Is there a Dr. Phil in Manhattan?
July 2, 2007 11:02 AM   Subscribe

My friends need a marriage counselor in Manhattan. Preferably today.

This thread asks a similar question, but it's about pre-marriage couples counseling, and it hasn't really been answered. The couple in question have been married for three years, and divorce papers have been prepared and shelved at least once. Now they're back on the table.

I know I can't solve their problems -- especially long distance -- but neither seems willing to sit down and go through the phone book, or ask their therapists for a recommendation (they're each seeing a separate therapist). They're too busy fighting over the really stupid stuff that seems so important when you're trying to "win".

I've given all the advice I can (including "decide if you want to DTMFA, and if you don't, then start talking about "us" instead of "me"), but they need professional help.
posted by bigbigdog to Human Relations (9 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
I'm not naive enough to think that the marriage counselor will magically make them treat each other with respect. My hope is that one of two outcomes will happen: a) They stay together (happily married). b) They divorce. So far, it's been c) They stay together, miserably.

The whole "I'm gonna divorce you" thing has been flung around far too long at this point without them actually going through with it. It's like they like to annoy each other. My guess is they probably have hot monkey sex and that's been enough to keep them from actually working through their problems one way or another.

A marriage counselor would at least be able to say authoritatively, "You guys are a trainwreck," or "I see potential for saving this marriage."
posted by bigbigdog at 11:12 AM on July 2, 2007


neither seems willing to sit down and go through the phone book, or ask their therapists for a recommendation (they're each seeing a separate therapist)

If neither one can muster up the motivation to ask for a recommendation from their individual therapist, someone they each sit alone in a room with, face to face for an entire hour at least once a week, why would they act on your advice?

It's painful to watch your friends fight, more so when they are in a relationship with each other. The way to make it less painful is for you to butt out and MYOB. Conserve your energy, sooner or later one or the other or both will be around to ask for help picking up the pieces.
posted by jamaro at 11:24 AM on July 2, 2007


I'm not trying to solve their problems, I'm looking for specific recommendations for a marriage counselor. You know, like a name.

If I wanted advice about "how do I deal with my friends' psychotic marriage problems," that's the question I'd have asked.
posted by bigbigdog at 11:43 AM on July 2, 2007 [1 favorite]


A marriage counselor would at least be able to say authoritatively, "You guys are a trainwreck," or "I see potential for saving this marriage."

This is not what marriage counselors do; they're not relationship judges. A counselor could help them develop tools for dealing with their issues, or help mediate a break-up, or help them decide if the relationship was worth continuing, but no decent counselor is going to start telling clients, "Yes, this relationship will last," or "No, this relationship sucks, get out." That's what AskMe is for.

As others have said, I would really think that if they're not personally motivated to be in therapy, they're not going to get anything out of it. It's not a magic process that just happens to you; it's a place in which you have to do work or else nothing happens at all.
posted by occhiblu at 11:45 AM on July 2, 2007 [1 favorite]


try on community.urbanbaby.com - post on the Toddler board (doesn't really matter if they have kids or not). There are a lot of people on there all the time from New York, and a lot of counseling / therapy / divorce lawyer questions get posted. The boards are pretty much like realtime group chat, so if you get any answers it will be in the first 5 minutes before it scrolls off.
posted by true at 12:15 PM on July 2, 2007


To clarify: My friends have asked me to help them find a marriage counselor.

The "too much information" that I supplied is my own damn fault. I'm one of those people who tries to provide as much context as possible, even when it's unnecessary. My apologies.

true, thanks for your suggestion. I've just posted to urbanbaby.com (and avoided all the extra information that helped break this thread.) And yeah, the answers are coming quickly.
posted by bigbigdog at 1:38 PM on July 2, 2007


Note the key thing missing from your initial post was that they asked for your help.
posted by canine epigram at 1:49 PM on July 2, 2007


Yeah, I blew that pretty badly. Honestly it never occurred to me that someone would go around trying to find someone else a marriage counsellor without being asked to do it.

Anyway, the urbanbaby folks helped out in less than 60 seconds. Apparently the best place to go is The Ackerman Institute for the Family.
posted by bigbigdog at 2:00 PM on July 2, 2007


yup, i just clicked on this thread to suggest ackerman as well. good luck.
posted by judith at 3:47 PM on July 2, 2007


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