How To Choose a Couples Counselor
In the aftermath of a betrayal, you and your partner will go through a difficult and tumultuous time. Saving the relationship will require sacrifice, considerable effort, and willingness from both parties. If you and your partner have made the decision to seek professional support, we want to commend you for taking this important step.
Once you’ve made the decision to work on your challenges together, finding the right therapist is key. Knowing how to choose a couples counselor who can meet your needs can make the difference between abandoning therapy and success. You and your partner should discuss the following factors when selecting a qualified couples counselor.
Define Your Therapy Goals
Therapy is most effective when you and your partner set specific goals and outcomes for the process. In couples therapy, goals fall into three categories:
These are goals to improve personal traits/characteristics. For example, a partner may wish to be more attentive or attuned to the other’s needs.
Couples may also set goals to better the relationship. Improving communication, making more time for one another, and creating a family are common relationship goals.
Couples therapy can also help with goals related to everyday life. You might need to work on issues surrounding shared finances or work obligations to create the lifestyle that you want.
It is also perfectly normal to have vague goals. In this case, our experienced therapists will work with you to refine your shared values and put together practical and actionable end goals.
Consider Any Restraints
If you and your partner are willing to attend counseling, you’ve overcome the most significant barrier. However, if you want to remain committed to couples therapy, you must also consider and mitigate any other restraints.
Cost is an important consideration. Getting help from an experienced couples therapist may be more expensive than you anticipate. However, when compared to the financial and emotional cost of a divorce, therapy is a sound investment. While experience comes at a price, it also means we can offer effective treatment options that get to the core of your relationship’s unique dynamics. Through our individualized approach, we are able to treat couples in half the number of sessions as the average therapy practice. Specialist treatment comes at a higher upfront cost but will save you more in the long run.
Time can be another decisive factor. Therapy sessions can last between 60 to 90 minutes, and multiple sessions are needed to see lasting results. Partners must work together to create a schedule where both parties can attend sessions consistently. You can also determine if you would prefer to meet with your therapist in person or online.
Compare Different Approaches
Selecting the right therapy approach is essential in determining how to choose a couples counselor. There are several different methods and techniques used in couples therapy. Some of the most common approaches include:
Gestalt Therapy- In this approach, clients and therapists are partners in the therapeutic journey. The therapist uses their expertise and role as a nonjudgmental third-party to offer insight into the dynamics of the relationship. This increases each partner’s awareness of each other and themselves.
Psychodynamic Art Therapy- Psychodynamic theory views behaviors and thoughts as the result of past experiences. Art and other creative endeavors help clients tap into their unconscious belief systems and patterns.
Narrative Therapy- Narrative therapy focuses on the stories individuals tell themselves about their experiences. This approach recognizes that no two people interpret the same event identically and respects diverse perspectives.
Integrative Behavioral Couples Therapy- IBCT focuses on the relationship between behaviors and emotional responses. Couples work towards changing problematic behaviors while increasing acceptance of each other and themselves.
All of these methods are suitable for couples repairing their relationship after a betrayal. Many therapists also follow an eclectic approach and will incorporate one or more methods within your counseling plan.
How To Choose a Couples Counselor, by Approach
Therapy is a regulated profession, so any counselor you find will be certified and credentialed. However, it is important to look for counselors who specialize in your preferred method. Qualified therapists will hold credentials and certifications in specific approaches.
The most effective couples therapists have a client base composed mainly, or exclusively, of couples. Many couples counselors are also trained in specific areas, such as LGBTQ relationships, partner betrayal therapy, non-monogamous relationships, and other sexual and gender identifications.
You can also use a FREE introductory call to interview your potential counselor, assess their background and see if they are a good fit for you.
How To Choose a Couples Counselor Who Meets All of Your Needs
When it comes to choosing the right counselor, it is important to remember that you and your partner retain complete control over the process.
Therapy is most effective when both partners are open to the process and willing to do the work. From there, look for a certified couples counselor who meets the following criteria:
Has significant experience in couples counseling
Shares your views on ideal therapeutic outcomes
Is respectful, nonjudgmental, and compassionate
Is based in an accessible location, or offers online sessions
Avoids cookie-cutter approaches and creates a treatment plan tailored to you
If you and your partner are seeking couples therapy, we invite you to have a conversation with our experienced and supportive professionals. Over the past decade, we have helped hundreds of couples navigate their difficulties with a 98 percent success rate. You can discuss your needs, goals, and therapeutic preferences through our free introductory call.