3 Tips for Finding an Effective Marriage Therapist

3 Tips for Finding an Effective Marriage Therapist

3 Tips for Finding an Effective Marriage Therapist

Many couples who spend more than a year in therapy find that things have not changed. Unfortunately, in many cases, therapy providers without professional marriage therapy training often open their doors for marriage counseling. In addition, many therapists who advertise themselves as marriage therapists may only be trained in individual therapy, which differs dramatically from Dr. Phillips marriage counseling. Our experts offer these essential tips to help you find an effective and competent marriage therapist who can support you and your spouse, transform your marriage, and build a more meaningful and stronger bond.

Consider a therapist with specialized training in marriage therapy.

Always be sure that the provider you see has a state license and has been specifically trained in marital therapy approaches. Unfortunately, not all therapy providers have such training. Furthermore, not all providers who offer marital counseling have received supervision from other certified therapists to ensure that their interventions and techniques can lead to lasting changes for marital relationships. Some of the popular approaches that provide professional training and supervision include:

  • Integrative behavioral couples therapy
  • Discernment counseling
  • Relational life therapy
  • The developmental model of couples therapy
  • The psychobiological approach of couples therapy
  • Emotionally focused couples therapy
  • The Gottman Method couples therapy

Other places to search for competent marriage therapists include Marriage Friendly Therapists, Psychology Today, and the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapy.

It is essential to look for providers aligned with the inner workings of relationships without you having to teach them terminology. For example, if you are looking for inclusive providers in America who are trained explicitly on non-monogamy, kink and BDSM, sexuality, and gender identity or expression, you should look for providers who are also certified sex therapists with the American Association of Sexuality, Educators, Counselors, and Therapists because these providers receive specialized training for working closely with erotically marginalized couples.

If you feel comfortable, you may also find an excellent marital therapy provider by asking co-workers or friends who have dealt with marriage therapy if they can make a recommendation.

Interview potential therapists on the phone or during the first session.

Once you have discovered a list of possible providers to work with, experts recommend getting to know them better to ensure they are a perfect fit for you and you are a good fit for them. The following are some great questions to ask:

  • Do you have formal education and supervised training in marriage therapy?
  • What percentage of your work is with married couples?
  • What is your opinion on divorce? Do you ever recommend it?
  • What percentage of married couples you have worked with have seen improved relationships due to being in therapy with you?
  • What do you believe makes a marriage successful?

Stay in therapy if you want your relationship to improve.

It is essential to avoid dropping out of therapy early to improve your relationship. Research proves that married couples who stay in treatment show the most long-term improvements. A practical and experienced marriage therapist knows the differences between improvements from addressing minor issues and lasting improvements resulting from resolving root problems. You may see significant improvements within the first handful of sessions. Remember that committing to 8 to 10 sessions before evaluating whether marital therapy is working well for you is a good idea to ensure that both surface and more profound issues are addressed.

These are just a few tips for finding a great marriage therapist. Dr. Phillips marriage counseling is here to make the process easy. Call us today for more information.

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Heather Oller

Heather Oller is a licensed Orlando therapist at Orlando Thrive Therapy, Coaching & Counseling who specializes in counseling Orlando couples, individuals, and families who are seeking changes in their lives. She has been a mental health professional for over 17 years and is a practicing Orlando counselor that specializes in conflict resolution for couples. You can contact her for an appointment or call 407-592-8997 for more information.