Relationships take work. And while compatibility often plays a major role in keeping the relationship on a healthy and loving keel, problems and stress can change those dynamics in a big way. Before relationship patterns set in or before you and your partner get married, having a few sessions with a couples counseling therapist can go a long way to clearing the air and making sure you and your would-be-spouse start your married life on a healthy and loving note.
Here are 4 helpful steps from PsychCentral on how you can find a couples therapist for you and your loved one:
- Get some referrals. Chances are, you’ve got a circle of friends who are either with their partners, on the verge of tying the knot or are already living together in a not-so-newly wedded state of bliss. Most likely, you also trust their instincts so if they refer a name or a counseling therapist, you know you can trust them to give you an excellent one.
- Ask your doctor. If suggestions from your friends don’t pan out, you can also try to ask your own physician for help. Doctors know other doctors. Yours might even already have someone in mind as soon as you ask. If this doesn’t work, you can also try your luck at the nearest hospital. And if that still doesn’t net you the therapist you want, take your search online.
- Do the interview. Ask about the focus of their practice. While plenty of therapists work with couples that isn’t, necessarily, a sign of their competence as a couples counseling therapist. What you need is someone with the education, training and experience to help you and your partner work through your issues. Does the therapist have specific experience in dealing with your problems? That’s the kind of therapist you need.
- Go on several sessions. Try out a few therapists first before settling on the final one. How do you know you’re making the right choice? Go with your gut feel, yours and your partner’s. Choose a therapist you’re both comfortable with. Do both of you feel you can trust that doctor? Then that’s a good indication. If you feel like the therapist is taking sides though, you might want to voice that opinion out so you can discuss it, whether in therapy or with just your partner.
And lastly, remember to give the therapy time to work. It’s normal to feel that you didn’t get to work through any of your issues during the first few sessions. It usually takes until the 3rd or 4th time to see that happen. Click here for more information.