It is a general notion that these professionals can fix your marriage or can take initiatives to undo the marital problems. But this notion is neither true nor realistic. It is you who has to fix or mend your issues in your marriage. No one can help you better than you.
However, when it goes beyond the control of the spouses; one or the other or both approaches to a professional. Now the role of the professional is quite defined based on what and how they have learned to help you out. There is no doubt in that.
The help you can get or the roles that a marriage counsellor or a therapist performs are simple and structured:
1. As you may be stressed due to the problem in your marriage and it might have multiplied, causing you to get confused regarding where it actually started. Here the professional can give you a therapeutic or neutral space to explore and understand such individual or interpersonal conflicts and crisis.
2. Further, because of the strained relationship, either of you might be not able to or feeling difficulty in expressing and communicating your part of grievances mostly taming from emotional issues. The professional will help you to learn methods that can encourage or will help you in facilitating clear communication.
3. These professionals are also trained to help in mediating discussion to help the couples set realistic, objective and specific boundaries, term and conditions that can help in resolving the marital issue.
4. They further can suggest if any couple needs any psychiatric consultation depending on situations like substance abuse issue, any other mental health complication, that might be causing trouble in the marriage. However, they are not responsible to diagnose or treat these conditions like how a psychiatrist does, unless the marriage counsellor/therapist is also a psychiatrist.
5. They also help in curving out the goals and objectives to work on the issues that need immediate attention. They help you to become thoughtful and to focus on what is important at present in order to work on.
Besides, you also need to pay attention that, marital therapy or so-called couple counselling is a process, not an event, you need to invest time and patience if you are willing to work on your marital problems.
Here, the professional is not a fairy who will just use the magic wand and undo your problems. So whenever you approach a marriage counsellor/therapist, keep this in mind that they are facilitators who will guide and facilitate you to approach to a realistic solution but it will be you who has to do it, not them.