Reading through many of the posts this morning, I see "counseling" and "therapy" recommended for a never ending variety of ills--from coping with unfaithful spouses to full-on b!tching and bulling by family, coworkers and partners.
What a crock. Mostly, it's useless palaver primarily designed to separate "patients" from their money through a combination of charlatanism and oogabooga science.
In my first marriage, we drew things out for an eternity trying to fix things with the help of marriage counseling. Over the course of two years, we saw 7, yes SEVEN because whenever the counselor even intimated that my ex might be wrong about something, it was over for him/her. Like a chump, I went along with the program because I believed in the efficacy of applied psychology. Not any more.
Most recently, I've been dealing with an alcoholic wife and after talking things over with our shared general practitioner, took the doc's advice to see a shrink--a psychiatrist -- the MD type. I attended my first session with a written list of issues that I wanted help with and expected outcomes--how I'd know when therapy was being successful. First session $420 (nonreimbursable by insurance) for an hour and a half of me explaining the problems. Second session, $180 for 45 minutes of me explaining the problem and him saying, "and how did you feel about that." Two more sessions of "And, how did you feel about that." The shrink told me nothing I didn't already know, there were no revelations or uncovered phobias.
Oh, there was the suggestion that I attend a Al Anon session for the insights and companionship it would afford. For that I spent nearly a thousand bucks. I told him I'd considered that but didn't agree with many of the group's tenets.
So, to all of you who get advised to see a counselor, be advised that it's a craps game with the house having the advantage.
An ignoramus writes.....
Individual counseling often fails as the individual is unwilling to do anything. In the case of MC, not only do you need both to act, but most change will have to come from the person who is probably laziest and least committed.
I am perfectly happy with the MC I got before my divorce. It gave her homework, which she never did and that helped me see through her perpetual victim status. My ex-wife was not willing to make any effort, which was the problem in the marriage. It was a problem for the MC too, but not the MC's fault. Yet, it becomes another example of MC not working.
Of course, that was the Scandinavian model. The UK model accepts the aforementioned problem. It trys to make the man fit the woman. If the man is lazy and ignorant, it tries to change him. If the woman is lazy and ignorant, it insists the man accept her version of reality rather than objective reality for the sake of the marriage change his life around that. It probably is more effective for saving marriages, but pretty terrible in its own way. That is the model you encountered. Assuming the man is the more emotionally aware and responsible, it can succeed. But, normally, it will not work.
The truth is, if both people are prepared to work at making a marriage work, then it will not end up in MC in the first place.