Values Statement of Marriage Friendly Therapists
The Registry seeks therapists who see themselves as supporting couples' original commitment to their marriage unless there is a compelling reason not to. A requirement for the Registry is that the therapist agrees in principle with the following statement about marriage and the practice of therapy. Affirming this statement indicates agreement with its spirit and overall content; many therapists would use different wording or emphasize certain points more than others. But since couples and referring professionals will be trusting that therapists on the Registry hold certain values about marriage and the practice of therapy, it is important that all registered therapists be on board with the value orientation of the Registry.
- A. I know that healthy, lifelong marriage is good for individuals, families and communities, I affirm the unique value of marriage and the importance of life long commitment in marriage.
- B. I believe that many and maybe even most marriages can be restored to health even when the spouses are unhappy, conflicted, or demoralized. My first stance is to explore how the couple might preserve their marriage and find a path to a better relationship.
- C. Because as a marriage therapist I believe
in fairness and equity in couple relationships, and I promote the needs
and goals of both parties.
- D. I understand that some marriages are toxic and dangerous, I do not promote marital commitment blindly but rather with respect for the safety and human dignity of both partners and their children.
- E. I acknowledge my clients' ultimate responsibility and authority to make their own decisions about staying married or divorcing, I respect these decisions even if they differ from what I hope for them, and I acknowledge that spouses sometimes have incompatible goals for their marriage.
- F. I know that there are many stakeholders in marriage, especially children but also extended family members and the broader community, I work to help couples see how the success or failure of their marriage affects others in their lives.
- G. I understand the high stakes in working with troubled couples, I seek consultation when I feel stuck in therapy or when the couple is moving towards what may be a premature divorce.