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When Counseling Doesn’t Work, It’s Usually Because of These Factors

Marriage counseling — or single counseling for that matter — often gets placed in an unfair position. When it works, it’s the best thing since sliced bread. When there are no immediate results, it’s the worst thing ever. If you’ve ever gone to marriage counseling, then there is a good chance that it didn’t “work” in the sense that it saved your marriage. That doesn’t mean it failed altogether, but more on that in a bit. For now, let’s look at some of the primary factors why your counseling “failed.”

1. You expected too much.

You can’t go in to a marital counseling session expecting all your troubles to go away overnight, or to even be on the right path. Effective counseling is a journey to achieve understanding and growth. You usually enter counseling from a point of desperation and confusion as to what went wrong. Therefore, it’s unfair to blame the counselor if you’re not beaming after that first session (or the first several).

2. You were unwilling to accept responsibility. 

Many people who believe counseling is necessary for themselves or a relationship get frustrated because they go to a therapy session that was THEIR idea and find out that they have issues which need to be addressed. Counseling is not a customer service business. You’re not always right. Some individuals simply have too difficult of a time accepting personal responsibility, and if that describes you, then don’t be surprised when your counseling fails to deliver.

3. You worried more about your spouse’s duties than your own.

If you’re constantly wondering when the counselor is going to “lower the boom” on your spouse for all the wrongs that you see in them, then you will probably be sorely disappointed. Few marital counselors can provide service to two people and not see the faults of both. If you’re so hung up on your spouse’s, then the chances are good that you will ignore the things you need to work on, thus causing the counseling to “fail.”

4. You gave up too easily.

If you quit going because you didn’t hear what you wanted to hear or your marriage broke up and you no longer find it useful, then you have given up too easily. Counseling doesn’t work wonders overnight. It builds you into a mentally stronger person over time. But if you’re not putting the time in, you’ll never get there.

Do you feel like counseling failed you? Did you recognize any of the above factors in yourself or your spouse? Share your experiences in the comments section.

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