To Avoid Risk and Pain in your marriage you must ask the therapist these 5 questions:
1. What Kind of Training Have You Had in Couple Therapy since School?
Something the general public doesn’t understand is that couples therapy is vastly different from individual therapy. Couples counseling as opposed to individual or family counseling requires completely different methods and theories. One can be a superior individual therapist but a weak couples therapist. It is important to find a therapist you can trust with your marriage. Does the couples therapist you’re looking at invest time and energy in developing themselves or is it something that they do with a bunch of other stuff?
A therapist who has a license to practice isn’t enough. You should be wary of therapists who are still practicing what they learned in school even 10 years ago. When you ask a therapist about his/her training, they may mention they went to grad school and have a license, but they should also talk about other training they have received in the years since.
All of our therapist at Marriage Solutions have advanced training in working with couples. Some therapists take a home study course to improve their skills, doing that isn’t good enough for your relationship, you deserve better from the person who works on your relationship. We’ve actually spent thousands of dollars and traveled to places like Chicago and Houston to learn from the best. You’ll have a far different experience with someone who has put their time and money where their mouth is.
We’ve taken great strides to be excellent at what we do, because when you’re looking for help, you need the therapist to deliver, and we understand that. 70% of therapist say they do couples counseling, but only 17% have any form of advanced training. You can relax at Marriage Solutions knowing you are in good hands.
2. What Approach Do You Use in Couple Therapy?
At Marriage Solutions we believe if you’re going to put your relationship and money in the hands of a professional, you should know that the therapist is working from a clinical approach that has been researched, tested, and demonstrates positive results.
We use Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy because it has strong research showing that 86%-90% of couples make significant improvement and 75% fully recover after a 5 month period. As it currently stands, EFT is the best method for couples therapy. If you’re considering couples counseling make sure your therapist has extensive training in EFT.
Another popular method is Behavioral Couples Therapy, which unfortunately only has about 35% of couples improving. It helps some couples, but in our opinion that isn’t good enough. And we hope that isn’t good enough for you either. Another method that is popular is the Gottman Method of Couples Therapy, as it currently stands there is no research published on how effective the method is, sadly many therapists use that model because its easy to learn but their is no research to document its effectiveness.
3. How many couples do you see a week?
This is a telling figure. It will tell you if your therapist specializes or only says they do. You want a therapist that sees 15 couples a week or more, because that speaks volumes about their experience. It’s worth finding a therapist who focuses just on couple’s issues.
4. Do You Mainly Meet with Partners as a Couple or as Individuals?
At Marriage Solutions, we do see individuals from time to time when their spouse has left them, or who have been caught in an affair, or have been betrayed, we do this to help manage the crisis and provide education on what may be helpful to resolve the crisis, but it is something that is typically short term. Contemporary couple therapy experts don’t recommend treating couples by working with individuals in isolation. Without both people in the room it’s difficult to change that relationship.
You should be cautious of a therapist who says, “If your spouse won’t come to counseling, we should begin anyway until they decide to join us.” I consider that short sighted and dangerous simply because your spouse may feel like they are walking into a trap if they do decide to go with you to a counselor you’ve already developed a relationship with.
5. What Kind of Advice Will I Get?
A. You will get advice that is current with contemporary experts in couples therapy.
B. You will get advice that is pro your relationship working out.
C. Advice that is respectful of your religious beliefs.