What Marriage and Family Counselors Can and Cannot Do

Marriage and Family Counselors

So you’ve decided to get some help for your marriage and your family. Well done! This is a good decision. After struggling and stumbling along for only you know how long, you are ready to admit that you need some help, and this is a big step in the right direction. So with great hope and expectations, you arrive in the counselor’s rooms. At this point, it is important to be clear about what you can realistically expect from your counselor, otherwise, you may be setting yourself up for some serious disappointments. There are a lot of things that marriage and family counsellors can do to help you, but there are also some things which they cannot do.


Let’s take a closer look at some of these:

They cannot fix your marriage for you they can help you to see what you may need to do to fix your marriage. They cannot do the hard work for you; you need to be willing to put in the effort of soul searching and being brutally honest with yourself and your loved ones about your mistakes.


They cannot read your mind and find out things unless you are willing to bring them out into the open and deal with them.

They cannot “sort out” your difficult spouse and make them be a better husband or wife; each one must be willing to address their own issues in their own life before pointing fingers at others.


Marriage and family relationships can sometimes feel like running a long distance marathon. You cannot complete the race without your team of “seconds” or assistants who come alongside you at strategic points, giving you water and vitamin drinks, sponging you down and urging you on, encouraging you to keep going. This is the role of the counselor; helping and encouraging you, giving you useful tips and supplying the vital nourishment you need at that point in time, be it emotional, physical, psychological or spiritual. But it is still your race to run, and it is up to you to complete the marathon of cultivating healthy relationships in your marriage and family.


Rosemary K. is a writer and mother of two who has studied theology and psychology. Having been in an abusive marriage for twenty-one years, she is now free to share what she has learned and is still learning. Her aim is to help those experiencing any form of abuse or co-dependency. She is passionate about healthy relationships which are truthful and loving.

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