Help! We Need A Relationship Counselor ASAP!
by Damien K. H. Nash
So how do you find the perfect Counselor near you?
If you are like most couples who are having difficulty in their relationship, one of the first places you may run to is google. As soon as you type the word "counseling" in the search engine no matter if it's marriage, relationship or couples counseling, what will almost automatically pop up is "counseling near me". Even though google is so kind as to suggest the top three ranked places within 5 to 10 miles radius of your current location, the question is which one do you choose?
Typically, if you are a man you want to make sure you are not wasting money and better yet your time because you are focused on still providing for your family. However, it’s different for women. Women want to really feel connected to the counselor and really want to be heard and listened too as well. Neither one is wrong, however, these factors can cause tremendous tension even before you sit in the comfy sofa chair.
So what are some key things you need to search for to find the best fit for you? Now before entering into the counselor's office, we suggest three things you should discuss with your significant other.
The first thing you should discuss and have conversation about is both of your values. Even though you might be seeking counseling because you are not on the same page, this is something you definitely can agree on. Take out a piece of paper or open up the notes app on your phone. Each of you should jot down 3 to 5 things you want to discuss with the counselor.
Then, share it with your significant other. You see, the majority of the time these items are different for both individuals. Why is this important? You want to see what the other person values. During conflict, we tend to not want to see the other side or perspective of our significant other. However, if you start seeing what they care about and what they value, you might resolve some of the conflict before even going to the counselor.
Now, if you still can’t resolve the conflict you can agree upon the top three values that you want to discuss with the counselor. This will help reduce the tension and give you a game plan as you prepare to mend the relationship. Remember love is always the goal.
The second important topic you should consider discussing is time. You want to discuss how much time you and your significant other want to dedicate to getting the help you both need. Now, again with men, they are usually thinking the more time they spend in counseling, the less time they have to work to provide for their family.
They do not want to waste too much of their time because time = money. The man has to realize that more time in counseling is a net investment into the relationship and the family long term, helping them to enjoy their time together.
These perspectives can be and should be shared maturely before deciding which counselor you choose. Also, travel time to the counselor is important to talk about if you two decide it will be better to safely do it in-person rather than over zoom or any video conference tool.
Lastly, you guessed it, you should definitely talk about the money. So how much is marriage counseling? I think we all can agree that no one wants cheap therapy but affordable counseling should be the goal. But how do you settle on a low cost option that you both are happy about? You talk about it. According to Jeff and Shaunti Feldhahn in their book Thrive in Love and Money, 77% of couples in their national survey struggled with having conversation surrounding money.
With that said we must learn how to get to the root of what the real issue is before you lose all the momentum. One thing we have learned is never really about the money. There are deeper values that you must flush out with your significant other before settling on an option.
So pull out another piece of paper and ask yourselves these questions to save your relationship: What do we have to spend on counseling? What luxury can we sacrifice to pay for counseling? Is there something we can do (e.g. get a part time job, sell some things, even RideShare) to pay for counseling. If you approach this as a team instead of enemies, you will both get to your desired goals.
Now with this focused list with the criteria you both agreed upon you can now successfully start your search on what relationship counseling, marriage counseling or couples counseling is best for you, near you.
If you need another resource on how to strengthen your commitment and relationship no matter what stage you are in me and my wife wrote a book called #CompletelyMarried: Journey to the Altar and Beyond. It provides practical tools to help in your relationship and also is a refresher for those who have been married for a long time. You can check it out>> Here.<<
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