. Each reply must be at least 400 words. Each
reply must cite at least 1 source. These discussion board activities are
designed to allow the student to discuss, articulate, analyze, and integrate
the various aspects of marriage and family counseling as well as learn how
faith can be integrated within counseling. due 945pm central time
reply to this student discussion..
Question 1: Does a Typical Course of Counseling Need to be Altered for This Couple?
Every couple that walks into a counselor’s door, has a specific story, background, and conflict. There should never be a “cookie-cutter” approach to marriage counseling, because each couple needs to be assessed individually. The counselor needs to be trained in a variety of methods and approaches, and have a variety of resources to meet the needs of each couple. “One of the most important things you can do for the couple entering your office is to tailor the treatment to their particular style, needs, and values” (Ripley & Worthington, p. 94, 2014). According to Ripley and Worthington (2014), there are five common issues that will need a tailored approach for counseling:
- A highly unmotivated partner (pg. 94). An unmotivated partner will be an immediate stumbling block to any attempt to engage in counseling or treatment. “People will not change unless they want to change and think that they can change” (Fryling & Fryling, 1984).
- A partner that has difficult characterological issues (pg.94).
- A partner or couple that has difficulty with forgiveness (pg. 95). According to Riley and Worthington (2014), these difficulties are often rooted in a previous negative experience with offenses and forgiveness. We know that if a marriage is going to be restored, forgiveness will be the key to the restoration. “Forgiveness, along with confession, is a necessary part of restoration. The wounded person can only forgive through an act of grace, dependent on the work of God” (Fryling & Fryling, 1984).
- A partner or couple who has marked difficulty engaging in empathy and compassion (pg. 95).
- A partner or partners that have a trauma history (pg. 95).
In each one of these situations the counseling approach is going to have be altered for success. I believe many couples have found counseling an unsuccessful venture, because the counselor did not alter their chosen method and procedure to meet the needs of their unique situation. I can see this happening especially when a couple seeks counseling from an unprepared or untrained pastor. I am fully aware that Pastors have an overwhelming amount of responsibilities and cares in every church, but they must understand that a “one size fits all” approach to marriage counseling will not help many couples. Those in the ministry must be prepared to take the time to adapt our counseling method and activities to meet the needs of each individual couple. The goal is to see reconciliation, and counselors must do everything possible to reach that goal with every couple.
Fryling, Alice & Fryling Robert (1984). A Handbook for Married Couples. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press.
Ripley, J. S., & Worthington, E. L. (2014). Couple therapy: A new hope-focused approach. Downers Grove, IL: Inter Varsity Press.