Finding a marriage counselor can be an overwhelming proposition as various factors have to be considered. But as long as you keep a few vital issues in mind, making a wise decision can be so much easier.
Here are the most important considerations to make before hiring a marriage counselor:
Area of Expertise
A lot of marriage counselors only work on individual cases, but you will need a professional who is an expert in counseling couples. Even their gender can play a significant role in your decision. Whomever you pick, not just you but your spouse too should be glad to spend time with the counselor. Otherwise, you will not be equally committed to the therapy and results may be compromised.
Personal Stance on Marriage
People do not usually look for counseling with the intention of ending their relationship. If you want to save your union, it is critical that your therapist believe in the value of doing so. Before anything else, marriage counselors should themselves be optimistic that changes are possible. Otherwise, their own views of marriage can restrict their efforts into saving the relationship.
Marriage counseling calls for a candid relationship between the counselor and the couple. If any of the couple is hesitant in discussing delicate matters with the counselor, the whole process can become ineffective. In other words, pick a therapist who creates an environment in which you and your partner can feel free to speak and be heard. It is wise to go with someone who knows good timing in terms of providing advice, and listening to you or your spouse. Find a therapist who has the ability to drive a session as well as take a backseat when required. You need not always find someone whose personality is similar to you or your spouse’s, but you surely want a professional who has a full understanding of each of you as independent persons and as a couple. Clashing personalities can lead to much worse problems than you started with.
Setting Goals and Expectations
Perhaps the most crucial part of finding a marriage therapist is ensuring that all of you – the counselor, yourself and your spouse – have the same goals and expectations. Equally crucial is that these are all well-communicated right at the start of the process. Otherwise, the process becomes absolutely pointless.
Finally, depending on the counselor you pick, you may be able to pay based on your income and/or select a schedule. Otherwise, you will have to follow their rules and policies. In any case, predictability is key. You have to know to expect and what is expected of you throughout the course of the therapy.