Before reading any of the information below, please carefully read the entire precautionary statement and disclaimer.
How to Choose a Marriage Counselor
Couples need to exercise as much care in choosing a counselor as they would in choosing an open heart surgeon. The reason is simple: real marriage therapy in double open heart surgery. Many couples in stressful relationships pick a counselor just because he calls himself a “Catholic,” or because they saw an ad in the Yellow Pages. After an unsuccessful try at counseling with a so-so counselor, many couples are ready to give up on their marriage.
A great resource for choosing a counselor is the CD How to Choose a Catholic Therapist or Catholic Marriage Counselor with Steve Wood and Catholic clinical psychologist Dr. William Bellet. On this CD, Steve Wood and Dr. Bellet share invaluable advice for how to choose a good counselor, and how to avoid fatal mistakes that could literally ruin the chances of saving your marriage. They cover a wide range of topics including:
- The important question to ask of a potential counselor
- Why Confession is a necessary prerequisite to successful counseling
- What to do if a spouse is unwilling to change or go to counseling
Marriage Counseling Advice
A good article on marriage counseling is How Therapy Can Be Hazardous to Your Marital Health by Dr. Bill Doherty. (Please note that we do not recommend other articles on the Smartmarriage.com website by Bill Doherty).
Unlike weekly counseling sessions, marriage intensive programs are a multi-day, focused, counseling experience. A four-day intensive may restore your marriage more than what might be accomplished with four months of traditional counseling.
The Gary Smalley National Institute of Marriage (NIM) is the first organization to specialize in marriage intensives. For most couples the four-day intensive is the best choice. Other options include the “Spouses Intensives” when only one spouse is open to restore a marriage. 70% of those attending a NIM intensive are on the brink of divorce and the vast majority of those attending report they are more satisfied in their marriage. The counselors with the NIM are Evangelical Protestants, although they welcome both Protestants and Catholics to participate. A significant number of Catholics have successfully completed in the intensives.
For those individuals and families who seek specifically Catholic practitioners, CatholicTherapists.com lists counselors that meet their qualifications. Please note that it is impossible for us to know and evaluate each of the therapists listed. Use discretion in your choice.
The Community of the Cenacle (Communita Cenacolo)
This Catholic Community doesn’t offer therapy, but a “ School of Life ” based on Jesus Christ to assist those who have fallen into alcohol, drug, and pornography addictions. This faith-filled community receives men ages 18 to 40 and is located in St. Augustine , FL.
COUNSELING FOR PORNOGRAPHY & SEXUAL ADDICATIONS
Mark Laaser, M.Div., Ph.D. is the Founder and President of Faithful & True, a Christian-based treatment center in Eden Prairie, Minnesota, specializing in sexual addiction. With over 26 years of personal experience, Dr. Laaser is nationally regarded as the leading Christian authority in the field of sexual addiction and has authored 10 books on the subject, including Healing The Wounds of Sexual Addiction, and his 3-book Men of Valor series. Mark holds a Ph.D. degree from the University of Iowa and a divinity degree from Princeton Theological Seminary.
Dr. Laaser is an Evangelical Protestant, who remains respectful to Catholic beliefs and moral teaching. He has a long-running history of successfully counseling many Catholic clients, including Catholic priests, struggling with sexual addiction.
Faithful & True is the leading Christian counseling center under the direction of Mark and Debbie Laaser, specializing in the treatment of sexual addiction. Professionals who work here have also been trained at the highest levels of clinical expertise. We believe that the combination of depending on God, together with the best therapeutic tools available is a powerful healing force.
Faithful & True offers:
Individual Counseling and Assessment
The Faithful & True treatment center offers counseling for individuals and couples struggling with sexual addiction or sexual purity. This includes initial assessments concerning the presence of sexual addiction.
We conduct weekly counseling groups for men and their spouses seeking sexual purity.
MEN OF VALOR 3-Day Intensive Workshops
This is the most effective and affordable intensive treatment program in the country for men struggling with sexual addiction. Dr. Mark Laaser and our staff combine lectures and small group interaction to understand the root causes that drive sexual addiction, the change process, neurochemistry of addiction, understanding your history, trauma and its affects, disclosure, rebuilding trust, decisions about your kids and creating a personal recovery plan.
3-Day Women’s Journey Workshops
This workshop, led by Debbie Laaser, M.A., LAMFT and Beth Miller, M.A., is for women who have been sexually betrayed. It is a small group opportunity to work on personal growth, family of origin issues, coping, vision and much more.
3-Day Couples’ Intensive Workshops
This workshop, led by Mark and Debbie Laaser, together with Greg and Beth Miller, is for couples who have experienced sexual betrayal and/or simply struggling to experience genuine relational intimacy. It is for couples who long to grow emotionally and spiritually closer.
Faithful & True
15798 Venture Lane
Eden Prairie, Minnesota 55344
Listen to our online radio show at iTunes, menofvalorradio.Podomatic.com or faithfulandtrue.com!
Dr. Douglas Weiss
Dr. Douglas Weiss, in Colorado Springs , is reported to be a successful sexual addiction counselors. Dr. Weiss, a former sex addict, knows firsthand how to overcome a sexual addiction. Many have found the travel to Colorado worthwhile in order to obtain his services. Dr. Weiss is an Evangelical Protestant, so he will not hold to all of the Catholic moral teachings. Nevertheless, he will be respectful to your beliefs. His three-day intensive counseling program is designed to help those with pornography and/or sexual addictions.
Rob Jackson’s counseling services has been successfully used by Catholics struggling with sexual addiction and intimacy issues. He is open to travel to meet with couples to conduct his intensive 5-day, twenty hour clinical workshop.
Peter C. Kleponis is a Catholic counselor for pornogrpahy, men’s issues, homosexuality, and marital counseling. He combines solid aspects of modern psychology with Catholic spirituality to offer comprehensive counseling services. He is experiences in a wide variety of men’s counseling issues. Couples experiencing a high level of anger and strife should pay particular attention to the expertise on forgiveness therapy offered by Peter Kleponis.
Please note that websites for Dr. Laaser, Dr. Weiss and Rob Jackson require discernment but nevertheless offer substantial help to individuals and families. Discernment is also required for articles and books not related to sexual addiction recovery.
COUNSELING FOR HOMOSEXUALITY
Contact the National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality (NARTH) to find a professional counselor trained in reparative therapy. NARTH is a multi-disciplinary professional and scientific organization dedicated to the service of persons who experience unwanted homosexual (same-sex) attractions (SSA). NARTH colleagues and supporters include practitioners, scholars, and researchers from many fields of the mental health and medical arts and sciences, as well as educational, pastoral, legal, and other community leaders and laypersons who are united in this shared organizational commitment.
Trinity Teen Solutions
This Wyoming boarding school for girls has had good success with troubled teen girls. Trinity Teen Solutions is a Christian based, state licensed residential treatment center that offers healing and therapeutic services to troubled girls between the ages of 12-18. Visit their website or call 855-631-4424 for more information.
Mount Carmel Youth Ranch
Located in Wyoming, Mount Carmel (MTC) Youth Ranch is a Catholic youth ranch for boys and is a successful residential treatment facility for troubled boys and at-risk youth. Call 307-645-3030 for more information.
Family Life Center does not offer counseling for marriage or family