Putting a ring on each other’s fingers is just the beginning of a journey with your spouse. And marriage is for better and for worse. So, when the challenges come, it’s refreshing to know that there are professionals that can help you get your marriage back on track.
If you’re an African American, going for counseling might be challenging because you want to avoid comments and assumptions that sound racist.
Fortunately, many black mental health professionals are trained as marriage counselors. In this article, we’ll take a look at all you need to know about black marriage counseling – check out the ‘Black Couples Counseling Near Me‘ post that explains where to find the right counselor.
Why Some Black Couples Prefer an African American Counselor?
Although there are several qualified and experienced white marriage therapists, some couples will prefer a black professional counselor, life coach, or mental health professional. Let’s dive into some reasons for this trend.
Couples Want to Avoid Stereotypes Associated With Blacks
The news is littered with stories of blacks being misunderstood or accused falsely because of the color of their skin. Over time, this has created fear in the hearts of many African Americans, and married couples are not left out.
African American couples are likely to choose an African American therapist because counseling sessions will be void of any prejudice that has to do with color.
It’s Easy to Build Trust
As a black couple, it’s easy to connect with an African American marriage counselor because they can easily relate to your experiences and challenges. There are certain experiences that only blacks will understand.
Relationship counseling involves being transparent with your counselor. This is going to be difficult if you feel your therapist misunderstands everything you’re trying to say.
How to Find Black Marriage Counselors Near You
So you’ve decided to try black marriage counseling. The next thing is finding the right counselor. To make it easy for you, we’ve outlined some ways to help you find black marriage therapists near you.
One of the easiest ways to find black counseling services near you is by using search engines like Google. For example, search “black marriage counselor + your location,” and you’ll get links to websites of black counselors close to you.
Also, you can try asking your friends and family for recommendations. Before you consider this, ask your partner if they’re comfortable with you asking friends and family for recommendations on good black marriage counselors.
TV and Newspaper Advertisements
Although it’s not the best way to find black marriage counseling near you, it can be effective if you know what to look out for.
Don’t just go by what you read in the newspapers or see on your TV. You must do further checks by interviewing the marriage counselor to ensure they have extensive experience. In addition to that, feel free to ask for references.
When Should You Go for Marriage Counseling?
Marriage involves two people coming together and agreeing to stay with each other for the rest of their lives. Although this might look easy, relationship issues are bound to arise.
For this reason, counseling before and during your marriage shouldn’t be overlooked. So, continue reading to find out when it’s time for you and your partner to go for marriage counseling.
Little or No Communication
Communication plays an important role in your marriage. Apart from the fact that it draws the two of you closer, it also builds trust. Without communication, it’s easy to start making assumptions because no one is talking about anything.
When you notice that you speak to each other less, you should see a marriage counselor. Sometimes, the cause of poor communication can be traced back to past experiences and conflicting role expectations.
Counselors are trained to identify and help solve problems, like lack of communication in your marriage. So talk with your partner as both of you should agree to see a marriage counselor.
Lack of Intimacy
When you’re newly married, there’s a lot of excitement, and the level of intimacy is high. However, as time goes on, the level of physical intimacy between you and your spouse can decrease.
This is not abnormal; it’s quite common in relationships. However, if it’s severe, then you need to see a marriage counselor. It’s easier if both of you have noticed the lack of physical intimacy and are willing to work on it.
You might decide to ignore the lack of physical intimacy in your marriage, but what is a relationship without any intimacy?
Secrets and Lies
The very day you tied the knot with your partner at the altar, you made a vow to be honest and transparent at all times. So, you should remember that trust is one of the factors that contribute to a successful marriage.
If you start finding it easy to tell lies or keep secrets from your partner, then all isn’t well with your marriage.
Imagine how you’ll feel if you notice your spouse is keeping secrets from you, it can tear down the wall of trust you’ve spent months or years building. So, you should book a therapy session with a counselor before things get out of hand.
How to Prepare Yourself for Marriage Counseling
We can understand; it’s not easy talking about private matters with a stranger even if that person has been trained to give couples counseling.
But, if you’re going for couples therapy soon, consider the following points that will help you prepare for counseling.
Ensure That Your Spouse Agrees With Seeing a Marriage Counselor
It’s called couples therapy for a reason. To make sure that your therapy sessions are effective, both of you must be committed. However, if your partner is reluctant to attend marriage counseling, don’t be too quick to judge.
Find out their concerns and talk to them. If it’s possible, you can have your counselor address any questions or concerns your spouse might have before the session starts.
Be Prepared to Share Private Information
Your counselor might ask about information outside your marriage. For example, they would want to know your family history, as well as events that happened before you met your spouse.
These details will give them a better understanding of the situation. Be prepared to take a trip down memory lane. It might not be easy, especially if you’ve to talk about traumatic experiences. Feel free to let your counselor know if you need a breather.
Understand That It’s Okay to Be Nervous on Your First Appointment
Don’t be too hard on yourself when you appear nervous on your first appointment. Resist the urge to think that being nervous means you’re weak; rather, it shows you’re human.
Plus, you’re about to start a journey that might be foreign to you. So, it’s normal to feel a bit anxious. Also, talking to your spouse about your anxiety can help you relax.
Overall, we’ve looked at why some black couples prefer black relationship counselors and how to find them near you.
If you can’t find good relationship counselors near you, you can opt for far away ones that offer online sessions.
Deciding with your partner to go for relationship counseling is one of the best decisions you’ll ever make. If choosing a black therapist will make you more comfortable, don’t think twice about it. Your mental health is important.