No one gets married expecting to need counseling, eventually. You might recognize that you’ll have disagreements. You’ll have your ups and downs. But, if you’ve tried to work through things on your own and it isn’t going well, it’s okay to seek help.
A marriage counselor can be an incredible resource. If you truly want to salvage and save your marriage, a marriage counselor is the first place you should turn.
How can you make sure you’ll find a good one? Simply Googling marriage counselors in your area will likely bring up several, but that doesn’t mean they’re all the same.
With that in mind, let’s cover some helpful tips that can make it easier to find a marriage counselor that will meet your needs.
Do Your Research
The Internet has made it easier than ever to find good marriage counselors. But, it takes a little time and research. Don’t choose someone just because they have a smiling face and seem nice. Your choice should be made based on who you think will help bring your marriage back to life.
So, as you’re doing your research, keep the following tips in mind:
- Don’t choose a counselor based on convenience. Your choice needs to be intentional and purposeful.
- Look at credentials and certifications. Yes, even marriage counselors can be guilty of “false advertising” on their websites.
- It’s okay to shop around and make appointments with different counselors. Seeing how you fit in person can give you more insight into who is right for you.
Watch for Red Flags
It’s important to know that any therapist can offer marriage counseling. That doesn’t mean they’re an expert in the field. Rather, it probably means they’re trying to reach a wider audience.
While a therapist can be helpful, it’s always better to seek out someone who specializes in working with couples and saving marriages.
If you start going to a marriage counselor and they seem to want to diagnose one of you with a mental health condition, or they’re keeping secrets between you, it’s a sure sign you should look elsewhere.
Understand Their Strategy
Different marriage counselors will take specific approaches to the way they work with you. You can ask about their strategy ahead of time, or at your first appointment. Ask about specific modalities and techniques they use, and don’t be afraid to ask them to explain if you’re confused.
It’s also okay to ask about how many sessions you might have and their timeline for results. Obviously, they aren’t going to be able to give you an exact date for your marriage to be “healed”. But they should be able to give you an idea of what to expect from treatment.
If you or your spouse aren’t completely comfortable with the approach a marriage counselor wants to take, they probably aren’t going to be a good fit. Being uncomfortable in that setting will make it more likely for you to remain reserved. You might not be willing to be as vulnerable, and that will hinder the entire process.
What to Expect
Even if you find the perfect marriage counselor, keep in mind that the best solution for you and your spouse might not be to stay married.
That can be a hard reality to face. However, marriage counseling can even make it easier to accept. You’ll feel confident that you exhausted every option, rather than just giving up on your commitment.
If you’re looking for a marriage counselor that meets your needs, click here to be directed to conduct a search for a couples therapist near you. You will find a qualified and compassionate therapist to talk about areas of struggle in your marriage and what you can expect in working together.