Your relationship isn’t doing so well. You’re afraid of what the future might bring. As such, you’re searching for a couples counselor.
The only question you have now is: how do you choose the right one? There are a number of factors to consider before choosing a counselor, 7 of which we’re going to review in this article.
Ready? Let’s go!
1. Your Comfort
First and foremost, you have to be comfortable around your counselor. After all, you’re going to be talking about serious and personal matters. If you’re not comfortable around your counselor, you’ll likely remain guarded, and probably won’t be able to get prime benefit out of your sessions.
Not only should you be comfortable around your counselor; your partner should be comfortable around your counselor as well. The counselor should be non-judgemental while fostering a safe and secure environment. A trust in confidentiality is key, as it will enable both you and your partner to open up about your problems.
Schedule an initial meeting and see what you both think. If you’re pleased with the session, schedule another one. If not, you’re going to want to look for other options.
2. The Counselor’s Reputation
Every couples counselor has a reputation. Those who consistently provide quality service are bound to have positive reputations; those who consistently provide poor service are bound to have negative reputations. As such, before choosing a counselor, you need to assess his or her reputation.
How can you do this? The best option is to make use of online review websites. Sites like Google, Yelp, and Facebook are loaded with reviews on various businesses and will help you determine which counselors are worth considering.
Not only should you read the individual reviews on these websites but you should also keep an eye out for star ratings. At the very least, your counselor should have a star rating of 4. Any rating under this is an indication of poor service.
3. The Counselor’s Specialization
Not all couples counselors are created equal. Whereas some are generalists who will see patients of all kinds, many have specializations and are dedicated to only certain types of patients. Your goal is to find one who suits your specific situation.
For instance, maybe you’re having trouble in the bedroom? If so, you’re advised to find a couples counselor who specializes in sex.
Maybe you and your partner have children? If so, you’re advised to find a couples counselor who works with parents.
There are all kinds of specializations out there, and there’s sure to be a counselor who fits your specific bill. Do your research and you’ll find the counselor who best accommodates you.
4. The Counselor’s Practices
Not only should you keep an eye out for different specializations, but you should also keep an eye out for different working practices. Each counselor you come across is bound to approach treatment in a different way. You want to choose a practice style that suits you and your partner.
On one hand, a counselor might administer treatment strictly through talk therapy. This will enable you to work out your problems in a simple and straightforward manner.
On another hand, your counselor might incorporate couples therapy exercises like the Gottman Method or Imago Relationship Therapy. These treatments are a little more complex and might help you to better uncover your issues.
Regardless, you need to find a counselor whose practice style suits your personality. Different forms of treatment work for different types of people. Only you can decide which type will work for you and your partner.
5. The Counselor’s Bias
The purpose of couples counseling is to find measured and balanced solutions to your relationship problems. You aren’t going to find these solutions in a counselor who carries an inherent bias. As such, before making a choice, you need to do your research.
Does the counselor have a reputation for siding with women? Maybe the counselor has a reputation for siding with men? Perhaps he or she leans more liberal or more conservative?
All of these are red flags when it comes to picking a couple’s counselor. A good couples counselor is able to treat couples on a case-by-case basis. He or she will not insert personal bias or preferences.
The location of your counselor is important as well. After all, you don’t want to have to drive 30 minutes out of your way just to get to a session. The farther you have to drive, the more likely it is that you’ll stop going.
Generally speaking, it’s wise to find a counselor who’s located within 15 minutes of you. This way, you can focus on the session itself, and not on the stressful commute that it took to get to that session.
Different counselors charge different rates. Unless you have unlimited disposable income, you’re going to have to find one that fits within your budget. As such, when making a choice, you have to consider the cost.
How can you determine what a couple’s counselor charges? The easiest way is to pick up the phone and make a call. Any reputable counselor will inform you of his or her rates upon request.
Note, typical rates run between $100 and $200 per hour. Most sessions run at around 90 minutes. So, for every session, you should expect to pay somewhere between $150 and $300.
Choosing the Right Couples Counselor Can Make All the Difference
If your relationship is on the rocks, seeing the right couples counselor can make all the difference in the world. So, utilize the tips above and find a counselor who’s perfect for you and your significant other. A bright future awaits.
Searching for other such tips? Look no further than our website. Take a look at some of our other blog posts now!