As part of my continuing education, I went to the 2018 Marriage Counselors Conference, and there, I understood the reason why I am a certified therapist or counselor. Yes, I am a marriage counselor, and yes, I have been married. The phrase is “I have been” because I am not married anymore. A few years before I had my certification, I was married.
Does one need to be married to become a marriage counselor or couples therapist? No, not. It is not necessary for a certified counselor; specifically, a marriage counselor to be married. It is not a pre-requisite. As a counselor, all you need is the necessary knowledge, the units, and the credentials to become one. Being married is not a requirement, but it does help the clients feel “at home” with the counselor.
Why am I not married, you ask? Well, it is a long story. The usual answer is that the two of us just did not get along. This is a fact. You see, when one falls in love, all logical notions are dismissed. What you feel inside, the “in love” state, renders you weak when it comes to reality. I did not see that he was a gambler. He did not know that I was a workaholic. I did not see that he was happy-go-lucky. He did not see that I was obsessive, an organized person, and a planner. These things, when the “in love” state fades, will reveal itself. And here, love is tested. We were tested, and we failed. We both did.
My marriage is a lesson for me, and I use it as a personal experience when dealing with my clients. Sure, there are times when they raise their eyebrows and question me – You’re divorced? And you’re counseling us? Well, yes. I am, and I understand your concern. But the whole reason why you are not divorced is that I have been there, and for that, you will never be. Over the years, I have counseled 134 couples, and not one of them is divorced. Not one.
I am proud to be a successfully divorced marriage counselor. My life as a divorcee has taught me how to be great at what I do.