• The Counseling Initiative

Marriage Counseling: The Do's and Don'ts

37% of married/engaged couples reported an increase in overall satisfaction after marriage counseling. Is it a good fit for you?


1) Research your counselor before scheduling - and by research we mean call or email them. Hear their voice. Explain the situation and pay attention to their response. A degree and a license have little weight if you can't be open and honest.

2) Set up individual appointments. Before the healing process can begin, its important to "unload" some of the negative emotions and get a better understanding of how and why the issues began in the first place.

3) Be open minded and empathetic. remember: you're here to heal - not continue the war.

4) Prioritize. Determine what the biggest issues are and ask to focus on them.

5) Prepare to work. Everyone believes it's the partner that is in the wrong - but it takes 2 to tango.

6) Come to counseling even if your partner refuses. Your wellness and happiness shouldn't be dependent on their desire to participate. Your happiness is 100% your responsibility.


1)Don't put your therapist in the middle. No, we will not "explain this to your husband/wife" but we will give you the skills to do so.

2) Don't get upset if your partner wants to see a different individual therapist. Empower them to seek support - regardless of where it is.

3) Don't expect changes overnight. Habits are hard to break, and re-creating the guidelines for "acceptable behavior" takes even longer. Hang in there!

4) Don't forget to acknowledge the small positive changes. The easiest way to stay happy is to stay grateful.

50) Don't give up. it won't be easy, but nothing worth having is.