Many couples, individuals and families are helped every year by going to therapy. Most couples who seek out couple’s therapy, say they received either excellent or good treatment. The American Association of Marriage and Family Therapists reports that more than 98% of these couples say this. More than 97% say they got the help that they needed. Nearly three quarters of all couples who seek out counseling say their marriage is in a better condition after the experience. Marriage and family counselors provide important services.
Finding the right family counselor is important to the process. Here are some tips to make sure you get the right one for your needs.
- Talk to your friends and family. The best way to find quality goods and services is to get personal recommendations from the people in your life that you trust. Given the number of people who seek out help from marriage and family counselors, therapists and others, the chances are good that you know someone who has gone to one for help for themselves. You may not end up using the same therapist that was used by your friend or family member but this can give you a starting point. Ask how they found the person they used and what they thought of the experience.
- Talk to your primary care physician. One reason to have a primary care doctor who knows you and you trust is that they can be a very valuable resource for finding a wide range of specialists and that includes experts in counseling for parents and family counseling techniques. Many people do not realize how much of a resource their primary care doctor is.
- Call your health insurance carrier. Different health insurance carriers have different procedures for getting mental health help. They should also have a list of family counselors that are in their network. You should call and see if you need to have these service approved in advance. They may be able to give you more information about the different providers in your area. There should be information on their website as well.
- Decide if you need a specialist. Really spend some time thinking about the things you want to accomplish by seeing a family counselor. Some couples go to pre-marriage counseling and other couples go when they have been married for some time. There are a number of couples counseling exercises that many find very useful in helping relationships through rough patches. Lawyers, doctors and therapists have specialties and you need to see one who has training in the area where you need help. Otherwise, the entire experience can be a waste of time, money and effort for all of you.
- Shop around. You are going to need to be totally comfortable with the family counselor you decide to see. This means you may have to speak to more than one. If you are going to a family counselor for marriage advice and help, both people in the relationship need to be comfortable with the therapist that you select. Here are some things you may want to ask each:
- Do you have any experience dealing with the issues that I/we have? How much?
- What is your philosophy? Different therapists have different approaches to personal and couple’s problems and issues. You should be comfortable with the approach your therapist is going to take.
- How empathetic do they seem? This is not so much of a question to ask them but to ask yourself and your partner after you have met with the family counselor. If you do not feel you could open up to this person, there is no reason to go to them.
- Do not focus too much on their credentials. When you go into the family counselor’s office, you may see their diplomas on the wall. They may be very impressive or they may not be. How well you can relate to the person is much more important than where they received their training.
Many people find the decision to seek out help from a family counselor or therapist to be very hard. This is the reason so many people go without treatment for a host of problems. It can be very helpful and beneficial to couples and individuals.