People tend to think of marriage counseling as a last resort before a marriage falls apart, but it can actually be an integral aspect of a healthy relationship. Here are five tips for choosing a marriage counselor.
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1. Determine Whether You Need It
If you’re thinking about marriage counseling, chances are that’s a sign you may benefit from it. However, marriage counseling is by nature a process that a couple goes through, not an individual. If your partner doesn’t want to go, then it may not be beneficial to either of you. It should be a joint decision. Many people choose to attend marriage counseling due to issues in their relationships, such as increased arguing or infidelity. However, many people also attend to improve already healthy relationships by strengthening communication skills or because they need support through transitions such as retirement or their children growing up.
2. Choose a Potential Counselor Carefully
A person’s relationship with his or her counselor is very personal and can become quite deep, so you need to do good research before choosing one. Make sure you find one in your area who is experienced in marriage and couple’s counseling. For example, if you’re seeking marriage counseling Denver, CO, you may decide to start by searching online for highly rated marriage counselors in that city or by asking your friends and family whether anyone has any recommendations.
3. Shop Around
Scheduling a session with a marriage counselor San Francisco doesn’t mean you’re making a commitment to that counselor. Keep this in mind when you schedule your first session. Allow yourself about three sessions to determine whether the counselor seems like a good fit and whether you want to continue. If you decide that marriage counseling isn’t for you or that you and the marriage counselor aren’t a good fit, let the counselor know and stop or make an appointment with a different one.
4. Check Your Insurance Policy
Insurance coverage is an important aspect of choosing a marriage counselor. You may find a counselor who seems perfect but then discover that he or she isn’t in your network, which means you either can’t see him or her, or you’ll need to pay out of pocket. If you want to avoid this, factor in whether a potential counselor is in your network or not first. Then you can continue to filter. You may also be able to pay for counseling using an HSA/FSA card.
5. Think About Exactly What You Need
You don’t want a general therapist for marriage counseling. Helping people with their relationships can be a complex job, so you want to find a counselor who has some experience in your specific relationship needs. If you’re seeking an amicable divorce, for example, look for a counselor who has a background in that type of relationship counseling and make it clear to him or her that’s what you want out of counseling.
Marriage counseling, like other forms of counseling, isn’t for everyone. It’s up to you and your partner to determine whether it will benefit you, but it’s something that everyone should try.