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MARRIAGE FRIENDLY THERAPISTS VALUES STATEMENT
The Marriage Friendly Therapists 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 marriage counseling. Affirming this statement indicates agreement with its spirit and overall content. Since I am registered with Marriage Friendly Therapists, I am including on this page the Values Statement which expresses my own personal committment:
1. Because as a marriage therapist 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.
2. Because as a marriage therapist 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.
3. Because as a marriage therapist I believe in fairness and equity in couple relationships, I promote the needs and goals of both parties.
4. Because as a marriage therapist 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.
5. Because as a marriage therapist 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.
6. Because as a marriage therapist 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.
7. Because as a marriage therapist 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.
I married you because you gave me a promise. That promise made up for your faults. And the promise I gave you made up for mine. Two imperfect people got married and it was the promise that made the marriage....And when the children were growing up, it wasn't a house that protected them; and it wasn't our love that protected them--it was that promise.
For one human being to love another: that is perhaps the most difficult of our tasks, the ultimate, the last test and proof, the work for which all other work is but preparation. Love is a high inducement to the individual to ripen...it is a great exacting claim upon him, something that chooses him out and calls him to vast things.
--Rainer Maria Rilke
Being a registrant with Marriage Friendly Therapists means that I agree in principle with that organization’s view about marriage and the practice of therapy, as written in their Values Statement. If interested, you may read this values statement at My Professional Values