Many people are often anxious prior to their first session with a marriage counselor. Couples who’ve agreed to marriage counseling are already on edge. Having to experience an encounter with a third party plus having to discuss their own issues within their marriage can put anyone on edge.
Dispelling the Fear of Your First Christian Marriage Counseling Session
One way to avoid or at least reduce the stress of your first marriage counseling appointment is to research and select the marriage counselor or group together. Engaging in the selection with your spouse provides at least the agreement of selection.
Ask a trusted friend for a recommendation. This is often the best way to find a counselor. If you are uneasy discussing your marriage issues with friends, do an internet search for marriage counseling associations such as the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (www.aamft.org) or The American Association of Christian Counselors (www.aacc.net).
Investigate the association sites and search for a local office. Once found, read through their website. Many have FAQs pages where you can read and review many of the standard questions their clients ask. Get familiar with the local office by gaining knowledge of their practice.
Having done your research and reviewed the counselor of your choice provides the first step of confidence. A good suggestion to dispel fear of the first counseling session is to agree with your spouse that you will table all objections until the first session is completed. Should one of you feel uncomfortable, the option of beginning the search for another counselor can begin.
Many couples feel apprehensive about their first counseling session. This is normal and to be expected. The first step is the hardest. Just remember that counselors are in business to help you and your spouse to bring about effective communication and begin to restore your marriage to a healthy state.
If you and your spouse have researched the counselor prior to your first visit, you should both be confident in your selection. Trust them and engage in the conversation. You may find that your anxiety about the first session was unfounded making the follow up visits much easier and stress free.
Christian Marriage Counseling Questions You May Be Asked
In your first marriage counseling session, each partner may be asked their views on what a Christian relationship entails, what the role of each partner should be, and how disputes should be settled.
You may also be asked how big a role religion plays in your life as well as your day-to-day relationship with your partner. Would your relationship with your spouse be any different if the two of you were not religious?
Many people often disapprove of divorce for religious reasons, and your marriage counselor may delve into some “stickier” issues right off the bat, including whether the two of you are really acting like two partners who love each other and want to fix your marriage, or two separate individuals who are trying to repair a sinking ship for the flimsy reasons of peer pressure or outside opinions.
You might want to spend some time thinking about the true answers to these questions before you go into your first Christian marriage counseling session – but keep in mind, the truth may hurt, but it will ultimately make you a better individual, spouse, and Christian.
“But at the beginning of creation God ‘made them male and female’. For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh. So they are no longer two, but one. Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate.”
Mark 10:6-9, The Holy Bible, New International Version (NIV)