One branch of counseling that you might consider is relationship counseling. This can take on many forms, from counseling families, couples, employers in a workplace to even professionals and clients. Relationship counselors work to resolve repeating patterns that cause problems and distress between involved parties.
Marriage counselors work to correct strains in the relationship by examining maladaptive patterns and repetitive negative patterns. They strive to find viable solutions in order to get the marriage back on track. If you are interested in marriage counseling, you can learn a lot by studying the techniques and practices of other professionals. The following individuals have gained popularity and become famous enough to be listed in this marriage counseling “Hall of Fame”. While not all of these counselors are household names, they currently influence a large number of individuals through various mediums, though some of these counselors can tend to be controversial, both in their personal lives and professional perspectives. And at least two of these counselors listed have gained their fame with the help of Oprah Winfrey.
This list of marriage counseling hall-of-famers is arranged alphabetically by surname:
- Dr. Gary Chapman is a marriage counselor, Baptist minister, radio talk show host, and the author of over 20 books, including his famous The Five Love Languages. Chapman argues that understanding a partner’s love language will lead to effective communication. It is also the basis of the radio show, “A Love Language Minute” that airs on over 100 U.S. stations.
- David Deida is a founding associate of Integral Institute and is known worldwide as the author of hundreds of essays, audiotapes, videotapes, articles, and books that bring to light an integral approach to spirituality and sacred intimacy. His books include the best-selling underground classic, The Way of the Superior Man. He continues to revolutionize the way that men and women grow spiritually and sexually.
- Shirley Cress Dudley, MA LPC, NCC is founder and director of The Blended Step Family Resource Center, based in NC, with the goal of providing the most excellent resources to encourage, educate and empower blended and step families. She is the internationally known author of Blended Family Advice along with other resources for step moms and step dads. She has a huge Twitter following.
- John Gottman, Ph.D. is a world-famous marriage researcher and co-founder of the Gottman Institute and Professor Emeritus in the psychology department at the University of Washington. He is the recipient of numerous national and international awards for his groundbreaking relationship research and has authored numerous books about marriage.
- John Gray, Ph.D. is the author of the popular relationship book, Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus. In his many books, CD’s, DVD’s, tapes, workshops and seminars, he provides simple, practical tools and insights to effectively manage stress and improve relationships at all stages and ages by creating the brain and body chemistry of health, happiness and lasting romance.
- Harville Hendrix, Ph.D. is a clinical pastoral counselor, the author of Getting the Love You Want, and is known internationally for his work with couples. Harville has appeared on many national television shows including seventeen guest appearances on the Oprah Winfrey show. He is a member of the Redbook Marriage Institute, serving on the magazine’s team of marriage experts.
- Carl G. Hindy, Ph.D. wrote the book, If This is Love, Why Do I Feel So Insecure?, and has a practice in Nashua, NH. His specialty is in relationship counseling and counseling related to chronic difficulties in establishing and maintaining love relationships. He is especially interested in problems of insecurity and jealousy in relationships as well as in the depression that accompanies a relationship’s end.
- Dr. Philip McGraw opened his psychology practice with his father in 1979. He then created a self-motivation seminar called Pathways and built a company called Courtroom Sciences. It was through the latter company that Dr. McGraw met Oprah Winfrey, and he became a regular expert on her show, dealing with life strategies and relationships. He launched his own series, Dr. Phil, in 2002.
- Jeff Murrah, LPC, LMFT, LCDC, CMP is a licensed marriage and family therapist who specializes in problems arising from marital affairs. He has been featured in The Chicago Tribune, Livestrong, Wall Street Journal Radio, Pepperdine University and The Larry Elder Show and is the author of two books and an ebook, Infidelity: A Survivor’s Guide.
- Dr. Laura Schlessinger previously combined a radio career with private practice as a marriage and family counselor. These days, she focuses more on self-help, but she may cancel her show following multiple on-air uses of a racial epithet while giving advice to an African-American caller. Her best-selling books include Ten Stupid Things Women Do to Mess Up Their Lives and The Proper Care and Feeding of Husbands.
- Dr. Gary Smalley is a family counsellor, president and founder of the Smalley Relationship Center and author of books on family relationships from a Christian perspective. Dr. Smalley’s 40 books combined have sold over 6 million copies, and he has spoken to millions of people in live conferences over the past forty years, including many televised presentations.
- Dr. Dan Trathen is a clinical psychologist with a DMin in pastoral counseling and clinical studies. He is a co-author of A Lasting Promise, author of A Christian Pre-Marital Manual and is a columnist for The Parker Chronicle. He offers counseling, life coaching, executive coaching and marriage counseling to couples and individuals in the Denver and Parker Colorado metro areas.
- Dr. Neil Clark Warren was in clinical psychology practice for years before he founded eHarmony. Well over 750,000 copies of his book, Finding the Love of Your Life, have been sold and his book, Date…or Soul Mate? complements eHarmony’s objectives. He is a renowned expert on mate selection through scientific modeling and a predictive model of compatibility.
- John Welwood, Ph.D., after emerging as a major figure in transpersonal psychology in the 1980s, has published more than fifty articles on relationships and other topics as well as eight books, including Journey of the Heart, Love and Awakening, Toward a Psychology of Awakening and Ordinary Magic. He currently is associate editor of the Journal of Transpersonal Psychology.
- Dr. Ruth Westheimer is a psychosexual therapist who helped pioneer the field of Media Psychology with her radio program, “Sexually Speaking” which began in 1980. Her column, “Ask Dr. Ruth,” circles the globe, and she teaches and serves as the Honorary President of the Council on Sexuality and Aging at the National Sexuality Resource Center.