You should go for a therapist visit when you’re not in any real crisis yet. This is of course rarely the case, since you are far more likely to look for help when you’re neck-deep in trouble. Since we’re all busy in our daily lives, good help is hard to schedule.
You should at the very least consider the possibility of therapy when your relationship is ailing. More couples should reach out for therapy before a catastrophic problem is encountered. Couples counselling is a great resource to fall back on if you’re going through a hard time. You can find strength in it, finding a safer way forward with your relationship, or providing ongoing support to resolve whatever issues are holding you back.
Couples going through counselling can find it prevents things from deteriorating. If you and your partner are going through it, you will be in a much better position to resolve your issues going forward. This will happen without being at each other’s throats. You won’t have the added pressure of having to find a therapist in a hurry, and you won’t have to worry about finding one that clicks with you.
How Do You Find a Therapist?
This may be one of the hardest things to do. You should dedicate some time, specifically a couple of weeks or even months and see at least a few different ones to get a sense of things. Before you start, you should talk to your partner about it, as this is something that affects both of you. You need to figure out the kind of therapist they’re looking for, as well as factors you both find important going forward. You need to synchronise things so your schedules won’t clash with the sessions.
You should ask around and see about getting a referral if you can. See if your friends don’t know anyone they are happy with. You can ask a trusted medical professional, like your primary care physician or your OB/GYN. If you’ve ever been in individual therapy, you can simply ask your therapist about recommending someone who handles couples.
You can look up websites like Psychology Today, where most therapists will pay for listings, and it may also give you a chance to narrow down the search based on language, gender, speciality, location and more. Depending on where you live, you may have a local association of therapists working online that you can contact. Even if a therapist doesn’t exactly have a massive presence online, that doesn’t mean they’re bad at their job. Sometimes they get more than enough business through simple word-of-mouth and are plenty busy without having to advertise or even make their website.
You Should Keep an Open Mind
You should have a mental checklist of what you’re looking for in a therapist, but you should also allow yourself a chance to think outside of that. You don’t know what it will feel like to be in the room with your significant other and the therapist before you’re there. Both of you need to feel comfortable and respected in that professional environment for things to work.
Common Couples Therapies
Many counsellors are trained in various ways of therapy and will adapt your treatment based on your situation. The three most commonly established ones are the Gottman Method, Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT) and the Imago Relationship Therapy. There are other nuances, sometimes even hypnosis may be used, specific types of sex therapy and more, but those three are the most commonly used.