If you are having issues in your relationship, choosing to see a relationship therapist is a courageous decision. The sooner you seek help from a relationship therapist the better, given the fact some couples wait up to six years before they decide to see a therapist. Studies also show that the sooner you take assistance from a relationship therapist the better are your chances of having a good result. But, many couples find it challenging on how to choose a relationship therapist or a couple’s therapist that right for them.
There are two ways to find a good relationship therapist:
- Ask someone you know and trust for a referral. This person can be a friend, coworker, doctor or your attorney, who is already in relationship therapy or had one in the past and had good results.
- Search online. Many directories list relationship therapists. But, we recommend you check Find A Therapist or Psychology Today, The National Registry for Marriage Friendly Therapists and so on.
Once you've chosen a relationship or couples therapist, there are some specific things you need to focus on in the first appointment.
- You should feel safe and comfortable with the therapist’s behavior and personality. He or she should be warm, welcoming and friendly. He or she shouldn’t make you feel at ease and not stress you out. He or she should be reassuring and confident and help you to improve your relationships and resolves the issues. Plus, a relationship therapist should also be able to explain about his or her work process and what you can expect. The therapists should be capable of answering all of your questions.
- Your relationship therapist apart from helping in resolving your relationship problems; should also help you to move forward. He or she should be compassionate and caring to you and your partner. He or she should be active in trying to help and should have the ability to communicate clearly with the both of you. The therapist should effectively structure and design the sessions so that the two of you feel safe and held. A good therapist will challenge both of you about your contributions or role in the problem without bias. The therapist should take into consideration your cultural upbringing, gender, and religious beliefs before giving out any relationship advice. He or she should be well-aware of problems like depression, anxiety, substance abuse, anger or any kind of illnesses.
- Bear in mind that relationship therapy is not a quick fix in general. Relationship therapy also doesn’t take as long as individual therapy, and within just 4-6 sessions, it’s expected that you will have a much better understanding of your relationship with your significant other. Within that period you will notice that your communications skills are better than ever which it necessary to experience deeper connection and intimacy with your partner. However, if you see that your relationship is in a much bigger crisis than what you previously anticipated, you and your spouse can opt for longer sessions. And despite expressing your concerns and having all the required sessions, if you still see the difficulties in your relationship, it might be that this relationship therapist is not right for you and you need to for a new one.