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Marriage Counseling

"We view individuals, marriage and family as creations of God. Marriage is defined by God as the relationship between one man and one woman for life. These two become 'one flesh' which is honorable before God. Therefore, marriages are sacred and worthy of commitment, honor, and sacrifice."

W.K. Boyce

"Marriage doesn't make you miserable or happy; it makes you married. Our misery or happiness depends on how effectively we fulfill our own responsibilities and meet each other's needs in the marriage."

W.K. Boyce

People don't get married to be miserable or to be divorced. It's easy to get married–it's being married every day that takes knowledge, effort and dedication. Some people feel, since they are no longer happy in their marriage, the marriage is over. Personal happiness comes from pursuing and fulfilling personal responsibility. Many people simply have not been shown or taught how to have a healthy marriage. The relationships can become so fractured, painful, and feel so hopeless that many couples don't know how to get the vitality and life back.

If you're searching for answers, wondering if counseling can help, it can. However, it's imperative you work with a marriage therapist or licensed professional counselor who is specifically and professionally trained in marriage and family systems counseling. Many counselors, trained only to work with individuals, will tell a couple, seeking marital help, to get a divorce. "Just move on with life," so they will be happy—as if individual happiness is the ultimate value in life. Many times this is said because the counselor is at the limit of their knowledge. Don’t risk working with someone who is not professionally trained for couples.

"The greatest need of most wives is the combination of stability, safety and security. The greatest need of most husbands is a combination of appreciation and respect."

W.K. Boyce

Couples seeking help and hope bring their most precious possession, their marriage and family, to Springfield Marriage and Family Institute. The issues in your marriage might be:

  • ongoing conflict,
  • needed communication skills
  • financial skills.
  • sexual compatibility,
  • different expectations of roles and responsibilities,
  • grief and loss,
  • the pain of extra–marital affairs.
  • parenting,
  • blended family and step–parenting issues,
  • acting–out teens.

The fact is it may be several issues at one time and multi–generational since our lives are affected by four generations of family. What does this mean? What happened in your great-grandparents marriage and your spouse’s family, directly impacts your marriage. This also means that how you live in your marriage will affect your great grandkids!

"There are always three clients in the room during marriage counseling: the two individuals and the marriage relationship. It is in the acceptance of personal responsibility and the mutual meeting of needs by the husband and wife that creates a great relationship."

W.K. Boyce

You can learn how to resolve your issues, either individually and relationally, and to have a happier, more intimate marriage in as few as ten to twelve sessions with W.K. or another one of our trained professionals. It is important that couples and families who come to work with one of our highly trained professionals have:

  • A desire to have a better marriage or family
  • A willingness to make necessary improvements
  • The motivation–energy and drive–to actually follow through
  • And the faith and trust in the process of healing

We can help. Call today to set up an appointment with a trained marriage and family counselor at 417.882.6767.

Considering Divorce?

Far too often people decide to end their marriages without ever seeking professional help. The decision of whether to divorce or not is probably the most important decision anyone will ever make.

68%. That's the divorce ratio for Greene County Missouri during 2011 and 2012. That means that for every three couples that stood before an official to get married, two couples stood before a judge to get divorced. This is a staggering statistic here in the heart of America.

It's interesting to consider how many people avoid marriage counseling because they don't want family and friends to know that they are having problems. Yet, these people overlook the fact that everyone will know about their problems when they file for divorce. The truth is 40% of all marriages are in distress at any given time and can benefit greatly from marital counseling. Don't forget that counseling is completely confidential.

Marriage and family relationships, like the people in them, are living systems that suffer when neglected, and thrive when their needs are properly met. Just as a plant may look barren and lifeless, given the proper amount of water, sunlight, and nourishment, it will respond with life. In the same way marriage and family relationships can become strained, stressed, and emotionally barren, appearing "to be over", but give it what it needs and it will respond with life. There's hope! We can help.

All Counselors are Not the Same

Many therapists are well-meaning, but not always qualified to do marital therapy. In a national survey, 80% of all private practice therapists in the United States said they do marriage counseling. Yet only 12% of those therapists had the required academic course work and supervised, clinical counseling experience, actually working with marriages and families. The therapists at Springfield Marriage and Family Institute are among the 12% qualified nationwide.

Choosing a Marital Therapist

Here are some guidelines for you to consider should you seek professional help to improve your marriage.

  • Make sure your therapist has received specific training and is experienced in marital therapy. Too often, therapists say they do couples therapy or marital therapy if they have two people sitting in the office. This is incorrect. Marital therapy requires very different skills than doing individual therapy. Individual therapists usually help people identify and process feelings. They assist them in achieving personal goals. "How do you feel about that?" is their mantra.

    Couples therapists, on the other hand, need to be skilled at helping people overcome the differences that naturally occur when two people live under the same roof. They recognize and understand how a family system functions. They know what makes a marriage tick. A therapist can be very skilled as an individual therapist and be clueless, or worse, harmful to the marriage, and helping couples change. For this reason, don't be shy. Ask your therapist about his or her training and experience. Be sure you work with a marriage friendly therapist. We are the only marriage friendly therapist, featured on the National Registry of Marriage Friendly Therapists, in southwest Missouri.
  • Make sure your therapist is biased in the direction of helping you find solutions to your marital problems rather than helping you leave your marriage when things get rocky. Feel free to ask about the therapist's feelings about the point at which s/he sees divorce to be a viable alternative. Your therapist's response will be very revealing.
  • You should feel comfortable and respected by your therapist. You should feel that he or she understands your perspective and feelings. If your therapist sides with you or your spouse, that's not good. No one should feel ganged up on. If you aren't comfortable with something your therapist is suggesting- like setting a deadline to make a decision about your marriage- say so. If your therapist honors your feedback, that's a good sign. If not, leave.
  • The therapist's own values about relationships definitely play a part in what he or she does and is interested in when working with you. Since there are few universal rules for being loving and staying in love, if your therapist insists that there is only one way to have a successful marriage, find another therapist.
  • Although some people think that their therapist is able to tell when a person should stop trying to work on their marriage, therapists really don't have this sort of knowledge. If they say things like:
    • "It seems that you are incompatible,"
    • "Why are you willing to put up with this?"
    • "It is time to move on with your life,"
    The therapist is simply laying their own values on you. This is an unethical act.
  • Make sure you, your partner, and your therapist set concrete goals early on. If you don't, you will probably meet each week with no clear direction. Once you set goals, you should never lose sight of them. If you don't begin to see some progress within two or three sessions, you should address your concern with your therapist.
  • Know that most marital problems are solvable. Don't let your therapist tell you that change is impossible. Human beings are amazing and they are capable to doing great things- especially for people they love.
  • Most of all trust your instincts. If your therapist is helping, you'll know it. If he or she isn't, you'll know that too.
  • Finally, the best way to find a good therapist is word-of-mouth. Satisfied customers say a lot about the kind of therapy you will receive. Although you might feel embarrassed to ask friends or family for a referral, you should consider doing it anyway. It increases the odds you'll find a therapist who will really help you and your spouse.

Insurance Information

Most insurance companies do not cover relationship, marriage or family counseling. If there is a medical condition that is impacting the marriage and / or family relationships, insurance may cover the counseling on the individual diagnosis. It is your responsibility to familiarize yourself with your insurance benefits. When you check with your insurance company for benefits, ask for mental health benefits, with an out-of-network provider, for an office visit. We will be happy to file your insurance claim for you for reimbursement. You are responsible for deductibles, co-insurance, and co-payments. All fees are paid up front and the reimbursement will go directly to you. Many clients use their Health Savings accounts and Flexible Spending accounts for counseling. If you have any questions please call and speak with Stephanie at 417-882-6767 or email her.


Initial appointments are usually made over the phone. Other appointments are then made at the end of each counseling sessions with your therapist. When your appointment is scheduled for a specific time, that time is reserved for you. Unlike other types of businesses, the Institute does not over-book clients. The scheduled times of appointments are dedicated solely to working with those individuals, couples or families. Our counselors spend time before each session preparing for who is coming to their appointments.


If you must cancel an appointment, please notify the Institute at 417-882-6767 at least 48 hours before your scheduled session (to avoid charges for the session.)

Financial Responsibility

Each client is responsible for payment of all charges. Your fee is collected when you arrive for your appointment. Checks, cash, Visa, Master Card, Discover and American Express are accepted. We also accept flexible spending account, and health savings account cards. If another party is helping to pay for your counseling, we will gladly help with payment arrangements.

Working Together

You will work with the same therapist throughout your time at Springfield MFI. We believe counseling is most successful when the client and therapist develop a good working relationship. Your questions and concerns will be taken seriously. Information you share with your therapist will be kept confidential. It will not be disclosed to anyone without your written permission. If you have questions about something in the counseling process, please bring it up with your therapist.