Whether you are looking for help with a household project, care for a child or elderly parent or help with a medical issue you want to find the best help available. The same is true when looking for relationship help. Getting the best help starts with doing your research. The internet makes researching almost anything super easy and it’s a good place to start. Unfortunately, just like you can’t believe everything you hear, your can’t trust everything you read online. The open source nature of the web makes a huge amount of information available without filtering the value of what’s out there. It’s your job to dig a little deeper and think outside the box to make sure you find the best marriage counseling for you.
Here are a few tips for finding the best marriage counseling in your area.
Start by figuring out what kind of help you are looking for. Are you wanting a traditional approach to counseling? This often looks like you and your spouse sitting in a room for a series of sessions with a licensed marriage and family therapist. Maybe you are looking for a more intensive one time program like a marriage retreat? These sometimes require traveling or at the very least a dedicated weekend. They also often mean airing your laundry in a less private setting. There is a third option in online marriage help, programs like Power of Two. These are more self paced and tend to focus heavily on skill building with a coaching component. With an online program you don’t have to sit in a counselor’s waiting room with other patients, you’re not going to accidentally run into someone you know at the doctor’s office, and you don’t have to talk about your marriage with total strangers as you do with in-person, remote, or group counseling sessions. Counseling and marriage help are never a one size fits all deal, finding the right approach for you is an essential step.
When you know what kind of help you are looking for it’s time to check the web. Searching for help in your area is as simple as using google, search for top marriage therapists and write down a list. Once you have some names you can start doing further research. Look for titles such as LCSW, MFT, Ph.D, MD and Psy.D next to someone’s title. While each of these certifications are different, they let you know that this individual has received proper training and accreditation to be a therapist, counselor, or psychiatrist. In-person therapists can be costly; between $120 to $300 per session. While these services may well be worth the price, budget is a consideration with this option.
Ask for referrals. This can be tough if you are feeling a bit insecure or embarrassed about seeking help (even though you should feel great about your decision to take the leap because everyone, seriously everyone needs relationship help at some point.) You can ask another health professional you work with, maybe a primary care physician or a trusted friend or family member.
When you have your list narrowed down, meet with a few counselors and therapists to see where there is a fit. Choosing the right therapist is so important. Look for someone who you have a good rapport with and who doesn’t take sides. Seeing a counselor together is a good approach, individual therapy can be helpful when dealing with personal issues outside of the scope of your relationship, in general though couples counseling should be done as a couple! Trust your instincts and don’t be afraid to ask lots of questions to see if the fit is there.
The best marriage counseling supports your journey as a couple, actively teaches you skills and techniques for a healthy marriage and does not expect you to have all the answers. It’s great when you’re given the chance to search inside yourself and discover answers on your own. At the same time, if we all knew how to do that, there would be no need for marriage help! The goal in counseling is to get the tools you need to progress forward on your own, and your therapist should be a coach helping you ever step of the way.