6 months ago Roger and Dianne called me to discuss some difficulties they’ve been experiencing during their 12 year marriage. At the end of our conversation Roger told me, “Glen, we’ve already been to 2 marriage counselors. This whole process has been more frustrating than it should be. I like your experience and I like what I read about Well Marriage Center, so we’re inclined to give this one more chance, but we’re pretty vulnerable here. Why is a good marriage counselor so hard to find?”
“Why is a good marriage counselor so hard to find?”
I told Roger I appreciated his candor and I could understand his frustration. And I could. I’m always disappointed to hear when couples can’t find the help they need when they’re open and ready for it. Unfortunately, Roger and Dianne aren’t alone. We often get calls from couples who have been to one or two counselors before at some point during their relationship. Their frustration is palpable. So why is a good marriage counselor so hard to find and what can you look for when searching out the good ones?
I’m a big fan of Malcolm Gladwell – brilliant thinker, researcher, and writer. In his best-selling book Outliers, Gladwell makes the convincing case that to truly become an expert in your field requires a devotion to your craft of at least 10,000 hours. I love this premise…I think those of us working towards and achieving that “expert” label understand at a deep level how much we’ve learned and how much we still have to learn. And it’s not just experience…it’s how often are you practicing this craft and how quickly are you building towards those 10,000 hours.
One of my biggest excitements about starting Well Marriage Center was that we could focus 100% on relationships. We could devote 100% of our energy, effort, research, and training to couples. Imagine how you can help couples with that kind of attention! While most therapists offer marriage counseling on the side, we could offer marriage counseling as what we do exclusively…100% of the time! I think this is something to pay attention to when looking for the best marriage counselors. How do they spend their “hours” each week and are they building to those 10,000?
The happy ending for Roger and Dianne is that we were able to give them the help they needed. Their marriage is doing remarkably well and we’re celebrating their success with them!
Marriage counseling is an art form in which the counselor helps guide the couple through (often) sticky, messy, and intense emotions and dynamics…all while holding the hope for their relationship. It’s an intricate dance and I hope you trust only the best to help you navigate your most primary and intimate relationship. The good news at Well Marriage Center – we’re all either above that 10,000 hour mark or building quickly and exclusively towards it! We’re all specialist here…