4 Ways to Get the Most Out of Couples Counseling

Psychotherapy benefits many people around the globe. Approximately 93% of couples who work with a therapist our counselor say they feel it helped them learn new tools to improve their marriage. The American Association of Marriage and Family Therapists reports that 98% of couples who have undergone couples counseling call the treatment very helpful.

If you are considering couples therapy, here are some tips to make sure you get the most out of the experience.

Individual counseling is very different from couples counseling services. Some people are hesitant to start marriage counseling because they have had bad experiences with therapy. Comparing couples therapy to individual counseling is very much like comparing apples to oranges. It is crucial that you enter into this with an open mind that has been impacted by any previous experiences with therapy. If you are unsure if this is for you, ask about going to an initial counseling session to get a feel for it. If one person in the couple is reluctant, the other might want to consider individual therapy, which can be helpful both with and without a couples counseling component.

Get recommendations. You may not realize it but there is a very good chance that you know people who have gone to couples counseling. If you prefer, you can get recommendations from your family doctor or clergy. You can get a list from professional directories and definitely do some online research to locate therapists in your area. You can find online reviews to get a better sense of the different therapy styles and techniques to see what you think might work best for you and your situation.

Interview several counselors or therapists.  Talk to more than one therapist before you pick one. Even if you really like the first person you talk to, go to some sessions with different counselors to get a better sense of what your options are. It is really important to be able to connect with your therapist as to make this experience worthwhile you have to be completely open and honest. It can be hard, under even the best circumstances, to open up about the private parts of your life and relationship so make sure you can develop a rapport with the counselor.

Check with your insurance carrier. Every plan has its own caveats vis-a-vis mental health services that are covered. Some require you go to someone who is in their network. If you are unsure about what kind of coverage you have or how to make an appointment with a mental health provider, call your insurance carrier. Some require you get these services pre-approved before they pay for any services. Remember to get any copayment information if you do not have it. Licensed therapists are much less expensive, by between 20 and 40%, than psychologists or psychiatrists.

Many people remain wary of starting therapy because of the stigma that is often attached to any mental health treatment. The bottom line is that many people do get a benefit from counseling. Many couples emerge stronger after undergoing therapy and are in a better position to mzke their marriages work. Finding the right therapist and doing some research before you begin counseling can make all the difference.

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