5 Ways that Struggling in Marriage Counseling Can Ultimately Help You Succeed

Couples are hesitant about getting marriage counseling for many reasons. One of the most common is fear of failure. People who are already unhappy about the state of their marriage may believe that if counseling doesn’t help them resolve their problems, it will only make them feel worse. However, what many couples find is that a first round of counseling – even if it doesn’t resolve all of their issues – still puts them on the path toward healing.

What to expect in marriage counseling

How marriage counseling progresses varies based on the therapist’s approach. Some counselors will ask to talk with each participant separately before talking with the couple together. Others begin by speaking with both participants at once.

In either case, the therapist will likely ask basic questions about the history of the relationship such as how long the couple has been together, marital status, and what brought the couple to therapy. It’s important to know that the therapist is not looking to judge the individuals or the relationship, but simply to understand where things stand and what issues are causing problems so that a healthy resolution can be reached.

The upside of setbacks

While nobody looks forward to facing the challenges of marriage counseling initially, there are some very positive aspects to setbacks if you look at them the right way. For example:

Struggling helps you clarify your goals
Sometimes people enter into counseling not exactly sure what they want to get out of it. Falling short of a vague objective can help you bring goals into sharp focus. And that clarity can be exactly what is needed to succeed in your next attempt.

Taking action is much better than doing nothing

Few things are more distressing than feeling like your relationship is broken and there is no way to fix it. Taking action, even if it is unsuccessful at first, can help you feel empowered and give you the confidence needed to ultimately achieve your goals.

Failure and success almost always go hand-in-hand

If you learn about people who are successful in any area of endeavor — business, sports, relationships, etc. — you’ll find that the percentage of people who “nailed it” on their first attempt is quite low. The vast majority of successes come after at least one failure, and often many failures. The key to success is persistence.

Struggling tends to generate support

We all want our friends and family to achieve their objectives. When we see them making a good effort but still struggling, our natural reaction is to lend a hand. This support can be crucial in helping a couple succeed in marriage counseling.

Your struggles don’t define you

We should learn from our setbacks that who we are and what we’ve accomplished are two very different things. That realization can create a mature confidence that affects all areas of our lives.

Helping couples make it through the tough times

No one who has ever been married would describe it as easy! However, a willingness to ignore the fear of failure and commit to marriage counseling can help you overcome tough times and move ahead to a bright future. If you have questions about our services, please contact us online at communityreachcenter.org or by phone at 303-853-3500 Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. We have centers in the northside Denver metro area including the cities of Thornton, Westminster, Northglenn, Commerce City and Brighton.

Children’s Mental Health Awareness Week is May 3-9

Each year, May is a time when there is a special focus on mental health and mental illness. The entire month is recognized as Mental Health Month, an observance created in 1949 by an organization originally called the National Association for Mental Health and now known as Mental Health America. Its purpose is to draw attention to mental illnesses like anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia, among others.

Additionally, May 3-9 is Children’s Mental Health Awareness Week. Headed by the National Federation of Families for Children's Mental Health, it shines a spotlight on children’s mental health issues.

Say It Out Loud: There Is No Shame in Mental Illness

One of the leading voices in this area is the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI). It promotes a program called Say It Out Loud: Speaking with Teens about Mental Health. According to NAMI, one in five teens has a mental health condition but less than half of them are not getting the help they need.

Although more people than ever are aware that mental illness is a treatable disease faced by millions around the world, there is still a stigma associated with it. This is especially true among teens, given all the pressure they feel to “fit in” and be “normal.” To reduce, or ideally eliminate, that stigma, people need to continue to share accurate information about mental illness and engage others in meaningful conversations.

The Say it Out Loud program includes an online toolkit that adults can use to open conversations about mental health and mental illnesses like anxiety and depression that affect so many young people. The kit includes:

  • A short film featuring three teen's experiences
  • A discussion guide
  • A narrated presentation for the facilitator
  • Fact sheets and information about connecting with your local NAMI affiliate

NAMI encourages you to make as many copies of the toolkit as you need and distribute them throughout your community. 

Gain Proactive Awareness through CRC

Community Reach Center offers Mental Health First Aid and Youth Mental Health First Aid courses. The health literacy courses are much like a traditional Red Cross First Aid course and have been gaining momentum over the past decade. The idea is to teach individuals how to take a proactive approach by looking for early signs that may indicate mental health problems and also how to successfully intervene with someone in crisis. 

Consider joining us for a day of learning. See information about our classes on our website at Youth Mental Health First Aid or Mental Health First Aid.

Other Ways to Promote Mental Health Awareness

There are so many ways you can contribute to the efforts to raise awareness about the mental health issues faced by young people — during Children’s Mental Health Awareness Week, Mental Health Month and year ‘round! In addition to using and sharing the Say it Out Loud toolkit, you can:

  • Encourage your mayor, governor or other officials to make a proclamation recognizing one of the many mental health awareness events throughout the year
  • Hand out green mental health awareness ribbons
  • Host an event to provide information and resources at a local venue
  • Volunteer for your local mental health center or an NAMI affiliate

Spread the Word: There is Hope for People Striving for Better Mental Health!

We’re here for you if you have questions about Mental Health Month or Children’s Mental Health Awareness Week, or if you need help with anxiety, depression, or any mental or emotional issues you are facing. Contact us online at communityreachcenter.org or by phone at 303-853-3500 Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. We have centers in the northern Denver metro area, including the cities of Thornton, Westminster, Northglenn, Commerce City and Brighton.

Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month is Observed in April

While sexual assault can be a difficult subject for victims, their families and the community in general to discuss, it is critical that we recognize and address what is a shockingly prevalent crime in our country and around the world. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), one in five women in the U.S. is raped or sexually assaulted in their lifetime.1 At our Denver mental health center, we provide assistance and support to survivors of sexual assault.

First observed in 2001 and building on sexual violence awareness efforts that began in the late 1970s in England, April is Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month. Events throughout the month seek to raise awareness of what sexual assault is, its prevalence and what can be done to prevent it.

Sexual Assault and Mental Health

Few crimes have greater potential to lead to long-term mental and emotional health issues than sexual assault. Survivors may deal with a whole host of thoughts and emotions that can plague them for an extended period, often for life. These include:

  • Fear
  • Shame
  • Sadness
  • Anger
  • Confusion
  • Distrust

In many cases, sexual assault can lead to clinical conditions such as depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and substance use disorders. For example, girls who are raped are approximately three times more likely to suffer from psychological disorders and over four times more likely to suffer from drug and alcohol abuse in adulthood.2  As many as 50-75 percent of women in substance abuse treatment programs are survivors of sexual violence.3

The process of healing from an assault and addressing these conditions is a difficult one, but with the love and support of family members, and the assistance of trained and compassionate mental health counselors like those at our Denver mental health center, it can be successful.

Sexual Assault Survivors: Much Stronger than They Know

While loved ones and mental health professionals can provide much-needed assistance to a victim of sexual assault, a survivor’s own inner strength is the most powerful healing force. Many aren’t even aware they have this strength, but they often discover and begin drawing on it to drive their recovery.

If you have been sexually assaulted, here are some things you can do to help yourself heal:

  • Never lose sight of the fact that only your attacker alone is to blame for the assault.
  • Continually remind yourself that any negative feelings you have about yourself are the result of the trauma you’ve suffered. They are not reality.
  • Be persistent in countering feelings of helplessness and isolation with the knowledge that you have the power to move on and resources available to help you.
  • Develop healthy strategies for dealing with flashbacks and distressing memories.
  • Take time to reconnect to your body and your feelings.
  • Focus on healthy eating and exercise, which will help heal your nervous system.
  • Never hesitate to ask for support when you need it.

Here to Provide Help and Support to Sexual Assault Survivors

At our Denver mental health center, we encourage sexual assault survivors to get the support they need to restore their mental and emotional health by contacting Community Reach Center online at communityreachcenter.org or by phone at 303-853-3500, Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. We have centers in the northside Denver metro area, including the cities of Thornton, Westminster, Northglenn, Commerce City and Brighton.

  1. Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/violenceprevention/pdf/sv-datasheet-a.pdf
  2. Kendler, Kenneth S., et al. Archives of General Psychiatry. Medical College of Virginia Commonwealth University, 2000.
  3. S. Public Health Service Office on Women’s Health.