Some people view seeking advice or even choosing to see a licensed counselor as an indication of failure and potentially embarrassing. Pride might tell them, "No way!" Not us. We whole heartedly believe in seeking counsel from wise people in our lives. We love to learn from other healthily married couples, especially those with some years on us. We also believe wholeheartedly in marital counseling. As a married couple, we know we do not have all the wisdom, ideas, or perspective we need in every situation.
Ancient proverb: "There is wisdom in a multitude of counselors."
Certainly we are very picky about who gets to speak into our lives. We believe the person must be gifted with wisdom, integrity, and a track record of trust and effectiveness. We view our relationship with our licensed counselor just that, a relationship. That means we might visit her once a year about the possibility of a job change or several times together and individually to work through a difficult parenting challenge or a rough patch in our marriage. We are not even close to being embarrassed about it. Our counselor is insanely gifted and fun. We have, at times, told many others that if they didn't benefit from the time with her, then we would pay them back for their session!
Here is who has helped us profoundly: LIFEGATE SOLUTIONS
In marriage there can be moments you feel like there are emotional and communicational chasms too wide to cross alone. If there is something bothering you in your life or marriage, why suffer any longer? Why not deal with it sooner rather than later? Sometimes, a third party can help you with bumps in the road and the twists and turns of life. We don't feel like our situation has to be "dramatic" to benefit from a counselor's perspective.
"I remember when Tracy wanted a third baby so badly, and I did NOT. I dreamed of a day we could be empty-nesters. We finally went to see a counselor. It was instrumental in helping us gain clarity regarding that dilemma." - Bruce Levinson
Reasons to see a counselor:
- Bottling things up often come out sideways in anger.
- Working through issues that occurred in your story before you met your spouse that remain unresolved.
- For fun. We might schedule a session to brainstorm about a creative business idea or strategize about our bucket list.
- Job changes.
- Resolving a specific conflict to find compromise and tools in the areas of money, sex, parenting, responsibilities, or spiritual matters.
- Communication challenges.
- Addictive behavior
- Abusive behavior
Here is the tricky part, the effectiveness of marriage counseling weighs heavily on the motivation level of each person. Unwillingness can be so hurtful; however, even if your spouse isn't supportive, our advice is to go anyway by yourself.
To find a good counselor, I always ask several people I respect and trust who they recommend. We consider the first session an interview of sorts.
We know, it costs money. But, think of how much parents pay for schools, camps, select sports teams, and divorces. Seriously. We consider our marriage of highest priority and are willing, within reason to invest in it being healthy for each other and for our grown kids.
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