Bad Therapist Advice

How do you find a competent expert to help you with your relationship? If you pay $200 to $500 an hour to try to save your marriage or relationship, and the advice you receive just does not feel right, do you follow the experts recommendations or do you trust your gut instinct? Many of the biggest names in counseling do not have the wisest advice.

Sometimes therapists can be wrong. If you have read a book or listen to a television program that advises you to take action in a surprising way, run it past your extended family first. Often these expert are interested in sales and ratings so shock value is important. Seek out emotionally supportive friends and relatives who care deeply about your the happiness and welfare. They can help to ground you when your head may be swimming and your belly full of fear when anticipating a break-up or confrontation.

If your loved ones agree on your course of action, you may then want to seek the help of two professional therapists. However, therapists have weaknesses and "issues" just like everyone else. If you touch on a subject that is a hot button for the therapist, he or she might react by personalizing your issue and give you unprofessional advice. If you remind them of their ex, they may not be able to remain unbiased or help you at all.

If you are considering leaving a good spouse with whom you have simply fallen out of love, please take a long time to consider and reconsider any ways to keep an existing relationship together. As you fantasize about greener grass, realize that replacing a partner is more difficult and takes longer than you might expect. Most patients in their seventies and eighties confess they have fallen in and out of love with their spouses of fifty years many times but stayed together and weathered the ups and downs of their relationship.

If you have substance abuse problems you may have difficulty taking any advice or seeing your behavior clearly. This might be the time to trust an expert even if your inclinations are to ignore their "nagging" suggestions. Few relationships can survive a full blown addiction, without strong intervention and help from professionals.

A therapist can only assist a couple. You must ultimately take responsibility for your own mental health and the health of your relationships. Although an unbiased opinion is an important tool, only you and your partner can heal or destroy your relationship.

©2009, Molly Barrow

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Dr. Molly Barrow holds a Ph.D. in clinical psychology and is the author of the new book, Matchlines: A revolutionary New Way of looking at relationships and making the right choices in love. She is an authority on relationship and psychological topics, a member of the American Psychological Association and a licensed mental health counselor. Dr. Molly has appeared as an expert on NBC, PBS, KTLA, and in O Magazine, Psychology Today, Newsday,,, Women's Health and Women's World. Please visit: or Take the new relationship compatibility test, Match Lines Systems for Successful Relationships for Singles, Couples and Business at Molly has a radio program, Your Relationship Answers at

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