How to Find the Right Couple’s Counselor

Posted by on Jan 31, 2014 in Couples Counseling | Comments Off on How to Find the Right Couple’s Counselor

Four Ways to Customize your Counseling

1.     Seek Out A Specialist: Choose a true couple’s therapist

Find a therapist that specializes in couples counseling and therapy. Though it seems an obvious point, you’ll find that many therapists are generalists. Often, counselors will advertise a one size fits all type of counseling that may not be suitable for meeting the needs of couples. A couple’s therapist will be able to provide assistance with issues like improved communication, conflict management, or emotional connection that uniquely apply to couples.

As with any other area of your health, it is important to search for someone specifically knowledgeable. You would seek out a cardiac surgeon to assist you with a heart problem, an orthopedic expert to correct an injured bone. In the same way, a reputable, trustworthy couples specialist should be appointed the intimate work of counseling.  Thoughtfully choose a therapist with specific training. He or she should have a significant amount of experience working with couples. An experienced therapist will empower you to begin making significant changes in your relationship.

Consider the following resources for beginning your search:

  • The Internet. The web is a great help for locating area therapists. You can tell a lot about a therapist by their site. A counselor’s website provides a wealth of information regarding therapeutic methods, specialties, and personal style.
  • Word of mouth. Referrals and opinions from people you know can be insightful and provide a more personal look at therapists in your community. Though you may not want to advertise a need for therapy, trusted family members or friends may be able to advise you in valuable ways.

2.     Question Authority: Conduct a counselor interview

Once your shortlist of potential therapists is determined, contact therapist offices for interviews or initial consultations. This is a great method for obtaining information about how providers structure their practices. Interviews are also excellent for determining whether a therapist is a good fit for you. Fit is crucial. If you were to buy a car, you would never walk onto to the lot and say,  “I’ll take that one.”  Don’t be afraid to “test drive” potential therapists. Get a clear idea of the therapist’s background, procedures, and couple’s training. This will give you a lot of useful information on a variety of levels, allowing you to make an informed decision.

Typically, an initial interview or consultation is provided for free or for a minimal fee. Consider it a red flag if a therapist’s office is reluctant to schedule an interview or insists on charging for a full counseling session.

3.     Trust Your Instincts: Continue the search until you find a good fit

It is absolutely critical that that you feel comfortable with the provider you choose. It is important that you feel understood, that you feel validated, and that you trust the person you will be working with. If something does not feel right, for whatever reason, honor that feeling. Keep looking! Find that good fit.

4.     Maintain Realistic Expectations: Commit to change over time

Realistic expectations are key to the therapy process. Skilled therapists are able to do a lot of good work. Counselors are facilitators; they help clients make the changes they want to make in their lives. Still, change won’t happen immediately. Truthfully, therapy is a process during which problems are unlikely to be solved in the first few sessions. This is especially true if your relationship is severely troubled or strained. It is likely that you may feel dissatisfied or have concerns over the course of counseling work. It is important that you share those concerns with your therapist during sessions. A good therapist will listen to you, take those concerns seriously, and address them with you as best they can.

Online Therapy Available NowRead More