Best Marriage Counseling Near Me
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Marriage counseling near me is one of the most common search terms on Google.
Yet finding the best marriage counseling near you can be challenging.
I wasted a lot of time and money, trying to find the right marriage counseling near me.
Often, we don’t have time and money to waste, and divorce is in the top five traumas in life for a reason.
A happy marriage increases our well-being, health, and we live longer.
In contrast, a toxic marriage does the opposite, so getting this right is essential, and the “right” marriage counselor can make all the difference.
So here are three tips I used to find the best marriage counseling near me.
“Marriage Counseling Near Me” Tips
Marriage counseling near me – tip 1
Quality content does matter; however, it’s often more important who and how the counselor communicates the information.
Research has shown that marriage counseling results highly depend on how much you trust and connect with the counselor.
We can be told the same information from two different people, and yet with one, it sticks and motivate us to change, and with the other, it does not.
This is why I try to incorporate analogies and stories into my programs and use demonstrations to make learning more effective.
If you are considering working with a marriage counselor, then look up that company or person and see what they have on YouTube, Podcasts, Blogs, or Webinars to know if you want to work with that person.
Or check out my programs here.
Marriage counseling near me – tip 2
The world is full of opinions, and there are so many marriage counselors and methods that are not based on research or have been shown to produce results.
I don’t believe in wasting your money and results matter, and that’s why I focus on simple, practical, and research-based tools from many different marriage counseling methods such as Emotional Focused Therapy, John Gottman, Esther Perel, and more.
There is no one method that is the best, and they all have strengths and weaknesses and focus on different aspects of relationships, so why not use tools from all of them and not be a slave to one method.
That’s what I have decided to do.
Take the most effective tools from different methods that have been researched and shown to work and use them to address all areas of relationships.
When trying to find a marriage counselor, see if they have expertise in the specific area you want to work on and use methods proven to work.
Marriage counseling near me – tip 3
A search for “marriage counseling near me” severely limits your options, so I would recommend considering online marriage counseling as this will expand your choices of who you work with.
Words are cheap.
We live in a world full of promises.
If you consider working with a marriage counselor, see if they offer value upfront to know if you like working with them or their program’s quality.
My online marriage counseling programs either have a free trial or money-back guarantee, as I only believe you should pay if you get value from my work.
If someone is not willing to offer this, then they don’t believe enough in their work.
Below you find some free tips if you are not ready to join my online marriage counseling programs or work with me yet.
As we grow up, we learn what is acceptable and expected of us.
We try to fit within these boundaries and hide away the sides of ourselves that others believe are not valued or accepted.
Knowing how vital feeling connected and intimate is to our well-being, it seems we are out of balance and need to restore our ability to connect on an intimate level.
Many of us have lost the ability to put our guard down, even with the people we know and trust, leaving us living very numb, cold, and disconnected lives.
Intimacy is vulnerable self-disclosure that is meet with acceptance.
We all want to be seen and accepted, and when we have that experience, it creates intimacy and connection.
Intimacy is the most significant contributor to our happiness.
If you want to be happy, you must learn to be vulnerable.
When we can share the vulnerable parts of ourselves that we hide away and meet with someone who understands and accepts those parts of us, we feel deeply connected, and we experience intimacy in its purest form.
It’s my interpretation of love.
It’s also profoundly healing and makes us more confident, self-accepting, and loving.
For intimacy to happen, we need three things:
- We need a way to evaluate when it’s safe to be vulnerable
- We need to develop our ability to be vulnerable
- We need to be exposed to someone that shows acceptance towards our vulnerability
Let’s look at the first point.
It’s not safe to share your vulnerability with everyone.
Some people are judgemental, and rather than give you acceptance; they will judge and shame you and make you feel even worse.
Some people will take advantage of the vulnerabilities you share and use them against you.
Signs to not trust someone with your vulnerability:
Do they often gossip or talk badly about others?
If they tend to gossip negatively about other people, then it shows a judgemental attitude and that they likely share this judgment with others.
It would be unwise to share vulnerability with someone that consistently acts in this way.
We all show judgment at some point. We are human.
Don’t discard someone for one judgmental comment but watch out for patterns and repeated behavior.
Do they show a judgemental attitude towards others?
This should be a significant warning sign and would often correlate with malicious gossip about others. Still, it can also show up as judgmental attitudes towards strangers, as a co-worker, someone at a party, or a person on the street.
If someone consistently shows judgmental views or opinions about others, I would NOT recommend sharing vulnerabilities with them.
These people are NOT safe to be intimate with.
Signs to trust someone with your vulnerability:
They mainly talk positively about other people?
If they consistently talk positively about others, then that is one sign that they are safe to share your vulnerabilities with.
Do they show acceptance towards others?
Now this a great sign of someone safe to be intimate with.
When they talk about others and share opinions, do they show acceptance towards others, even those they disagree with?
If they do, then this is a good indicator for someone safe to share your vulnerability with.
They stand up for people that are being judged by others?
This is another great indicator that someone can be trusted with your vulnerability.
Someone who both shows acceptance and actively stands up to judgment is as safe as it gets when we choose who to share vulnerabilities with.
Share less vulnerable vulnerabilities with them first, and see how they react.
Despite all your observations above, there is no 100% way to ensure someone will accept what you share before you share it, so I would recommend testing their acceptance yourself.
If you can categorize your vulnerabilities from 1 – 10, 1 being only a little vulnerable and ten being, you would feel devastated if it got shamed or rejected.
Then start by sharing level 1 vulnerabilities, and as you get the acceptance, you can move up to level 2 and so on.
It’s also wise to tell your partner what you are about to share is vulnerable to you, so they know their reaction matters more than usual.
Like all new skills, it takes practice.
If you have been living most of your life behind a wall protecting yourself from judgment, then it might take a little time to learn this skill, so don’t be hard on yourself.
It’s not complicated, but it does require letting go of control.
We grow up in a culture that teaches us to be self-sufficient and not depend on others to be individuals in charge of our lives.
Vulnerability is this thing we are supposed to hide from everyone.
At job interviews, we only show our “best side.”
To a new potential partner, we only show our “socially acceptable side.”
What if we instead showed up from vulnerability?
How much more connected might we feel to others and help them open more too?
How much happier might we feel?
We learn to be in control always.
Control makes us feel safe, so letting go of control is inherently scary, as others can impact us more.
Vulnerability is also where we can experience deep intimacy and connection, so never taking the risk is a life lived in an emotional desert.
Within the context of two, love can flourish in a way it can’t in any other way.
It is a human experience, and it’s an experience that needs to be shared.
If your partner does not feel good about parts of themselves, then telling them to accept or love themselves will not help.
Instead, give them an experience of acceptance and love.
This brings me to the next point.
Both you and your partner need to be or become accepting and non-judgemental people for this deep sharing and intimacy to develop.
So, here are some ways you can develop your acceptance.
I have come up with two ways that have helped me and others I mentor become more accepting.
Imagine being someone else
As we live in our own experience, it can be hard to understand other people with different backgrounds.
Therefore, I find it useful sometimes to imagine being someone else and think about:
How did they grow up?
What impacted them to become like that?
What shaped them to become who they are?
Understanding other people’s story allows us to understand them better and step away from the narrow-minded view of judgment.
It allows us to see the full person and their views and actions in the context of their story.
It’s hard to hate or dislike someone once we know their story and their “why.”
There is a clear tendency to become more judgemental the less we have experienced different cultures.
It also dispels many of the fears created by a lack of knowledge and understanding.
There is a reason that people that travel more tend to be less judgemental.
We live in a culture that is so full of shame.
Shame is used to socialize us and make us behave in a way that some feel is beneficial to the group.
Shame often disconnects us from our bodily sensations and limits our self-expression.
It’s one of the critical reasons behind sexual dysfunction and the inability to express our needs clearly.
Looking down and avoiding eye contact is one of the clear signs of shame.
It means we don’t have to witness the rejection from others that we expect.
The best way to overcome shame is to expose it to a supportive, loving, and accepting person who will stay connected to you and perhaps show you that your needs are normal, healthy, and accepted.
Shame Share exercise
Sit with your partner and start with silence and eye contact.
Share something you feel shamed about and don’t usually want to share with others, or you don’t want others to know about.
Once you have shared this, look your partner in their eyes and feel their acceptance of you.
As the listener, you have to stay present with your partner and look them in their eyes and feel your acceptance of what they expressed.
It’s widespread to get shame-over, like a hangover the day after or in a few days.
You might feel regret having shared this and feeling vulnerable and exposed.
Just know that is normal and part of releasing the shame.