The right marriage counselor can mean the difference between a happy couple and, in extreme cases, divorce, so there are many things you should consider before choosing one. The best way to go about this is by deciding on what you want in a counselor, such as gender, insurance acceptance and credentials. Then, systematically eliminate names on the list until you find the best match. Here is how to go about this process.
Sit down with your spouse and decide on the gender of the counselor. Some people feel more open talking to females; others find a male figure more comforting.
Go through the phone book and make a list of counselors in your area of that gender.
Call your insurance company to see if it will pay for marriage counseling. Many insurance companies, even state-provided insurances such as Medicaid, include this coverage in their policies.
Call marriage counselors on your list to see which ones accept your form of insurance. Cross off the ones who don’t.
Check to see which counselors offer a sliding scale fee if you don’t have insurance or can’t find a counselor that takes your insurance. A sliding scale fee means that you will pay less for the services than someone who makes more money than you do. Cross off the counselors that do not meet your financial needs.
Inquire about each counselor’s credentials and counseling style. Some counselors rely heavily on certain religions as the basis for their theory. For example, if you are Buddhist, you may not want a counselor that uses the Christian Bible as the basis for his counseling technique.
Check to see if you can get a free consultation with the counselors left on your list. The best way to get a feel for someone is a face-to-face meeting. You may find that a marriage counselor that looked great on paper makes you uncomfortable.
- Avoid counselors that make you uncomfortable or do not have proper training.