Friday, April 22, 2011

Going Through a Divorce? Marriage Counseling Can Help

The State of North Dakota is considering a law making marriage counseling mandatory for couples who want to get divorced. This law would require couples who want to divorce to actually postpone that divorce for a year, and go through mandatory marriage counseling. The only exemption would be if t here were substantiated allegations of domestic violence in the marriage.

To understand the effectiveness of marriage counseling, even with couples who are going through a divorce, I spoke with Dr. Gail Majcher, a Northville psychologist. I also asked Dr. Gail what her thoughts were on the proposed North Dakota law.

Wendy Alton: “Dr Gail, what are your thoughts on a law that requires mandatory marriage counseling before a couple files for divorce?”

Dr. Gail: “Marriage counseling is a good idea for the majority of cases. In fact, many of my couples have already filed for divorce when they first come in. I think the downfall is that it should not be implemented for abuse cases. Sometimes abuse in a marriage is well hidden and difficult to discover.”

Wendy Alton: “Dr. Gail, how common is marriage counseling and is there any sort of success rate?”

Dr. Gail: “I have a masters degree in marriage counseling as well as a Ph.D. in clinical psychology. Over the last 30 years of my practice, marriage counseling constitutes about 30% of my cases. The marriage counseling that I conduct is intense and includes homework for the couple so the process can go faster. My success rate for married couples is at least 70%.”

As a divorce lawyer, I have to admit that the 70% success rate is surprising—but also very encouraging. So, from a professional who knows from experience, marriage counseling can absolutely save your marriage, even if you have filed for divorce.

Dr. Gail is a local Northville psychologist, and you can learn more about her on her website: Dr. Gail also published a book called “A Worthy Woman: Victory over Domestic Violence, a True Story and Self-Help Book.” She can also be heard on WJR as the co-host of “Sunday Sessions,” a psychological edu-taining show about mental health issues.

Dr. Gail can be reached at (248) 345-5050, and her office is at 114 Rayson, Suite One D, Northville.

If you are interested in learning more, please call Wendy Alton at 734-665-4441 or email her at More information about her firm, Pear Sperling Eggan & Daniels, P.C., can be found here:


  1. An interesting article, arranged marriages are not without merit I suppose. I married for the second time at 62, an unexpected turn of event in my life. In some ways it's been harder than the first marriage.

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