Marriage Friendly Therapists

What do you mean by “marriage friendly”?

Therapists on the Registry support a values statement that holds marriage as an important personal, professional, and social value. These therapists believe in helping couples restore their marriages to health if that is possible. Most couples assume this is what all therapists believe. But it’s not so. Because of their professional training, many therapists hold a “neutral” value orientation towards whether a marriage survives or whether the couple divorces. In fact, this is the most common stance even among therapists who identify themselves as marriage and family therapists. In a national survey of over 1,000 marriage and family therapists, over 60 percent indicated that they are “neutral” on marriage versus divorce for their clients. Only one-third said they “I am committed to preserving marriage and avoiding divorce whenever possible.” Disturbingly, 2.4% said they frequently recommend divorce. (You can contact us for the citation for this peer reviewed journal article.) The bottom line: most therapists are neutral when marriages are in trouble, whereas therapists on the Registry aim to directly support the viability of troubled marriages. This is a big difference, and it’s why we use the term “marriage friendly.”

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