Do you know how to choose a good and effective Couples Therapist as your Marriage Counselor? Knowing how to pick could mean the difference between staying happily married, and staying together at all…. Learn what to look for.
Seeking help for marital problems is always a decision point.
How to Choose a Good Couples Therapist in Four Steps:
Step One – Choose a marriage counselor with a practice devoted to couples.
Ask the counselor what percentage of their practice is devoted to seeing couples each week. Seek someone specifically trained in couples therapy, and who does it exclusively, or primarily. Couples work is a very different way of working than individual work. If you want to know how to choose a good couples therapist, choose someone with a lot of daily practice in working this way.
Marriages drive you “crazy,” but getting help for a marriage problem isn’t a treatment for “mental illness.”
Step Two – Chooses a marriage counselor who is a member of professional organizations devoted to couples.
Professional Organizations Devoted to Couples
A true professional spends his/her time and money with professional associations that reflect their interests, training aspirations, and specializations. Being a clinical member of any good Marriage and Family Therapists designates that a therapist has been supervised by another marriage therapist and completed adequate coursework and training, at least in family therapy.
Step Three – Look for someone who studied evidence-based couples therapy and taken trainings as a couples therapist.
The two most well-known scientifically based or evidence based treatments for couples are those designed by John and Julie Gottman, (The Gottman Institute and Gottman Method Couples Therapy) and Emotionally-Focused Couples Therapy created by Susan Johnson (The International Centre for Excellence in Emotionally Focused Therapy and Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy) and Les Greenberg (The International Society of Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy). You can ask not only if the couples counselor is familiar with these theories, but if they hold credentialing in these models.
Step Four – Choose a therapist who has the right attitude to be a skilled couples therapist.
Two-thirds of Marriage Counselors are “neutral” on divorce.
It may be fashionable to try to stay “neutral,” but it is hardly a good attitude for effective couples therapy.
Marriage Counselors should be the last one in the room encouraging divorce. The reasons are many, but here are a few:
1. Divorce dramatically impacts everyone in a family: While it was once a popular cliche to argue that “if the parents are happily divorced, the kids will do fine…” this turns out to be a more self-serving notion than fact. Research tells us that it takes two years before children adjust to their parents divorce, and some percentage of children never do. The average household with children lose half of their incomes after divorce. This, alone, should give a reason to pause.
2. Marital Unhappiness Can Fluctuate over Time: It also assumes that marital unhappiness is a permanent state, not fluctuating over time. Research tells a different tale:Spread the love