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Being in a faithful relationship is considered an extremely rewarding experience in one’s life, but it is also the most misunderstood dynamic in society.
The thought of breaking the connection between two partners and interfering with the family setup can be scary; a risk that is of particular concern among African American couples.
African American marriage counseling is extremely important in the current family setting, which is characterized by poor communication, devastating economic losses, and conflicting role expectations.
Relationships are increasingly being overturned by the ongoing shift of economic power from men to women, owing to surging unemployment among African American men. Such struggles, combined with reduced educational opportunities, continue to hamper couples’ prospects for enduring marriages.
Why Black Couples Are Reluctant To Counseling?
The state of black marriage is dire as it is, but the reluctance of troubled couples to seek out professional counseling makes a bad situation even worse. While a significant percentage of men across all races are reticent to commit to counseling, there’s a cultural standard among some blacks that it is ‘weak’ to seek help.
Certainly, there’s some of this belief at work for men in general but given the strict ‘code’ of manhood within the culture it is especially problematic for African-American males. The end result is that the couples that could benefit the most from therapy or counseling are the least likely to seek it out.
The African-American marriage arguably faces greater challenges than those of other races but are less likely to take proactive steps to save the matrimonial union. For whatever reason, other cultures demonstrate a greater ‘open-mindedness’ about therapy, counseling, and similar behavioral modification.
There is some hope–more and more blacks are seeking help for mental health issues in general–but it will take more work to change this perception within the culture.
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Alarming Data in the ethnic minority community
In the recent past, the UK Government launched an advertising campaign to challenge the mistaken perception that relationship counseling is a domain of the white-middle class, in an effort to reduce the rising number of single mothers in minority ethnic communities; a concern that also affects the African American communities in the United States.
Recent census figures showed that the number of lone parents is up to four times greater in the black community compared to the white, whereby the term black has been used in the place of African Americans to refer to US residents with origins in any of the black populations of Africa or the Caribbean.
Another survey revealed that 70 percent of black couples believed that they had problems. More than 30 percent of the surveyed group thought that infidelity was the greatest cause of conflicts, followed by lack of respect, lack of communication, and money concerns.
Another study conducted by the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies showed that only 52% of black women marry by the age of 30 years, compared to 81% for white women and 77% for Hispanics and Asians. In addition, only 32% of black women are likely to remarry after divorce, compared to 58% for white women and 44% for Hispanic women.
The low rates of African American marriages are attributed to unemployment, with many men fleeing from their families when they become unable to hold the family together.
Following other reports suggesting that more than 50 percent of black couples are not aware of relationship support, and a similar percentage proposing that they would be willing to receive help from a therapist of their own culture, black therapists are optimistic that the number African Americans willing to seek relationship counseling will continue to grow.
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Introducting “Video Therapy” For Married Couples
It also eliminates problems with access, a lack of information about where to go for help, and the intimidation factor of a professional office or an institutional setting.
A couple can work with their counselor in whatever environment they find most comfortable. With online video therapy a concerned marital counselor can work face to face with couples in a convenient yet highly personal setting. The Internet has brought the concept of ‘immediacy’ to numerous industries and counseling can benefit from a ubiquitous availability.
Couples can seek out video counseling when and where they need it, or on a recurring basis. A counselor can work long term to correct recurring issues or can serve to provide intervention when there is a critical problem that poses an immediate threat to a marriage.
Therapists can be available extended hours, on weekends–even in the middle of the night in some cases. Technology has brought about the ability for counselors to be a more immediate presence in the lives of their clients. There are countless marriages that could be saved or improved if the couples were willing to take the first step.
Marriage therapists are there to help and on-demand video counseling provides married couples with the ability to get in touch immediately. This technology lowers the barrier and shortens the distance between the counselor and those in need. It can be overwhelming to find the right counselor for your needs, but our On-demand Counseling Service makes it easy.
The video counseling on demand technology allows therapists to provide a high-quality clinical experience while offering easier access. Ultimately, the ability to get the right professionals together with black couples that need them can be the start of a renewal of commitment and love in a relationship.
What to expect From a Face-to-Face office Visit
Your therapist has studied the science of personality, relationships, communication, and the psyche, which gives him or her the capacity to analyze the nature of your relationship to establish what works well, and what needs changing.
With consistent participation, willingness to learn and openness to change, you can cultivate the tools necessary to feed your relationship and manage the unavoidable challenges that every couple experiences. You do not have to anticipate marriage counseling questions, since this might cause you to structure ideal responses that may not necessarily be truthful.
Instead, expect to have a candid and open conversation with a knowledgeable provider, who will remain objective to you and your partner, and provide guidance so that you can identify the source of your problems and address them appropriately.
You will probably require more than one session, depending on the intricacy of your problems. The therapist will prepare a list of activities that address your specific needs, and encourage you to speak out in front of your partner.
You can also propose an issue that concerns you and your partner, about the therapy sessions, so that appropriate changes can be made to suit your needs more effectively.
There is nothing to fear about marital counseling
A common misconception about therapy is that you may end up being locked up if you are found to be in need of treatment. On the contrary, it is very difficult to become an inpatient after a psychiatric diagnosis, especially since insurance companies prefer their clients to seek the less expensive outpatient therapies. In fact, many problems can be addressed using medications.
For instance, many cases of depression and sudden, intense bouts in women can be attributed to hormone imbalance. Poor moods are also associated with nutrition deficiencies. Another misconception about marriage counseling is that the therapist will assume the role of a referee or judge as you and your spouse throw accusations at each other.
While good behavior promotes harmony in relationships, therapists aim at enhancing the ability of partners to listen to each other and have a clear understanding of the conversation without jumping to conclusions. By the end of your sessions, you will have a good understanding of yourself, and you will be able to present your needs effectively, while managing your flaws.
In other words, the therapist will assist you to realize that marriage is a journey that you take with your partner, together, not a competition. Your provider may suggest marriage retreats, support groups, books, videos or other activities that are will solve relationship problems and enhance your union.
Some of the best marriage retreats involve vacations, drills and exercises, and non-threatening games that are designed to get couples into the heart of issues that infect their lives. It is also not unusual for counselors to involve sessions with a single partner.
Such cases arise when one partner has individual stressors, or history factors that make him or her unable to participate actively in helping the marriage. Private Sessions may also be for strategic reasons, without necessarily implying that that person is the one responsible for problems in the marriage. Sometimes depending on the circumstance you may be referred to a psychologist.
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