Are you looking for help with your relationship?
Every marriage or relationship goes through rocky patches, it’s only normal. It’s how you deal with them with your partner that determines the lasting nature of your bond.
When times get tough, there’s no harm in admitting you need a helping hand. But if you’ve never tried couples therapy before, it can seem daunting. You might not know where to start, or how to find the right therapist for you.
Don’t worry, we’re here to help! Read on for 7 things to look for when choosing couples therapists to get your relationship back on its feet.
1. Find Someone Specialized in Couples Therapy
Not all options for therapists are the same. You need to find someone with the right licenses for your state to conduct couple’s therapy. You wouldn’t take your dog to a car mechanic, would you?
The same goes for your relationship. Someone who hasn’t trained in couple’s therapy won’t be able to help you the way a specialist can. Once you have found a list of certified couples counselors for your area, you can narrow it down more.
Think about your needs for your relationship. Then, look at your list and find the ones that specialize in those areas. For example, some couples therapists focus on gender identity and sexuality.
If you know of people who have gone through couples counseling, ask who they used. If they had a good experience, it gives you a place to start. When you have your smaller list of potential therapists, research them further.
See what people are saying about them online. Have a look at their website for more information on how they work and if it would fit you and your partner. They’ll often have more references and reviews there too.
3. Don’t Choose Out of Convenience or Rush
The person you choose could be the one who will save your whole relationship. This is a huge decision and needs to be the right fit for you and your partner. It’s not something to rush or do out of convenience.
Don’t pick a therapist for the reason that they’re close to where you live. If you have to travel a little further for the right help, it’ll be worth the temporary inconvenience.
And if you have to travel further and book a couples retreat, then do it. Be prepared to put the work in, as your relationship will need it from you and your therapist. It’s not a case of one or two sessions, this will be a whole couples therapy experience.
4. Ask Your Questions
Before hiring anyone, meet them for an interview. You need to ask them the big questions, as it’ll help you work out if they’re the right fit for your situation. Here are some questions worth asking.
How Long Have You Been Leading Couples Therapy?
For those on a tight budget, there’s the option to see an intern with not much experience. They won’t have that same level of experience as most therapists, but their rates are cheaper.
If your budget is higher, then find a counselor who has 2-3 years of experience at least. But, keep in mind that older doesn’t mean they’re better or will understand your situation.
How Do You Feel About Divorce?
Divorce is something that affects the whole family, and it’s a lengthy, costly process. It’s estimated that between 40-50% of first-time marriages in the US will end in divorce and 60-65% of second-time marriages. It should be a last resort option when you know things will never work in your relationship anymore.
Your counselor should share those values too. If they seem pushy towards the idea of ending things with your partner, it might not be the right fit.
How Many of Your Clients Are Couples?
Couples therapy might not be the only type of therapy a person practices. But, working with couples should feel natural if they have enough experience. The more couples they work with, the more likely they’ve had a case like yours and have solutions in mind already.
5. The Cost
Back to the money issue, you must work out what budget you would have. As we said, if you’re strapped for cash an intern can’t hurt. But in general, the age-old rule applies that you get what you pay for.
Remember, getting a highly skilled therapist that fits all your needs isn’t cheap. So make sure you’re shopping around and comparing therapy fees. This will help you find the best deal while still getting the help you need.
6. Set Goals
Before you go to your first therapy session, make a list of goals with your partner and therapist. If, after 2 sessions, you’re not on track with those goals, talk about it with your therapist.
They should be able to help get you back on track and keep moving forward into the future together. If they don’t seem interested or ignore your concerns, it might be time to find another therapist.
7. Trust Your Gut Instinct
This last piece of advice is to follow your gut instinct. You’ll get a feeling when meeting with a therapist and finding out how they operate.
If you don’t feel comfortable at any point, then walk away and find someone else. Even if you’ve gotten to the stage of interviewing them, there is no commitment. You can still walk away and explore other therapists.
Choosing Couples Therapists Made Easy
When life gets busy and things get in the way, it’s easy to drift apart and forget the good times. All those memories and the reasons why you love each other fade into the humdrum of life.
This is why an impartial therapist can make a huge difference. By considering these 7 factors, choosing couples therapists will be easy. And the best thing you’ve ever done for your relationship.
If you’re looking to get away and get back what you had in your relationship, contact us today. With over 40 years of experience, An Affair of the Heart has the experience to get your relationship back on track so you and your partner can keep moving forward together.