ANSWERS: 9
  • It's not just a matter of choosing a "good" marriage counselor. The most important part is choosing one that's good for you and your spouse. First and most importantly, since you must both be comfortable with the counselor, you should choose one TOGETHER. (That way you also avoid the "well, you picked the counselor, no wonder s/he agrees with you" problem.) You can start with the yellow pages or with a referral service, if there's one in your area. Your insurance company or Employee Assistance Program may be able to make recommendations. If you have any kind of insurance or company benefits that will help cover the cost, you'll want to be sure to use a counselor who qualifies for the coverage. (For instance, your insurance might require that a counselor have a certain type of degree or certification.) You'll want to consider the counselor's qualifications - their training and certification. Do they have an advanced degree (a masters or better)? Are they certified or licensed by any professional organizations or state boards? You don't need to spend a lot of time finding out what the difference is between (for instance) an MSW and an MS in psychology; just the fact that they have an advanced degree is a good sign. The same goes for their certification and licensing. Don't spend a lot of time on it, just keep it in mind. Once you have several counselors picked out, you'll want to call and speak with them briefly. Make sure they meet any requirements you have in terms of insurance, appointment times, and payment arrangements. (Their office people can answer those questions). You might want to speak directly with the counselor briefly about your situation and ask them any questions you have about what to expect or what kind of techniques they use. Then set up an initial appointment with your top choice and see how it goes. One important note: it's not necessary for you to "like" the counselor for effective counseling, so don't change counselors after the first session just because you don't necessarily "click." Give it a little time and then try to assess whether the counselor is helping you and your spouse to find appropriate ways to deal with your issues. I salute your willingness to seek marriage counseling. Many people seem to think that good relationships "just happen" and that seeking counseling is a sign of some sort of failure. Nothing could be further from the truth! Many of us have never had the opportunity to learn the skills needed to create and maintain a truly satisfying relationship, and couples/marriage counseling is the best way to discover how wonderful a good relationship can be.
  • One of the first things you may try is to ask friends or relatives who may have had experience with one or more therapists. Looking through the yellow pages is one way of doing it, as is using an online directory. Online directories have the benefit of offering a profile of the counselor's style and methodology. There are several online directories that offer this. Once you have narrowed your choices based on your initial research, call around and ask questions to get a "feel" for the counselor. Good questions to ask are: Do you have a free initial consultation? How long is this appointment? Describe your specific issues and ask if she has had experience with this area in the past. What sort of insurance plans do you accept? What are your fees? Do you have a sliding fee schedule? You can discuss this more in detail in your initial visit. How long are your sessions? Are you licensed or certified with a board? Can they provide you with the address and phone number of the licensing board? What are your normal hours of operation? Do you make exceptions to these hours? What is your location? If you talked directly to the therapist in this initial phone call, ask yourself: Did she seem approachable on the phone? Did she seem defensive or open in the discussion of fees? Did she seem interested? Can you live with the commute to and from her office? Is it accessible to you, if you are dependent on public transportation? Questions to ask during your first visit Questions to ask yourself: Physical surroundings Waiting Room and Building. Is there plenty of parking in a well lit area? Is there a bus stop near by? Is there a washroom easily accessible? Is the decor in the waiting room comfortable? Is there anything in the waiting room that makes you feel overtly uncomfortable? Is the receptionist (if there is one), approachable and politely friendly? Is there music in the waiting room, and if so, is it soothing, or is it annoying? Therapist's Office Are there plenty of choices where you can sit? Do you find anything uncomfortable in the wall furnishings, colour scheme, paintings or nicknacks? You will be staring at those walls for awhile, so having pleasant surroundings will be a help. Do you find the seating arrangement to be too close together, too far apart, or just right? Do you feel that it would be ok if you moved a seat to be more comfortable? Is the office relatively friendly and comfortable? Asking these questions can give you a good start in choosing a marriage counselor that is right for you.
  • I'm not sure there is such a thing. Seems to me people go to them a rather trying a last resort. They could I guess help open avenues of communication but they are not going to change anyone. Any way if you are looking for someone to change is not going to happen. We choose to live with someone for the good we get out of it and the good we can bring to the other person and there should be enough of that there so you can learn to live with all the things you don't happen to like about your spouse. I know I would not like my marriage "counseled". Usually its one person who wants the counseling to happen and the other just goes along but resents it.
    • RareCatch
      Excellent Jan. 18
  • Make sure you choose one born under Libra.
  • My friend and her husband got really good counseling from their pastor and she said it saved her marriage. If you belong to a church, you might start there.
  • Marriage councilors will screw up a marriage and everything else. They haven't a clue how to help a marriage and will most likely hurt it more.
    • RareCatch
      Excellent Jan 18
  • There is no good marriage counselors all fake and liars! Been there done that! Jan. 18
  • Recommendations from friends or other couples or referrals like from you family doctor. Otherwise make sure they have a PhD in psychology.
  • ask people you know that have been to one what theirs was like

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