What does a marriage counselor do

When it comes to being a marriage counselor, there are skills and traits you will be required to have a successful career in this profession. As a counselor, you will be charge of helping couple’s manage and overcome issues that occur in marriage. You will help figure out what the issues by listening to both parties and asking questions that relate to the situation. If you are interested in having a career as a marriage counselor, here are some the main skills and traits you will need in order to be successful.
• You must be an active listener. In order to solve your couple’s issues you will need to listen and pay full attention to everything they are saying. You will need to make sure you understand what is being said and when is the right time to ask the appropriate questions. There will be certain couples who might be more difficult to handle and you will need to be able to handle the situation with a light hand.
• You must be socially aware and perceptive. One of the main skills you need to have is to be socially aware. You will need to always be aware of the reactions of other’s and have an understanding why they reacted in that manner. Despite whether it’s right or wrong, you need to skill understand why they reacted the way they did and how to solve it. As a counselor, you aren’t there to point fingers. You are there to help your couple overcome the situation as a whole. You must also have the ability to get the type of vibe your patients are sending. Are they stiff and uncomfortable? Sad? Angry? All these things come into play when it comes to helping your patients. By being socially aware, you will know what to say, when to say it.
• You must be able to persuade and negotiate. There will be people who will be hard to convince. However, you must persevere and find ways to persuade them that perhaps their way is not the best way and that there are more options and answers. You must have a way to gently persuade them to look at things differently in order to reconcile the differences that are causing the issue.
• You must be a critical thinker. Just because you wouldn’t necessarily think of something a certain way, it doesn’t mean that somebody else doesn’t. You need to always be a critical thinker when it comes to your patients. Take the time to deeply understand why they think the way they do. Ask yourself, what happened that caused them to become this way and then try to find the solution for it.
• You need to be able to communicate. Besides understanding and being perceptive of other people and their feelings, you will need to be able to communicate your findings, ideas, and solutions. Also being able to comprehend what people say is extremely important too. You won’t be able to solve anything if you can’t understand what is being said.
Sources:
1. http://www.onetonline.org/link/summary/21-1013.00
2. http://www.bls.gov/ooh/community-and-social-service/mental-health-counselors-and-marriage-and-family-therapists.htm

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