Marriage Counseling: What You Need To Know

Counseling for a disfunctional marriage…

There are many therapists who do marriage counseling, but do you know how to choose the right one for your particular circumstance?

Are you thinking of divorce?… But would really prefer to save your marriage. Marriage guidance counseling may well be the answer.

This article will give you a checklist of things to look for in a marriage and counseling professional, should that be the course you wish to take.

Firstly – you should check out their qualifications.

There are three basic classes of counselors.

  • The first is the Ph.D. or Psy.D. level counselor. These people went to a graduate institution for a minimum of five years and wrote a dissertation. In addition they performed a minimum of 3000 hours of therapy under the supervision of an experienced psychologist. In order to legally call yourself a clinical psychologist the person must have a doctoral level degree. Ph.D’s are often more academic in nature and tend to do scholarly and forensic work along with therapy.
  • Then there is the Master of Social Work (M.S.W.). Social Workers are trained to apply social theory to specific situations. They can work in institutions or with individuals.
  • Finally, there is the M.S. or M.A. in Counseling. Often called a Marriage and Family Therapist, these people can only work with individuals or small groups in counseling situations. They tend to have 2 year degrees and may not have written a thesis. They have undertaken 1500 hours of therapy under supervision.

If you are using your insurance to cover your marriage counseling, your insurance company will probably direct you to a Marriage and Family Therapist (M.S.) because they are less expensive.

Secondly – you should determine what the cost of therapy will be. Clinical psychologists tend to be the most expensive while Marriage and Family Therapists are the least expensive.

Remember you are trying to stop divorce and save your marriage. Find the best fit not the most (or least) expensive professional.

Look at the per session cost as well as the overall cost for the expected length of treatment. Expect the cost for several sessions to be lower per session than for just a single one.

Often, therapists working in groups or in non profit institutions will have a sliding scale fee based on a couple’s income. If you qualify, this might make counseling affordable when it otherwise might not be.

Thirdly – you need to check the therapist’s policies.

Some of these policies may include:

  • What your obligations are if you miss or cancel a session?
  • Are you able to take a pre-planned vacation without having to pay for the session?
  • Will the therapist accept calls outside of the normal session? If so do they accept calls at home or just at the office and how do they charge for these unscheduled calls?
  • Is there an alternative person you can call in an emergency?

Saving your marriage should always be a counselors ultimate goal. If you don’t feel that you are in synch with your counselor, move on and find someone else who you can relate to more satisfactorily.

Does marriage counseling work?

It is important to bear in mind that the success rate of the average marriage counselor is typically around 30%!!

There are numerous reasons for this – they relate mainly to time and money issues, lack of genuine co-operation or participation by the affected couple, and to a degree, lack of skill on the part of the counselor.

Marriage counseling costs.

It is not unusual for qualified marriage counselors to charge anything from $200 to $400 per session. So you can see how even a few sessions could put a substantial dent in your savings.

An Alternative Option.

If you are short of money or reluctant to work through your marital problems with the help of a counselor there are other ways.

Online guidance programs have come of age and the best ones have proven to be really effective in bringing couples back together and in many cases achieve a much higher success rate than professional counselors.

We have now purchased and reviewed 23 such programs and have selected the ones that in our opinion are the most effective and provide the best value for money.

“Save My Marriage Today” is one of the most popular and effective online marriage guidance programs currently available.

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