I am not. I am a wife, a mom, daughter, a sister, a friend and a writer. However, all those jobs qualify me to be a pretty effective marriage counselor. At the ripe old age of 50 - I can say that now without choking on it - I have come to understand a lot of what matters and what doesn't. In my opinion, that's 95% of what it takes to be a good counselor, which is another term for "mediator."
Ten years ago, I would not have been able to say that I would make a good counselor. I would have been terrible at it. I was too impatient, too intolerant of ideas that weren't mine, and too quick to assume that the man must be wrong because a) he failed to listen or b) he failed to listen the other 100 times his wife had to say the same thing.
My husband and I see a counselor, and we have for about a year and a half. Don't raise your eyebrows and assume anything. We don't just love each other; we adore each other. But even the best marriages, the most devoted couples, hit a speed bump every now and then. You have to learn how to navigate the speed bumps, or pretty soon you lose a hubcap, bust a tire, or just run the whole car off into a ditch.
I love our counselor. He, too, has lived long enough to know that you have to focus on the good things, the strengths, or you run the risk of getting distracted by the smallest, most insignificant things. He listens to us ramble, nit pick and whine, and all the while he maintains a calm demeanor, a look on his face that says, "as soon as they shut up, I'm going to remind them of all the good things, all the thousands of blessings they enjoy, all the hard work they've put in over the years to get where they are now." And he does, and then we're fine, ready to go, recharged for a while.
Come to think of it, being a marriage counselor is a lot like being a kindergarten teacher. There's a lot of time spent just keeping everyone on task, on the right track, in their own space and not infringing on the other's rights.