There are enough marriage self-help books at the bookstores these days that you might wonder why people would even want to bother finding a marriage counselor. Well, while these books do help with some generic marriage related problems, human relationships are complex enough that they can throw up some pretty unique problems from time to time. Anyone who has relationship problems should certainly read a few good self-help books. That's a given. When they find that those books don't seem to really apply to them though, it's time to find outside help.
The first thing anyone needs to do before finding a marriage counselor, is to really understand what it is that they should expect when they go there. There are plenty of consumer complaints against marriage counselors. Many of them are quite valid they are against counselors who practice without a license; however, many of those complaints come about simply because people don't really understand what they are supposed to expect from a counseling session.
Finding a marriage counselor isn't an easy ticket to marital bliss. A counselor is just someone who helps you see the area in which you might be going wrong when you are in the middle of an emotional disagreement with your spouse. Sometimes, marriages just dissolve because neither party is really motivated enough to find a way out. They just feel discouraged at how everything seems so difficult, and they are ready to give up a little too soon. When one person feels discouraged, the other tends to feel lost too. A marriage counselor is supposed to step in, express a great deal of confidence in the couple, and inspire the couple. That's a process that can really help.
And finally, a marriage counselor is supposed to help the couple find creative solutions to their problems. With the kind of experience and perspective a professional counselor has, he often finds it a lot easier to see through a confusing situation.
Usually, people just go about finding a marriage counselor on the Internet or in the Yellow Pages. You might think to ask friends or acquaintances for referrals. It's difficult to find an honest recommendation though, because people don't really like to say much about their marital problems. Nevertheless, it's always a good idea to ask; joining a couple of Internet forums to see if there are referrals to be had could be an idea too.
At the very least, any marriage counselor that you go to, should have a proper master's degree in family therapy, and he should have a licensed that is current. How do you know that a marriage counselor has a degree and a license? Well, take a look to see if he uses the word "therapy" in his title. If he does, that's your clue.