer and copy editor. If you want to find out more about a solicitor managed divorce see http://www.managed-divorce.co.uk