You and your spouse have been fighting more often than not lately. You’re not sure if your problems are due to work and other daily stressors or if you were never compatible in the first place. Nine times out of ten, the answer is the former.
Don’t let the staggering divorce rate fool you. You can settle most marriage problems by picking couples therapists that have your best interests at heart.
This is a little easier said than done. Not all therapists have the right training for the job. There are horror stories of people who booked therapists who gained up on them during the session.
That’s the last thing you need. Check out this guide to find a counselor who can bring you and your spouse together rather than continue to tear you apart.
1. Find Someone Who Has Specialized Training
Not all options for therapists are built the same. You need to find someone that’s gone through the correct licensing in your state to take care of couples. You wouldn’t take your car to a veterinarian after all.
The same applies to your relationship. Someone who’s only dabbled in couples therapy won’t be able to help you the same way as someone that’s had intensive on-the-job training.
Once you have a list of marriage counselors in your area, it’s time to narrow down your search even further. You can find couples therapists trained in specific areas. For example, some focus completely on sexuality and gender identity.
2. Ask Questions
Before you hire someone to help you work on something as important as your marriage, you need to do an interview. Don’t be afraid to ask the big questions.
A therapist’s attitude toward divorce is extremely telling, and it’s good to go with someone who has a long line of experience dealing with couples.
How Long Have You Been Helping Couples?
If you’re working with a tight budget, you can go see an intern with little experience. They don’t have the same level of expertise as most. The trade-off is that you don’t have to pay as much for their services.
If you can afford to pay a little more than that, you need to find a counselor that has at least two to three years of experience under their belt. Keep in mind that older isn’t always better.
Just because someone has thirty years of experience doesn’t make them better than a younger therapist who only has 5. If you’re faced with choosing between the two, ask them what their stance on divorce is.
What Is Your Stance on Divorce?
Divorce is expensive and it hurts the entire family. It should be an absolute last resort when you realize that things are never going to work between you and your spouse.
Your counselor should have the same thoughts on the subject. If they seem to be pushing you toward ending it with your partner, they might not be the right choice for you.
How Much of Your Clientele Are Couples?
Working with couples should come naturally to your therapist because they do it all the time. The more couples that a counselor sees, the more likely it is that they’ve seen cases like yours.
3. How Much Should You Pay?
Going back to money for a moment, how much should you pay for services. Again, if you’re strapped for cash seeing an intern might not be a bad idea, but for the most part, you get what you pay for.
Going with a highly skilled therapist that meets all your criteria isn’t going to be cheap. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t shop around. Comparing therapist fees will help you get the best deal.
What we’re saying is your budget shouldn’t be at the forefront of your mind. Don’t go with a particular counselor because they have a lower rate than all the others in your area.
4. Do Your Research
If you have any family and friends who’ve seen a counselor for marriage problems, ask them who they saw. This will give you a small list of therapists to do further research on.
Type their names into Google and see what people have to say about them. If the counselor has a website, head there to read further references and reviews.
5. Don’t Choose a Counselor Out of Convenience
The counselor you see is the person who may save your entire relationship. It’s an important decision to make that you shouldn’t base on convenience.
Don’t go with a therapist because they’re close to your house. You may have to go a little out of your way to book a big couple’s retreat, and that’s okay. If that’s the way you want to go, see more here.
6. Create Goals
Before or during your first session, take a moment to make up a list of goals with your therapist and partner. If after your first two sessions you’re not on track to meet those goals, bring it up to your counselor.
They should help you come up with a list of ways to get back on track. If they ignore your concerns, that doesn’t bode well.
7. Go With Your Gut
The last bit of advice we have for you is to follow your gut. If you don’t feel like a therapist can help you after speaking with them on the phone, you don’t have to book an appointment.
Picking Couples Therapists to Bridge the Gap Between You and Your Spouse
Are things not going well between you and your spouse? It might be time for you to start picking couples therapists in your area. The right counselor will sit down with you and help you sort out your problems without turning to divorce.
It may cost quite a bit of money to find a counselor that meets all your criteria, but your relationship is more than worth the investment.
If you want to try to find the best deal on a therapist, we have you covered. Check out our blog to learn how to save money!