How to Choose a Marriage Therapist

Finding the Right Marriage Therapist

If you are at a critical point in your marriage or relationship, seeking help from a professional is an important choice. Not all therapists are alike. Sometimes, going to a well intentioned but inexperienced counselor can do more harm than good. More often than not, a therapist will say that he/she does Couples Counseling but that does not necessarily mean that they are best qualified. Individual Counseling and Couples Counseling requires a different skill set. Seeking help from a therapist who specializes in Couples Counseling or Marriage Therapy will have a huge impact on achieving your relationship goals. A trained Marriage Therapist knows how to get to the heart of the issue of what is causing distance/distress between two people. So, when looking for a Marriage Therapist – don’t be shy. Here is some guidance for questions to ask:

  • Does the therapist take sides? Your marriage therapist should see the relationship as the client, not just one of you. You should feel that the therapist is working to understand your experience as much as your partner’s experience. Although, the therapist’s focus may fluctuate between the two of you, you should feel that the therapist is not choosing sides or ganging up on one of you.
  • Does the therapist have training in Couples Counseling? If so, ask the counselor the names of the trainings he/she has undergone to specialize in Marriage Therapy.
  • How much of the therapist’s practice involves seeing Couples? You can ask your potential therapist what percentage of their clients are actual Couples working on Marriage Therapy. This will give you an idea of how much they specialize in relationship issues.
  • What theoretical orientation does the therapist use? Each therapist uses what’s called a Theoretical Orientation. A Theoretical Orientation is how the therapist views the issues and how they work to solve them. There are two research based orientations that have been proven to work specifically with couples: Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT) and  IMAGO therapy. Make sure that your therapist is using an effective treatment.

If you would like more tips on how to find or interview a couples therapist, feel free to contact me.