I can’t tell you how many people come into my Houston relationship counselor offices with crazy theories about what’s wrong with their spouse or what they should do to fix their marriage issues. Almost without fail, when I ask where they heard that advice, they tell me that they read it online.

Now, I’m certainly not one to discount the internet—after all, you’re reading this blog over the internet, aren’t you? There is lots of valuable information about counseling and relationships to be gleaned online, but it’s also important to know how to separate the good from the bad.

Rules for Good Online Advice from the Houston Relationship Counselor

The thing about relationship advice—or any advice really—is that there’s technically no such thing as good or bad. What’s good for you might be bad for someone else, and vice versa. And people with years of experience can make mistakes just like anyone else. However, there is an overall trend that exists with the best advice out there and, if you’re trying to solve marriage issues online, it’s valuable to think about.

Professionals know what they’re talking about. I’ll be the first one to admit it—despite my degrees and years of experience, I make mistakes from time to time. But in the grand scheme of things, you’re a lot more likely to receive well-researched, professional advice from someone who counsels people for a living as opposed to a random person who decides to write about relationships on their blog.

Their belief system matches yours. Someone who counsels from a Christian viewpoint is likely to have different advice than a person who doesn’t believe in God at all. The same applies for therapists coming from a particular school of therapeutic thought. Before you take advice from someone, learn where they’re coming from.

The advice applies to your problem. All too often, people read something online that only partially relates to what they’re going through and try to follow that advice religiously. I call this the “WebMD effect,” where you see that headaches are a symptom of cancer and decide that you need chemo. If you’re going to follow advice, make sure it actually applies to your problem.

See if the Houston Relationship Counselor is Right for You

How do you know if I’m right for you? Well, to be perfectly honest, you don’t. Finding the right counselor isn’t easy, and both you and your partner need to feel comfortable in order therapy to work. That’s why I encourage people to set up an initial Houston relationship counselor session and give me a trial run—the only way to really know is to meet and talk.