Marriage Care are running our Diploma in Relationship Counselling – starting September 2020. This course will enable qualified counsellors to develop their skills into the area of relationship counselling and put those skills into practice on a 70 hour placement, giving them a secure foundation from which to guide couples out of relationship distress.
It is our hope that once having trained with us counsellors will continue on as volunteers with us, offering just two sessions of counselling a week – enabling Marriage Care to support couples regardless of their ability to pay.
Marriage Cares services make a huge difference to those who wouldn’t otherwise be able to access support – Jodi, shares her story about how the expertise and understanding of a Marriage Care counsellor, and our donation-only service, saved her marriage:
As my 20 year marriage weakened, arguments began and happiness at home deteriorated, I became desperate for support. I had looked into relationship counselling services through my GP but, there was a year-long waiting list. My relationship could not wait this long and I was sure it wouldn’t survive. I had thought about taking up private relationship counselling but the cost was too much, and it would also have been an excuse for my husband not to attend.
When talking to a friend – having yet another conversation about my problems – they informed me of Marriage Care. They explained they had a previous, positive experience with Marriage Care and that a donation-only service was available. Although I was very apprehensive and scared, the recommendation from a friend and affordable service would become my saviour.
I contacted Marriage Cares appointment service and everyone I spoke to during the whole process was reassuring and calm. Even on the first session, the community feeling of the building used for the counselling sessions helped to remove the clinical feel to the process.
At the first session, my husband and I were greeted by a kind and receptive counsellor. Throughout our counselling, the counsellor was very perceptive, exceptionally fair and confident to challenge viewpoints of both sides and helped to provide a new perspective on the situation.
Using the tools and techniques provided by our counsellor we were able to hold conversations to effectively discuss our underlying issues in a civilised manner. These conversations lead to positive outcomes and, after 2 years, we have now been able to agree on a compromise we are both happy with. I now feel free from the terrible rage and fury I had towards my husband… I now feel like I can and want to say “I love you”, again.
Without the support of Marriage Care I have no doubt that my marriage would have ended in a divorce. Not only would this have huge implications on my mental wellbeing, it would definitely have impacted on my children’s lives as well. Marriage Care really did save my marriage. To all at Marriage Care, but especially out counsellor, I would like to say thank you.
I am happy to say that myself and my husband are still happily married, a year on. Yes, we have our troubles but, so does everyone. However, Marriage Care has empowered us to communicate effectively and work through the issues that may arise. The biggest barrier to taking up relationship counselling was the cost and the fear of judgement. However, the whole process of the donation-only service, from the initial contact with the National Support Staff to the service delivery from the outstanding counsellor, these barriers were broken down so we could build bridges.