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The Makings of a Good Marriage Counselor

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What should you look for in a marriage counselor? I am trying to improve myself and my marriage, which is not so great at present. My present counselor is less than I'd hoped for, but I've only gone three times. How much time should you give one before you decide to keep them or move on?

— Dee, Washington

Dee, I applaud your efforts to work on yourself and your marriage with the help of a counselor. Your question is an important one with a very simple answer: It depends!

There are many factors that go into choosing a therapist. First, I would recommend that you find a mental health provider who is licensed in your state. Although licensure does not guarantee a good therapist, it does indicate that they have the qualifications to practice in their specific field, whether it's psychology, social work, counseling, or marriage and family therapy. The next ingredient has to do with you, your beliefs and what your goals are for therapy. It is important to find a therapist whom you trust, who is responsive to your needs, and who will guide you in achieving your goals.

Research has identified specific therapeutic modalities to be more successful than others for specific conditions. For instance, cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) and interpersonal therapy have both been shown to be effective for depression. In CBT, the therapist helps the client understand and overcome errors in thinking (cognitive distortions), while interpersonal therapy focuses on how the client interacts in his or her world and uses the therapeutic relationship as a model to improve social and interpersonal skills. Homework assignments are important ingredients in both of these treatment methods and have been consistently shown to result in quicker and better outcomes.

Regarding your question of how long to keep trying with the same therapist, you said that she is 'less than you had hoped for.' Are you clear about what you want from your counselor? If so, I encourage you to consider talking with her and express your concerns. It could be that she has a different belief about how therapy works than you do — and if that is the case, it is certainly time to move on. It seems to me that after three sessions with this therapist, you would know whether it's a good fit. At the end of the day, no matter what type of therapy you receive, the relationship has to be safe, trusting, and solid.






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Date: 10.12.2018, 20:43 / Views: 41544