How to Find a Marriage Counselor
Searching for a good marital therapist may sound intimidating, but not exactly. It can be as simple as seeking recommendations from a friend or family member, a priest or even your family doctor. If you don’t feel comfortable doing that, there’s always the Internet. Of course, not everything online is true or for you, so choose your sources well.
When looking for a marital counselor, here are tips you can consider:
Online directories are a good starting point, but like we said earlier, not everything out here is trustworthy. Two of the mos credible resources for marital counseling services are the National Registry of Marriage-Friendly Therapists (NRMFT) and The American Association of Marriage and Family Therapists (AAMFT).
The Right Credentials
All therapists are should have a license, though the specifics will vary from state to state. Generally, a marital therapist should be any of the following: licensed marriage and family therapist (LMFT), licensed mental health counselor (LMHC), licensed clinical social worker (LCSW) or psychologist (Ph.D.or PsyD). Most importantly, remember that not all couples therapists are qualified to practice marriage therapy , because the dynamics between married couples are obviously different from those between unmarried couples.
Meeting the Therapist
On your first meeting with the therapist, don’t be scared to ask questions. This can be particularly important if you found them without a personal referral. Beyond the fees and availability issues, go deeper with your questions.
How long have they been working with married couples, for example? What advanced training do they have, if any? What is the average length of one session? Is there a possibility of you and your spouse being ruled out for marriage therapy (for instance, domestic violence)?
If the therapist’s marital status is important to you, it’s alright to ask. You may feel more at ease with someone who is actually married and has kids.
Trusting Your Gut
When gauging whether or not a counselor is good for you, trust your gut. Do you have an automatic connection on your first meeting? Did he make sense with the things he told you? Did it feel like he had a good grasp of what you’ve told him about your marriage so far? What does your better half think ? If any of you has doubts on the therapist’s abilities or is just plain uncomfortable with him, go look for another one.
Finally, keep in mind that no matter how qualified or nice or sincere a therapist is, he cannot fix your marriage for you. His role is only to help, and the fixing is your job as the couple.
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