Who Needs Marriage Counseling?
Studies show that marital counseling can be effective for a variety of people and marital conditions. Yet, in recent years unusually large numbers of couples in desperate need of help, who sought it through traditional “hour-a-week” marriage counseling in hopes of repairing their marriages. Unfortunately many tell us they ended up dropping out of marriage counseling disappointed and even more hopeless than when they started. While at the same time, since 2005, an extremely high number of therapists have left their practices, discouraged because they had come to realize that counseling with couples in distressed or crisis marriages on a week-by-week, hourly basis is usually proven to be ineffective.
Because couples in distressed marriages,who are in a crisis, have likely experienced more significant, painful, frequent or repeated hurts, are experiencing high thresholds of pain, and have usually waited too long to seek marriage counseling. When one or both spouses in a distressed marriage reaches a critical pain threshold in the marriage, the relationship becomes essentially deadlocked in a state of anger, withdrawal, broken communication, conflict, diminished affection and eventually a loss of hope. In this condition of emergency, much more intensive care is needed as quickly as possible.
Attempting to restore a distressed or crisis marriage in one-hour, weekly marriage counseling sessions is ineffective because most more complex marital issues cannot be resolved in a one-hour counseling session. In one-hour sessions, often by the time the couple gets the issue on the table and start to get to the root of an issue-time has usually run out. As a result, couples often end up opening old wounds and then leaving a weekly one-hour session incomplete- even discouraged and feeling more hopeless than before.
This is why it is so important to carefully consider the condition of your marriage before doing something that could be less effective, often more costly and lengthy, and yet can make things worse. If a couple’s marriage is indeed in a crisis, serious, or critical condition we recommend they participate in our weekend (23 hour) Marriage Counseling Intensive Retreat. This is one reason we offer couples ( or either the husband or wife) a FREE 30 minute tele-counseling session to help them determine their marital restoration needs and what might work best for them.
However, hourly counseling can be effective for couples in less problematic marital situations. Competent Christian marriage counseling, done with couples who has not waited too long before seeking help, can through consistent weekly, hourly counseling sessions develop the necessary skills and knowledge, overcome obstacles, and achieve a healthy marriage.
Through a goal-driven process, we as Christian marriage counselors here at Cornerstone, helps couples who are facing less difficult issues to re-focus their marriage and develop the attitudes and skills to achieve a healthy marriage. This kind of Christian counseling expertise we offer couples ensures process that can produces these kinds of results.
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The American Association of Christian Counselors
The Marriage and Family Counselors Network
Christian Counselors of Texas
The Association of Marriage and Family Ministries