How To Find The Right Marriage Counselor
Deciding to start marriage counseling can be hard enough, but finding a counselor that you and your spouse or partner feel comfortable with can be even more challenging. While some couples work with pastoral counselors or ask married friends for a referral, others find it difficult to disclose their relationship issues—and that’s completely normal.
Your therapeutic relationship can have long-lasting impacts on your mental health and relationship, so it’s worth finding the right match. Whether you’re searching for a new marriage counselor or starting couples therapy for the first time, here’s how to find the right fit for both of you.
Start your search online.
Even if you’ve already asked married friends for a referral, remember that couples therapy isn’t one-size-fits-all. As a result, you might need to work with a few marriage counselors to find the best match.
Fortunately, online directories and therapy platforms can help you narrow your search so you won’t have to sort through countless social workers, psychologists, and counselors who don’t offer couples therapy. To take the first step, try searching for a couples therapist on the following platforms:
- The National Registry of Marriage Friendly Therapists
- Gottman Referral Directory
- American Association of Marriage and Family Therapists (AAMFT)
- Therapy Group of DC
Online directories can make your search easier, helping you sort by location, specialty, license requirements, session cost, and other vital criteria. Meanwhile, online therapy platforms like the Therapy Group of DC connect clients to mental health professionals based on their unique preferences and mental health needs.
Search for counselors with couples therapy training.
It might be tempting to schedule an appointment with the nearest therapist, especially if you’re dealing with daily disagreements, financial problems, or an extramarital affair. Unfortunately, even the best therapist can’t help without the proper training.
To make your marriage counseling a success, make sure the type of mental health provider you see (psychologist, marriage and family therapist, professional counselor, etc.) is licensed to practice in your state and has experience with couples therapy interventions. Not all therapists have marriage counseling training and being a good therapist, and a good couples therapist are two different skill sets.
Schedule initial consultations with potential counselors.
Now that you’ve narrowed your search down to a few potential marriage counselors, it’s time to schedule initial consultations to see if they’re the right fit. Some questions you might ask during your first session include:
- Did you receive training in couple and marriage counseling?
- What is your opinion on divorce? Do you ever recommend divorce during marriage counseling?
- What do you believe makes a relationship successful?
- Do couples typically see improvement after their treatment plan? In your experience, what is the effectiveness of couples therapy?
- What experience do you have with [infidelity, substance abuse, intimacy issues, LGBTQIA+ couples etc.]?
Different marriage counselors will have different approaches to marriage counseling, so don’t be afraid to ask about your treatment plan. Ask about the structure of your counseling sessions, the length of sessions, and how you’ll decide when it’s time to end treatment. A good therapist will have a clear action plan and follow through on that plan.
Compassionate, Data-Driven Therapy in DC
Finding common ground with your spouse might feel impossible, but couples therapy is the first step toward a healthier relationship. Whether you’re dealing with resentment, loneliness, or different cultural backgrounds, it’s crucial to find the right marriage counselor who meets your specific counseling needs.
To find the right fit, reach out to a therapist through the Therapy Group of DC. We know that therapy can feel overwhelming, and we offer personalized, data-driven treatment to help you overcome your challenges. Our relationship counseling experts are here to help your relationship thrive.