Marriage counseling, sometimes called couples therapy, is a form of therapy to help couples identify the source of stress in their relationship and to develop a workable solution to deal with that stress. Its purpose is to resolve conflicts and to strengthen relationships. Couples therapy isn't just for married couples, but for any couples who are experiencing difficulties or want to strengthen their relationship. People aren't all the same in terms of their likes and dislikes, their emotional make-up, their values and morals etc. These differences can be a source of conflict. In counseling, the couple can pin point these differences and identify them as the source of stress and then work with each other and the counselor to develop methods of dealing with the stress. If they can't communicate, then one of the first issues to be resolved is the communications problems and the therapist will show them techniques to develop communications skills. These are also skills that can be helpful for people who are going to be married.
Selecting a therapist is like selecting any doctor or therapist. Marriage counseling can be obtained from most licensed therapists, although marriage counseling and family therapy are a specialty in their own right. If a therapist has had special training in this area they may be certified. Certification means that the therapist has a masters or doctorate degree and they are probably social workers or psychologists. Other people may also provide marriage counseling like ministers and priests.
If you are looking for a marriage counselor there are various ways of finding one. You can begin by asking your family physician or minister for a referral. You can also ask friends if they know of anyone. You can also look online where you will find a variety of entities. There are counseling sites that provide online counseling, if that is what interests you. There are other sites that offer counseling by phone for couples. Before engaging in counseling with any of these entities, be sure to check credentials. What kind of background and training do they have that qualifies them to offer marriage counseling? Be sure that you feel comfortable with the therapist. You can't work with someone in therapy if there is a personality conflict. Go into the counseling with an open mind and be willing to try what the counselor suggests, especially if you are trying to save a failing marriage.
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