Sep 19, 2009
Are you thinking of divorce? Save marriage by seeing a marriage counselor. There are many therapists who say they do marriage counseling, but how do you know which ones are really good? This article will give you a checklist of things to look for in a family therapist.
First of all, you want to see what their credentials are. There are three basic classes of counselors.
The first is the Ph.D. or Psy.D. level counselor. These people went to graduate school 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 M.S.W. This means Master of Social Work. 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 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 an MSW or a Marriage and Family Therapist because they are less expensive.
Second, you have to determine what the price 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. Save marriage by finding 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.
Often, therapists working in groups or 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.
Third, you need to look at the policies the therapist has. Some of these policies include:
· What happens if you miss or cancel a session?
· Can you take a pre-planned vacation without having to pay for the session?
· Will the therapist accept calls outside of the normal session? Do they accept calls at home or just at the office?
· Is there an alternative person you can call in an emergency?
A family counselor should help you put your family back together so that you don’t have split up. Saving your marriage should be their ultimate goal. If you don’t feel that you are in synch with your counselor, move on and find someone who can keep you from divorce and save marriage.
Bernice knew it was time to be moving on. Break up with her boyfriend Earl had just happened. She knew there was no chance of getting back together, so she had to get on with her life.
First, Bernice tried talking to her friends about the break up. At first, they were sympathetic. But soon, they became bored with the topic and wanted to talk about their own issues. Bernice became frustrated at their lack of support.
Her mom, on the other hand, couldn’t talk about anything but Earl. She thought Bernice was insane to let him get away. It sometimes seemed like her mom had been more in love with Earl than Bernice ever was.
After a few weeks, Bernice decided to go to a therapist for five sessions. Over the course of a few weeks, she began to identify the problems which had led to the break up and plan out a strategy for moving on.
The first thing she did after the break up was to get rid of all of Earl’s things. Some, like the leather jacket he loved, she gave back. Other things like his toothbrush she just threw away. And, he had given her some nice jewelry, but she decided to box these up and store them until she became less emotional about Earl.
Next, she started doing things that she didn’t feel comfortable doing when Earl was around. For instance, Earl would never go to the ballet with her. Bernice had trained as a classical dancer and she appreciated Swan Lake and Giselle. When a performance came to town, she got a couple of girlfriends together and they went. This is not something she would have done if she had been together with Earl.
She also decided to join an adult dance class. Partially, it got her out of the house two nights a week. It also got her back into shape. But, she was able to meet new people as well. She liked the camaraderie of the class.
She also explored new passions. She never knew much about fine wines. Earl had preferred beer and she had usually just ordered the house white. But when she heard a local winery was offering a wine tasting class, she decided to join.
Over the course of five weeks, she developed a palate. She began to appreciate the difference between a young wine and an old wine.
And, she met Bobby. Bobby was a good looking lawyer who was interested in good wine and fine food. He was also interested in Bernice.
Part of how Bernice knew that she was getting over the pain of losing Earl was that she was interested in Bobby.
Bernice doesn’t know whether the relationship with Bobby is going to be long term or a short term rebound fling. But she does know that she doesn’t miss Earl when Bobby is around. And that’s how you move on after a break up!
Few things are more painful than having your heart broken.
Both men and women experience the pain of breaking up. Sometimes you are the one who called it off and other times your ex did, but in either case, there is pain on both sides. And, sometimes the break up happened for good reasons while other times it seemed to go up in a puff of smoke for no reason at all. These can be the most painful of all.
If you don’t go about getting over the break up though, there can be some serious consequences. Don’t fall into the trap of lingering over a lost love. The worst trap of all is to start to write a “victim story” that makes you the protagonist in a tale of love gone bad.
First of all, you should realize that if you don’t get over your ex, it will be toxic to any future relationship you might have.
Second, realize that you can’t run away from it, medicate it, or suppress it. You have to face the pain head on and deal with it.
There’s no way out of a broken heart. There’s only a way through. Accept that there is going to be pain. Use the time during this period to understand the hurt. Some ways to do this are to write in a journal, get counseling, or pour your heart out in song. Realize there are no quick solutions to getting over break up.
Next, you need to examine whether there is anything in your past that would have lead to this break up. For instance, did the abuse in your childhood cause you to be an abuser in this relationship? Take note of those things because they will help you foster healthier relationships in the future.
Don’t paint yourself as the victim of the relationship either. Take responsibility for your actions. While your ex may have been the one whose “fault” was the immediate cause of the break up, the truth is that the underlying circumstances were caused by both of you.
By getting rid of your “victim story” you become a healthier, more attractive partner for a future boyfriend or girlfriend. You’ll begin to see that your “victim story” was composed of beliefs, attitudes and thoughts that color your perceptions about everything. It becomes a self fulfilling prophesy.
When you handle your broken heart badly, you perpetuate your pain. You’ll never go about getting over break up.But, when you can handle your emotions with the ultimate goal of letting them go, you enable healing. Getting over a broken heart takes work. It also takes time. Don’t underestimate the factors which go into curing your heartbreak.
You’ve just lost a person who was extremely important to your life. But, use this time for growth and you will become a stronger person and have better relationships in the future. That is how you really go about getting over break up.
Did your girlfriend break up with you? You are not the first guy to go through this. In fact, girls initiate three quarters of the break ups while guys only dump the girl in one quarter of the situations. Therefore, guys have to deal with being dumped far more often than girls do.
Compounding the problem is the impression that men are supposed to deal with their emotions stoically. While women are allowed to dissect every part of their relationship, men are expected to roll with the punches.
But this doesn’t mean that men don’t have emotions. They hurt when women dump them. A girlfriend break up is quite painful.
First of all, men tend to place more value on stable relationships than women do. While a man might be interested in a fling with a woman who is not his girlfriend, what he really wants is someone who will be there in good times and bad.
But, once your girlfriend has dumped you, it’s important to figure out how to pick up the pieces and go on with your life.
First of all, you should find some way to express yourself. Girls can do this by writing poetry or talking about the relationship endlessly with their friends. Men often don’t feel comfortable with these options. But, if you play the guitar or piano, try writing some music that allows you to express your feelings. Many of the great songs are about the pain of breaking up.
Next, you need to clear out your place of all of the things that remind you of her. If she has clothes at your house, give them back. Throw away her toothbrush. And, if she’s given you any gifts that you want to keep, box them up for the time being until you can look at them without having turbulent emotions.
You will want to close off communications with her, at least for the short term. If either of you owe the other money, try to settle up so that won’t be an avenue for talking.
Then tell your ex that you want to go silent for a while. That means no calls, texts, or emails. Stay off each other’s myspace and facebook pages. In time, you may be able to be friends again, but right now you both need to give each other the space to heal.
Then, you need to get out of the house. Make a point of playing pick up basketball with your friends. Go out to a bar from time to time. Become a big brother to an underprivileged kid.
Then, start to get back into the dating scene once again. At first, you can have casual dates that may not lead to anything. But, over time, you will meet someone you really care about. And, at that point, you will know that you have some closure about the old relationship. You won’t be worried about the old girlfriend break up any more.
Marriage is considered a sacred institution by most of the world’s religions. It is the foundation of the family, which, in turn, is the foundation for society. So, there is a lot of emphasis on saving a marriage.
But that doesn’t mean that marriages today don’t run into trouble. The changing roles of men ad women, financial pressures, and difficulties with children all make it hard to make marriages work.
So who do you turn to?
Perhaps the best place to look is the institution that values marriage more than any other – the church.
While a clinical psychologist or licensed family therapist will take an individualistic approach to marriage counseling, a pastor will focus on making the marriage work in a holistic sense. Over all, this has a better chance of actually saving the marriage.
Why is a pastoral counselor better than a secular therapist?
A secular therapist’s education focuses almost entirely on treating individual psychopathologies. Even “Marriage and Family” designated counselors may have only one class or elective dealing specifically with couple’s therapy. Do you think this approach can save marriage?
A pastoral counselor, on the other hand, will be educated in how to bring couple's closer together. With the exception of abuse in the relationship, they have the fundamental belief that once the vows are taken, the marriage is forever.
Some pastoral counselors have formal education in counseling. More and more seminaries are offering pastoral counseling degrees. But even ministers without a formal degree take classes and seminars in the subject.
If you don’t have a church home, you might have some difficulty finding a pastor to help you. And, you don’t have six months to establish membership in a church before approaching the pastor.
In this case, you can call various churches and ask them if they have any upcoming couples retreats where you can save marriage through these weekend seminars. Once you have established a relationship with a skilled pastor in these settings, you may be able to do follow up counselor with the same person.
A good couple’s retreat will help you deal with many different types of issues. There will be group sessions and couple’s sessions. You will also have time to work on questions individually.
Communication is a big issue at these conferences. If you can work on your communications issues, you will find that the other pieces of the relationship fall into place.
Sex, finances, and child rising are also addressed. The goal is to get you back on track in every aspect of your relationship. You don’t have to be on the same page going in, but the hope is that you will be when you leave.
Marriage is tough. Sometimes it seems like the relationship cannot endure. But, there are so many reasons to see if you can’t make it work. In this case, consider seeing if a pastor can save marriage.
Have you just broken up with a guy? Are you lost without him? Do you wonder if you can get him back? Here’s some advice about a boyfriend break up.
First of all, decide whether the relationship is truly over. Until you are able to say that he is part of your past and not your present and future, you will not be able to move on.
This is not to say that you have to put him in the past right away. There are a number of steps you can take to get him back. You can stay part of his life in a casual way hopping to become boyfriend and girlfriend again.
But, if you are ready to move on, there are a number of steps you can take to reach closure. Closure is the process where you recognize that the relationship is over and you start to heal.
Perhaps the first thing you should do is communicate your hurt. There are several ways to do this:
· Talk to friends and family who are truly empathetic and can help you work through your feelings. A true friend will do this, but many of your so called friends won’t be up to the challenge.
· Go into short term therapy so you can work through your feelings with a dispassionate third party
· Write down your feelings in a journal, in poetry, or in music. This is an inexpensive way to express yourself and doesn’t require anyone else to participate.
Once you have come to some level of closure, get rid of anything you have of your ex’s. These things will only remind you of him and the boyfriend break up. Some things you’ll want to give back because they have value. Other things you can just toss. And, if he’s given you gifts that you want to keep, box them up and store them for the time being.
Next, figure out how you are going to spend your time now that you are not part of a couple. You may feel that time hangs heavy on your hands. Or, you may find that you are liberated by not having to do everything your ex wanted you to do.
Get involved in things that make you happy. Go to the gym so that you look and feel good. Spend some time getting pampered at the spa. Take a Spanish class at the community center. Or, start to volunteer with the Big Sisters of America.
By doing things that please you, you will become a happier person. You will find that you miss your ex a lot less.
One of the ways you will know that you are over your ex is that you will start to develop feelings for a new guy. Maybe these will be reciprocated. Eventually, you will find a new man and form a new relationship. That will be when you know you have really moved on. The boyfriend break up won’t be so serious any more.
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