How to get the best free or affordable (marriage) counselling
Can I really help you - even if you only have a 'quick question'?
The likelihood is that you've landed on this page by clicking on a link in one of my emails (or via my blog).
Perhaps you were hoping that I could help you, because you're feeling hurt, let down, sad or just totally stressed out.
You may be worrying where it might all lead to and whether you, or your partner, can stick it out - your marriage, your job, your studies or even life itself.
On this page I'll help you find the right kind of free or affordable services for you. I'll also explain why I unfortunately can't offer you any personal support or advice myself, however much I'd like to.
Information needed to be able to offer you the best (marriage) counseling and advice
Every day I get requests from visitors to my site:
"Please could you just cast your eyes over this and give your advice on my situation."
"Will I ever feel 'normal' again?"
"Do you think my marriage will survive?"
"Please can you help me as I don't know where to turn."
"I've got a bit of a situation, I would love to know what you think."
"What is your opinion on this - ..." "Should I contact him/her?"
And many more requests like these.
I find it really hard that I can't respond to such calls for help with support and advice, because I so understand how frightened, hurt or angry you might be. However, there are a couple of key reasons why I can't...
Free or affordable counseling requires the same standards as fairly paid counseling
Counselling, whether it is free, affordable or fairly paid, requires the same commitment and investment from the practitioner in terms of:
... maintenance of registration
... clinical consultation/supervision
... and time to be available for - and of use to - each and every client, be that face-to-face or by email.
Even if just one of those things is missing, it's likely that any counselling you receive won't be as beneficial for you as it could be.
Many a counsellor or psychotherapist offers time to a charitable organisation as well as running a private practice, or like I do - spends time offering free quality information in some other way.
I personally spend most of my working days developing my website and regularly adding new articles with advice for all kinds of problems. The majority of the information here is freely available, but this does mean I don't have any time left over to give high quality personalised advice.
Here's what would be required if I'd offer you counselling...
To get the full picture of your situation
I would need to know tons about you if I were to be able to help you personally.
I'd have to ask you many questions to really understand how you (and your partner) feel and manage in your own particular situation: how you cope or not, what your hopes and dreams are. I would need to know the where, when and what of your behaviour (and that of your partner). You can perhaps imagine how much time that would take to do per email!
I hope this page helps you to understand why I really can't answer any questions by email or in any other way.
My time is best spent developing this website to the best of my ability, so that as many people as possible - across the world - can benefit from the free information and advice I provide.
I have personally carefully reviewed a number of self-development and marriage/relationship products that are far more affordable in comparison with paid counselling services. Most of the ones I reviewed didn't cut it - the few that did I have made available for you via my website.
I know you can make huge changes - all by yourself!
With some help, you can be your own counsellor!
Helping and 'working' on yourself (yes, I know it sounds boring, probably not what you want and possibly 'fluffy'!) is the most affordable and effective way to bring about positive changes in your life! You may not even need any free or affordable counselling at all.
To be your own counsellor, all you need is - in no particular order:
- The willingness and ability to be dead-honest with yourself
- A non-judgemental attitude towards yourself, your partner and others
- To be able to separate the problem (behaviour) from the person (in other words: there is more to you, and your partner, than the issue)
- A willingness to accept that neither of you are necessarily 'wrong', but that you're both looking at the problem from a different angle
- A willingness to stop blaming
- Courage! You'll have to do something different if you want another outcome. If you keep doing the same things then nothing will change
- Accept that you do not have any control over someone else
Here's how to get a head-start
Now, I suspect that you may need a bit of a head-start, and this is where I can help you because my website is packed full of information and advice.
So, do keep exploring the site!
Read all you can - even if you think it doesn't apply to you, because it can help 'embed' new knowledge. Reading and re-reading stuff helps you to remember it.
Spend time imagining how you'd apply the advice you read to your situation. Imagine yourself acting out the information in rich, detailed, movie-form - as if you're already in that situation.
Get additional help - talk to one of the online counsellors here - you won't have to commit to lengthy ongoing sessions.
Whatever you do, do something! Don't keep putting it off - the problem won't go away by itself.
Where to get free or affordable counselling
Now you know that unfortunately I personally can't offer you the help you need, have a look at my page on getting the right kind of counselling for you.
Here are some other ideas:
- Sign up for this three-part video series with tons of value for free
- You can get free or affordable help by googling your particular issue - be it a relationship problem like infidelity, or an alcohol addiction or any other specific mental health problem
- In addition, your place of work might provide free access to a counselling service
- Your medical centre may offer affordable counselling sessions
- Your insurance package may include 'free' access to a limited number of sessions with a counsellor or therapist
- Your church may have trained helpers - professionals or volunteers
- Specialist, often free, services are available in many towns (and online) for you if you are in an abusive relationship (in which case specially trained police officers can be of huge help too)
- Someone in your own environment may be able to offer a listening ear, without feeling the need to start off-loading their own troubles! Have a look out for that one non-judgemental soul who's able to impart that little bit of wisdom that could just make all the difference to you.
I do wish you all the very best for your future happiness. Remember - nothing lasts in life and this difficult time for you will pass too.
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