How to Know Your Marriage Counselor Is in Your Corner

Counselor and happy young hispanic couple after effective marital therapy

The vast majority of marriage counselors earnestly want to help their clients achieve their relationship goals. They make a living at it, but it is not about the money. It’s about helping. Unfortunately, there are counselors who see what they do is merely a job and nothing else. They are only in the client’s corner as long as the client keeps paying.

The world needs professional counselors. There is nothing wrong with getting paid for marriage counseling. But still, the best counselors are those who demonstrate they are in the client’s corner. They are the ones who do what they do because of a genuine desire to help.

If you were ever to need individual or couple’s counseling, would you know how to tell that your counselor is in your corner? The counselors at Relationships & More, a New York area counseling center serving Westchester County, say there are some telltale signs:

1. An Effort to Make You Comfortable

Every trained counselor knows that clients are in a better position to succeed if they are comfortable. In light of that, a counselor truly in your corner seeks to make you feel comfortable from the very first contact. That effort is consistent throughout all your counseling sessions. Any discomfort you might feel will be the result of dealing with the realities of your problems rather than something the counselor does or doesn’t do.

2. Help with Establishing Goals

One of the defining differences between counseling and therapy is the setting of goals. Counseling almost always deals with specific issues, like marriage problems. Goals are set so that both counselor and client know when success has been achieved.

A counselor with your best interests at heart helps you set goals early on. They then help you work toward those goals with the result being the conclusion of your counseling. If your counselor leaves things open-ended for too long, they may only be interested in getting paid.

3. A Genuine Effort to Understand

Next up, a counselor who is genuinely in your corner seeks to understand what is going on. If you are involved in couple’s counseling, they also do their best to understand both you and your spouse or partner. They even seek to understand what you hope to get out of counseling.

4. A Genuine Effort to Learn

Despite the fact that counselors are trained and licensed, they don’t know everything. A desire to truly help leads them to continue learning whenever possible. This carries through even into counseling sessions.

If your counselor is in your corner, they will do their utmost to learn everything they can about you. They will want to know your thoughts, your emotions, your habits, etc. Why? Because all these things play into how you approach your relationships. The idea is to identify unhealthy habits, thoughts, or actions so that they can be corrected.

5. Helping You Work through Problems

This last one is a big one: a counselor who is truly in your corner does not listen to your story and then spend the rest of the time talking at you. In fact, the most successful counselors do very little speaking at all. They prefer to ask thoughtful questions that encourage clients to explore for themselves what is going on. In such cases, the counselor doesn’t really solve any problems. They lead clients through the process of solving the problems on their own.

Thankfully, most counselors are truly in their client’s corners. And now you know how to figure out what kind of counselor you are working with.

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