By Elder Dee
Marriage counselling is the involvement of a person or persons who are not the couple being counselled, to teach, rebuke, bring sanity, warn and maintain a relationship. My sharing is bible-based as I believe any counsel outside the word of God may not bring desired results because marriage is a God birthed idea. I will break counselling into 3 main categories.
As many marriage officers correctly mention that marriage is one such school that a person gets a certificate before they pass. So since people will be going into unfamiliar territory, a new environment, it’s important that they are given a bit of enlightenment to what they are likely to come across and how to circumvent, deal, avoid, face the possible challenges.
It is important to note at this point that even those who would have been married before still need counselling as that already shows they need it more for their corrections. Pre simply means before. So that is when we try and make sure they are ready for the practical examination. It is important to realise that premarital counselling does not guarantee success. Success is embedded in the attitude of the involved members of the couple towards the relationship. No matter how bad it may be in the relationship, if the attitude from both is to win and have a successful relationship then definitely it will not fail.
Corrective counselling is when we as counsellors are called to quench a burning fire. The fire might be a simple misunderstanding that has not degenerated into a physical fight or It may have become physical. Unfortunately, it happens in marriages that both parties watch the situation deteriorate and enjoy the process instead of quickly quenching it before it gets worse. Ego may cause this, and it results in awfully bad memories and wounds.
When a counsellor is called, they are supposed to use Godly wisdom to bring the situation back to rails. It is like people playing a match. They are so engrossed in the fast happening of events and may not see better opportunities for the game.
It takes the person watching from the terraces, a spectator, (counsellor) who has a better view because he is not directly involved in the match, to give better options for corrective action. It may be important to mention that it is always better to have a counsellor who has no bias toward any member of the couple. Also, prevention is better than cure.
This one is always better than corrective. If this one is frequently exercised, then there will be less of the corrective. With this type of counselling, a couple goes to the counsellor when nothing bad per se has happened. The couple just goes for routine teaching so that when they meet up with a situation they are not surprised, and they know how to deal with it. Those who’ve worked for big companies have done fire drills. This is when they teach everyone in the building how to behave and how to evacuate in case of a fire. These drills are done periodically so that everyone behaves correctly as intended in the case that the fire becomes a reality. Same with maintenance counselling. It is important as well to have more mature counsellors who have experience in most of what they are teaching than those teaching what they just read.
Experience does not necessarily mean the counsellor has been in it himself/herself but might have encountered the same from peers or might have helped someone in the same situation.
“The duty of a counsellor is not to duplicate his marriage but to avail options for the couple so that they choose the best way out of their situation.”
I as a counsellor, cannot teach other women to be like my wife. Women are different. What my wife likes is not what the woman I am counselling might like. So carefully listening and giving good options is important on the side of the counsellor.
So, a couple may schedule say once a month maintenance counselling to start with then can be spaced is the couple matures in the relationship.
So counselling is good for a healthy relationship. It lessens wounds and hurting each other. It is good as a warning before you get to actual challenges that may result in a disaster.
You can contact Elder Dee on +263 712 401 998