Are you experiencing problems in your marriage? Are you trying to find a good Christian counselor? Are you searching for a good therapist to help you save your marriage? Did you just discover your husband has had an affair or has a pornography addiction and you want help? Or, are you needing a Christian marriage counselor to help you deal with communication issues?
Finding a good Christian counselor is not easy. Not all counselors are the same. There are some counselors who will tell you just want you want to hear, not what you need to hear. Then, there are others who just aren’t equipped to provide you with the necessary tools and strength to save your marriage. And, there are a few counselors just do not provide adequate services. There are plenty of “bad” counselors out there in the world, just like there are bad hairdressers, doctors and teachers.
But, of course, there are many of wonderful Christian counselors around as well. There are thousands of gifted therapists who have saved many, many marriages. Never give up on trying to find a good Christian counselor.
The best way to locate a good therapist is through word of mouth. Obviously, this can be a little tricky. You probably do not want to tell friends and family that you are having marriage problems. After all, you don’t want to post on your Facebook status, “We’re having marriage problems. Anyone know of a good Christian therapist?” This is something you probably only want to share with very close, trusted friends. If you have a trusted friend, ask him/her if he/she knows of any good Christian counselors. You might want to remind him/her to keep this confidential.
If you don’t have a close friend, the next step would be to consult with local minsters in your area. Grab a phone book and call at least five churches in the area. Call the ones with the biggest phone book ads first. Ask the church secretary if you can speak with the minister or pastor for a moment. Ask him if he could provide referrals of a good, effective Christian marriage counselor in the area. Explain that you want a counselor who will not advocate divorce and will strive to help you save your marriage. Call as many churches as necessary. If one counselor is recommended more than others, try that one first.
If you don’t feel comfortable with calling churches, you might try e-mailing. Some churches provide their minister’s e-mail addresses on the website.
If you’ve called many churches and still don’t have some good referrals, the next step would be to call a DivorceCare leader. However, you need to stress you are looking for a marriage counselor, not a divorce counselor. Visit the DivorceCare website here and click on “Find a Group.” Call the group leader and ask for referrals.
If that doesn’t help, you can also try asking anonymously on local message boards. Try asking on your city’s forum at the city data message boards here. Also, you might ask on a local Cafemom group in your area here.
Another idea is to call 211. 211 is not available in all areas, however. To learn more about 211, read this article here.
If you live in a very big city (say Houston, San Francisco) it won’t hurt to ask on general message boards for Christians. One forum to try is the Marriage Bed website here.
If none of the above tips help, you can find some Christian counselor listings from the Focus on the Family website. While these are not endorsed by Focus on the Family, many Christian couples have found wonderful counselors through their referral program. Visit the website here and click on “marriage help.” If you scroll down, you should see a link to “connect you with a respected counselor.”
After you’ve had several referrals, choose one to call and ask for an appointment. Remember, the first session is almost a job interview for the counselor. If you do not feel comfortable with him/her, then by all means try a new one. You might even need to find a new counselor after several weeks or month of therapy. It is not uncommon to switch marriage counselors until you’ve finally found one that is a good match.
These are just a few tips on how to find a good Christian counselor. Remember, there are thousands of other Christians who have been in your shoes. Never give up. Take it one day at a time.
My past experience as a social worker