Relationships have always taken effort, time, sacrifice, and lots of patience. Trying to get two people to sync in life, wants, desires, struggles, and actions don’t happen overnight, no matter what Hollywood or books try to say otherwise about living happily ever after. In fact, many argue the strongest relationships are built on going through the worst of times together and coming out the other end of it all still with each other.
That said, relationship counseling can go a long way in helping get through those hard times, and even when things are not so crazy and instead just feel listless. However, a lot of folks feel it’s too difficult to find relationship counseling or it the only option available to them is through a local religious organization that they are not aligned with. Those misconceptions often drive folks away from resources that can really help. Here’s how it works instead.
How to Find Relationship Counseling
It might feel like finding a relationship counselor should be as easy as going through the phone book or looking up online through a search engine, but then folks are immediately buried with a bunch of possibilities and no idea which option really works. Instead, one of the best places to start is to use the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy, or the AAMFT. Their website can list out specific, relationship-oriented therapists available in a person’s area that are qualified to counsel couples and spouses.
Another option is to reference one’s health insurance if available. HMOs and health insurance networks handle a lot more than just basic hospital care and clinic services. They frequently have a robust list of counseling services and therapists in their roster for customers to access as well. While insurance might not directly cover such services in a given policy, the contacts and network are still there and usable for reference.
On a tight budget? Most universities with a psychology graduate program require grad students to be involved in clinical programs. These school-oriented programs provide real counseling services to clients guided and administered by the professors, while the grad students learn their roles and gain experience. As a resource, these venues can provide alternative counseling options when the cost is a budgeting issue. Community mental health clinics are another viable option. Designed as non-profit support resources for communities, many such organizations can help provide counseling support and couple’s therapy for free or low cost as well.
Believe it or not, divorce attorneys can also be a very good resource for finding couples’ therapy resources. While their job is managing a legal separation, they often manage cases where folks still need counseling and help to deal with the mental effects of a separation. Legal procedures don’t address that. No surprise, divorce attorneys often rely or refer on counseling services to help clients process and transition through a divorce.
Friends and family can also point out therapy resources that can work. Often understanding issues personally, such contacts can refer couples to a therapist that worked for them in their time of need. Additionally, close contacts can oftentimes understand the core issues that help is needed for better than a casual contact, and they will frequently try to point couples in a better, more specific direction by referral as a result. That can save a lot of time in guessing or trial and error looking for a therapist who really addresses a given couple’s specific issues.
The Importance of Working With a Professional Counselor
Couples often keep relationship issues internal or only with friends they trust. It’s a bit like showing dirty laundry; folks don’t do it. When one does expose the issue to a close friend or similar, it’s oftentimes out of desperation, and not wanting to admit one feels like a failure in the relationship but needing help desperately. While friends almost always mean the best, however, they can give advice that is often biased and sometimes outright incorrect for the situation. This is why a professional therapist is so essential to work with if the relationship is serious, critical, and worth saving. The last thing a couple needs is bad guidance that just makes things even worse. Unfortunately, this mistake happens all the time.
A professional therapist applied a solid approach of development towards helping a couple work through their issues objectively and in a positive way. This often involves extensive listening, counseling, and guidance, providing couples with the tools they need to build a stronger bond and connection with each other as well as to understand multiple perspectives of the issues they are struggling with. This type of approach has proven to be effective, powerful, and extremely beneficial for couples, especially when they need a perspective that goes beyond immediate emotions and frustrations.
Help is Available
For couples in the Havre, MT region, Ellen Savage has provided professional therapy and counseling for couples for almost four decades. All of that experience and skill are available to couples today, both in-person and through online counseling. There’s no reason for couples to struggle by themselves or only rely on one-sided perspectives that make things worse, not better. Realizing the advantages of professional therapy is easier today than it ever was, and the resource really helps couples work through all types of issues and struggles. Call today to set up an initial discussion or appointment with Ellen Savage. Your relationship matters, you’ve spent time and energy building it. Don’t go blind through challenges when a professional therapist can help and provide guidance.