I’m often asked by friends and acquaintances about help for marriages that are troubled. They ask, ‘when a couple is experiencing challenges in their marriage where should they look for help?’ Often they start at the Yellow Pages and are overwhelmed with choices.
This is what I hear: “ I talked to our family doctor but she wasn’t much help” “ Bret and I saw a counselor my neighbor referred but he was too passive.” “ We went to our pastor but he seemed not interested in what we wanted to talk about.”
Things to Consider While Searching For Marriage Help
There are lots of good choices out there but knowing something about what you’re looking for and what questions to ask is important. Here are a few clarifications that should help you when you yourself are considering getting some insight in your marriage or when you are attempting to help a friend get started on a pathway to healing a troubled marriage.
BTW I’ve titled this “made in America” because we lead the world in self help books and articles; we invented the popularization of psychotherapy; we integrated psychological insights and experiences in television programs and movies; we have thousands of consultants shaping education curricula who are trained in psychology; we have multitudes of corporate consultants with advanced degrees in psychology and we even use psychological insights to help our athletes at every level increase their performance.
Marriage Help From Professionals
Marriage too has benefited from professionals who focus on relationship competence. But the challenge is this: what kind of professional is best suited to help you? There are many disciplines within the discipline we roughly refer to as ‘counseling.’ To make an intelligent choice you should know something of the differences between them.
Finding Helpful Marriage Advice Online…
And, there are other forms of help. Can an online course be effective in helping a couple bring about the change they seek? Is spiritual counseling the best choice? And what about drugs – the medical orientation so often proposed by psychiatrists?
Workshops Providing Help For a Marriage
There are workshops available that can get a couple ‘jump started.’ Do they produce lasting effects or are they mostly ‘band-aids?’ There are books and articles, talk shows, and specific programs – all of which legitimately claim some kinds of success. But which, if any, are for you?
These questions point to differences: between ‘marriage education,’ and ‘insight’ counseling in marriage; between one on one coaching and psychotherapy; between individual ‘treatment’ for some sort of neurosis and ‘couples therapy.’ There are many other distinctions.
We’re going to offer you a short series that will address some of these questions quickly, and some in depth. We believe marriage is worth focusing on. We also believe marriage itself needs to be defined, perhaps re-invented, so that the questions make better sense.
Stay tuned for more advice on sources of help for marriage
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