Visiting a marriage counselor is a serious action to take. If your marriage is in trouble, then marriage counseling is most likely your last option – if counseling fails to find a way through, then your marriage is most likely going to come to an end. If you are not having success with your counselor, you need to look at a number of issues.
The first reaction many people have is that counseling is useless and that the counselor is also useless. There are two components to counseling, and for it to be successful they must both be present. The first is the commitment from the couple. All too often we hear of couples complaining about counseling when the real problem has been a lack of commitment from them.
For any type of counseling to be effective, couples must be totally committed to wanting their relationship to work and to wanting to resolve the issues. If one or both are really only paying lip service to their counseling sessions, then there is no way they are going to find success.
The second half of the equation does indeed revolve around the counselor. However, it’s not their competence that is at issue. It is whether or not everyone feels comfortable in the environment, and with each other. Sometimes the male feels uncomfortable with another male as a counselor, or vice-versa; and the same can be said of women. There are times when counselors will organize a co-counseling session – the male with a male counselor that he can relate to and the female with a female counselor that she can relate to. The two counselors then work together to resolve issues, bringing the couple together when required and working with them individually when required.
If counseling is not working, then your first step is to tell your counselor. Sit down with them to determine why you are not getting anywhere, and what barriers you are finding. Your counselor may recommend visiting another counselor; they may recommend co-counseling; or they may suggest that each of you review your commitment before continuing. Whatever you do, discuss these issues with your counselor.