He was sent by his family members to be counseled and he considered “meeting a counselor” the worst thing that had happened to him. It took me two sessions to make him feel comfortable and feel at ease so he could come regularly to meet me. Over a period of time, he faithfully called up and fixed his appointments as he found the sessions extremely useful and therapeutic. Afer spending time with him and his wife for nearly 18 months, they now live together as a happy couple. The taboo of counseling has destroyed many families In India, as they have not taken timely help.
Having recommended people to seek help through counseling, I would also advise you to exercise discernment and caution about the person or place you choose for counseling. I share this with much reluctance, because I don’t want to sound like I’m recommending one over another. However, I think I need to mention this as there are many commercialized counseling centers with varied belief systems.
The belief system or personal interest of the counseling center can at times affect the counseling process. If a person or a counseling center has special interests or agenda such as women’s rights, prevention of child abuse, religious interests etc. it can, at times, lead to a biased view where one party is ignored. Similarly, if a counselor does not believe in the permanence and sanctity of the institution of marriage then such beliefs can influence their counseling.
God is the institutor of marriage and God hates divorce. Hence we must fight till the end to restore a marriage. I believe even the worst marriage is restorable with the help of God and His mighty power when couples yield their lives to God and His purposes.
We have personally seen many marriages that were given up on by many professional counselors being mended because of a total change of heart of one of the partners. There are situations when separation or divorce is the route taken in counseling as per the couple’s choice and we mustn’t condemn a person who heads for divorce. We rarely give up on a couple because of our belief system. Our beliefs would help us count success only when we are able to restore a relationship to what God desires.
The Home Shanti Helpline, which is featured in this issue, is a network of counselors who believe in the institution and permanence of marriage and are carefully chosen to do their best to restore a relationship. People become part of this network only when they subscribe to the above belief system.
Choosing a counselor wisely and choosing one fast is key while you seek help! I hope this issue will open your eyes to what counseling truly is and what it is not. May God guide you to take the frst step towards seeking answers, as I believe no one cares for your issues more than God who is the Wonderful Counselor!