by Shelly Phegley
Not so long ago, the day arrived in which I realized that my marriage of ten years was not so unique in that we could always surpass pending issues at hand. Both my husband and I agreed that we were tired and annoyed at the thought of discussing certain issues again and again that kept resurfacing in various aspects of our marriage.
We were ready to present our relationship to a marriage counselor with hopes of gaining clarity in regards to which direction we could pursue to achieve resolution. Once we had decided to consult a marriage counselor we then found ourselves faced with the task of finding a marriage counselor. We felt the integrity of our success in marriage counseling was directly related to the marriage counselor.
There were certain things we determined were important
before we even performed on online search. We wanted a marriage counselor that was married and had the experience of raising children. We wanted a marriage counselor that was familiar with certain issues we were experiencing. We wanted a marriage counselor near to our neighborhood and we also knew what we could afford.
Outside of the mentioned criteria, we were very open to a male or female marriage counselor and high credential rating was not so important to us as was life experience. We began our search for a marriage counselor. We found two online marriage counselor directories http://www.counsel-search.com and http://www.aamft.org. Both offered biographies of the listed marriage counselors. The marriage counselor biographies were helpful in narrowing our search although not always as detailed as we would have liked.
We agreed on five marriage counselors that we called 'maybes' and began our calls with certain questions in mind that the counselor bios didn't reveal. The first woman we phoned told us she charged $140/hr and suggested a three-month commitment. I wondered aloud to my husband if that kind of money might be better spent on a two-week holiday in the tropics. We called the next marriage counselor on our list and as it turned out he had never raised children with his wife. We drew a line through his name and proceeded to call the next marriage counselor on our list. As it turned out with her, she specialized in issues unrelated to what we experienced.
The remaining marriage counselors on our list did not return our phone calls or did not have flexible office hours. We returned to the online directory. It became very clear to us that the more descriptive the biography on the directory the more time saved for everyone involved. Our search for the right marriage counselor revealed an intention, on both our parts, to preserve and nurture what was important to our marriage and family. It was becoming clear to us that the benefits of marriage counseling began with the search for a marriage counselor. In the end, we found a marriage counselor that we both liked and matched our needs as individuals and together as partners.
Our counselor assisted and supported us in working through specific issues. As was our determined goal from the start, the perspectives offered by an experienced marriage counselor has helped us put to bed many of our unresolved conflicts. We stepped away from counseling, after a short time, with more than we had bargained for because we now felt not only recommitted to the marriage before us but also more equipped and confident to confront issues that will challenge us in the future.
About the Author Shelly Phegley is a staff writer for The National Directory of Family and Marriage Counselors where one can research marriage issues and learn about counseling. Go to http://www.counsel-search.com
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