It amazes me that most people decide to end their marriages without seeking professional help. The decision of whether to divorce or not is probably the most important decision anyone will ever make. Yet, the fact remains that only a minority of people in the throes of marital problems consult marriage therapists.
Truth be told, seeking professional advice for your marital problems is no guarantee things will improve. In fact, many people have told me that their so-called marriage therapy even made things worse. Most therapists are well-meaning, but not always qualified to do marital therapy. That's why I want to offer some guidelines for you to consider should you seek professional help to improve your marriage.
Make sure your therapist has received specific training and is experienced in marital therapy. Too often, therapists say they do couples therapy or marital therapy if they have two people sitting in the office. This is incorrect. Marital therapy requires very different skills than doing individual therapy. Individual therapists usually help people identify and process feelings. They assist them in achieving personal goals. "How do you feel about that,?" is their mantra.
Couples therapists, on the other hand, need to be skilled at helping people overcome the differences that naturally occur when two people live under the same roof. They need to know what makes a marriage tick. A therapist can be very skilled as an individual therapist and be clueless about helping couples change. For this reason, don't be shy. Ask your therapist about his or her training and experience.
Finally, the best way to find a good therapist is word-of-mouth. Satisfied customers say a lot about the kind of therapy you will receive. Although you might feel embarrassed to ask friends or family for a referral, you should consider doing it anyway. It increases the odds you'll find a therapist who will really help you and your spouse.
So don't give up on therapy, give up on bad therapy. You be the judge. There's a lot to be gained from seeking the advice of a third party who can help you find simple solutions to life's complicated problems. Happy divorce busting!
Michele Weiner Davis is the creator of the Divorce Busting Centers, learn more on how you can solve marriage problems and stop divorce. Follow me on Twitter @divorcebusting, add my Divorce Busting Facebook Page, and subscribe to the Divorce Busting YouTube Videos for more advice and upcoming marriage saving events. Find out about 2-day personal intensives with Michele Weiner-Davis.