The key question that is asked about marriage counseling is, “Does it work?” Having lived in Irvine, CA for many years, I am asked this question by those I come in contact with. Their skepticism is well founded in that we so often see failed marriages even after months, or even years, of marriage counseling.
As a personal development and coaching specializing in family issues, I have found that many people before they come to me have had many attempts at professional help with no or little results. After a while, many people beginning to lose hope and stop expecting results, setting instead for “coping skills” to somehow manage through their life with less than what they wanted from their life.
I try a different approach. Rather than coping with the problem or find numerous “explanations” to help us live with the problem, I work with couples and individuals to find the root of the problem. All problems have a source. When we engage in solving a marriage problem, we must first and foremost explore where it all started. Like a garden hose that spouts water, out of control, we simply find the faucet and turn it off. Now that is easier and that analogy has its limitations, of course. But nonetheless, there is truth in that when one discovers the source of a problem one can understand it much better, and see how to eliminate the power of the problem.
Living the good life in Irvine, Newport Beach, or anywhere else in Orange County does not assure success and happiness in one’s marriage. In fact, too many divorces occur right here in Orange County even though we have good weather, access to all the things we need, good jobs and fine schools. It is easy to believe that prosperity, plastic surgery and a big home will somehow bring happiness, security and stability. But often it is these very things that brings about jealousy, stress, arguments and lawyers.
When marriages become broken it will eventually adversely affect the happiness of their children, bring about more financial worries and troubles, as well as open the door to drug and alcohol abuse. All this can be avoided with competent counseling that understands the dynamics of effective communication and human relations based on trust and mutual cooperation.