You’ve done the research. You’ve narrowed down a few counselors in your area. Now, the real work in finding the right marriage counselor begins.
Don’t be afraid to shop around and do some “test driving” when choosing a marriage counselor. If you’re worried that your relationship needs help, it’s imperative to go with someone who can meet your needs and understand what you’re both going through.
That’s not always easy to see on paper (or behind a screen).
So, consider making appointments with several counselors. Or, at the very least, set up a phone conversation. Asking questions now will make the selection process easier and it will help you feel more comfortable when you finally start working with a counselor.
The questions you ask a marriage counselor are completely up to you and your situation. But, one of the biggest mistakes you can make is going into that first session without any questions. A counselor won’t know how to meet your needs if they don’t know anything about you or what you want to experience.
It’s okay to be a bit hesitant about asking questions to choose a marriage counselor. Let’s cover a few that can help you to “break the ice.”.
How is Success Defined?
How would you define a successful marriage counseling experience?
Do you expect your relationship to be completely “fixed” after a few sessions? Do you plan on attending counseling for years? Would success simply mean avoiding divorce?
Once you have your own answers and goals for counseling, you can pose that question to a potential counselor. What is their definition of success when it comes to their patients? Do they think divorce is ever an option?
By comparing your own answers with theirs, you’ll have an easier time deciding whether a specific counselor is right for you.
What Method(s) Do They Use?
If you’ve done your research on different marriage counselors in the area, you probably already have a basic idea of how each one practices. But, seeing something on a website is different from hearing about it in person. You might not even know what certain methods are, and it’s okay if you need/want more information.
Finding the right method(s) that work for you and your spouse can make all the difference when it comes to the communication, participation, and overall success of your counseling experience.
It’s important to feel confident that the counselor you choose is focused on helping you find solutions. Whether divorce is an option or not, your counselor should be there to help you meet your needs and feel comfortable opening up, not jumping to solutions you’re not comfortable with right away.
What Can You Expect?
No matter how great a marriage counselor might be, it’s okay to feel a little uncomfortable or uncertain, at first.
One of the best ways to alleviate those uncertainties is to ask what you can expect from your sessions.
Obviously, your counselor can’t see into the future. Every couple is different, so every result is different. But, in addition to the methods used, a counselor should be able to give you a basic outline of what to expect from each session, as well as what to expect when it comes to your long-term goals. You can revisit this question along the way depending on how things are going.
Chances are, if you’re already looking for a marriage counselor, you have some concerns about your relationship.
Asking the right questions can make a big difference in how confident you feel about the process, so think about what’s most important to you, and never be afraid to ask as many questions as you need to know you’ve made the right decision.
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