Six Simple Steps to Finding a GREAT Couples Therapist

couples, marriage

marriage-counselingChoosing a therapist can be daunting but it doesn’t have to be if you follow these six steps.

  1. Ask a trusted friend to ask their trusted friends on your behalf without sharing your identity. Don’t be afraid to admit you need help. Most couples end up seeking help at some point in their marriage.
  2. Use an on-line therapist directory such as www.goodtherapy.org or www.psychologytoday.com. Enter your zip code to begin searching for someone near you. Cast a wide net and search within a reasonable driving radius.   Read the profiles and listen to your gut. If a therapist seems interesting, go straight to their website and read everything they’ve written. Most therapists now have a personal website that will give you a lot of insight into their personality and therapeutic style.
  3. Don’t be cheap. This is not an area where you want price to be your deciding factor. At the same time, therapists who charge more are not necessarily better. Choose the best possible fit and then accept that their expertise has tremendous value to you, so expect to pay for that.
  4. Google the name of the therapist. Are there reviews on Healthgrades? Or Yelp? Most people are reluctant to provide on-line reviews unless anonymity is guaranteed, however, some will.
  5. Do not assume that more experience or more education automatically means superior skill. Of course, these are factors to consider along with many others, but therapists with decades under their belts may be utilizing outdated treatment methods. Just like in medicine, we are constantly making advances in treatment.  We are always learning new things about the human mind, relationships and more effective ways to create needed change.
  6. Call the therapist and share a little bit about why you are seeking therapy. Ask them how much experience they have working with couples and if they have specialized training for helping couples. You should hang up from this phone call feeling confident that this professional can help. Contact three or more and then go with your gut. If your first choice ends up being a disappointment, try not to be discouraged. Immediately make an appointment with your second choice. And of course, your therapist should be licensed by your state.  Feel free to post questions in comments!

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