How to Interview a Couple’s Therapist
Sometimes you just need help. Whether you are struggling with life transitions or family conflict, marriage and family therapy can help. A lot of couples struggle to pinpoint exactly what they need help with, but they understand that where they are at in their relationship is just not working. Perhaps you’ve decided that your relationship is just not working as well and are interested in couple’s therapy. How can you be sure to find the best therapist to meet your individual needs?
Read below for pointers on what to do before you reach out to marriage counselors, as well as the types of questions you should ask potential counselors before you begin therapy.
Before you start making calls:
1. Get clear on what you need.
It is ok if you do not know exactly what your needs are. But good therapist can help you better identify your needs if you are able to verbalize your areas of difficulty. A way to start thinking about this is to identify the pain points in your relationship. Ask yourselves, where does it hurt the most? Just like you would go to a doctor and explain where the physical pain is, a therapist should be able to listen to your difficulty and help you pinpoint exactly what you are needing from your therapy sessions. If there is a specific event or crisis that has created the need or pain point, this would also be a good thing to consider in determining your needs.
Here are a few examples of needs:
- We need help making a decision about _______.
- We need to learn how to cope with ______.
- We are struggling to communicate about _______.
- Every time __________ happens, we ___________. We don’t know how to stop it.
2. Determine if you are willing to use private pay for the right therapist.
Insurance is great, but sometimes the best therapist for your problem may not take your insurance. If you find a good therapist online or from a friend’s recommendation, but then find out they do not accept insurance, don’t rule them out. It is possible that they could still be the best choice for you, even without using your insurance plan. The interview questions below will help you to know if this is the case. Just remember that the right fit between you and a therapist goes beyond whether they accept your insurance.
Once you have a good understanding of what you need, it is time to reach out to some therapists. A good therapist should be willing to set aside time to understand your situation. For instance, with Josh Kellar Counseling, there is always a free consultation via zoom to help address these concerns and allow you space to ask any questions you may have. It is wise to be ready with the questions below when interviewing therapists.
Important questions to ask during a consultation:
1. Ask: “Can you tell me about your experience working with [describe your situation]?”
You want to be sure that the therapist you choose has worked with couples dealing with similar issues to yours. No two couples are alike, but it helps to find a therapist who has experience helping couples like yourself. When choosing a counselor, it helps to ask your therapist about their experience directly, and the types of couples they prefer to work with. Asking these questions will help you understand your therapist’s experience and will help you determine whether they have a good grasp of your problem, as well as if they would be a good fit for you and your partner. If you get a good vibe, you might be well on your way to finding the right therapist!
2. Ask: “What does your process look like when working with couples like us?”
A good therapist should be able to walk you through what it looks like to take you from point A (i.e. – where you are now) to point Z (the finish line). All therapists have their own approach to counseling and personal style of therapy. Even though processes are never one-size-fits-all, you should get a feel as to whether the therapist’s process would work for you and your partner. Feel free to ask questions about any stage of the process. If it is unclear or you don’t think it makes sense for your situation, it is ok to ask your therapist for details to gain more clarification! Know that the therapy process goes beyond the initial intake stage of counseling. The intake is important, but you don’t want to show up at session two and be asked, “so what do you want to talk about today?” This is a red flag. Your therapist should always be a step ahead to get you and your partner where you need to go.
3. Ask: “How will we know when we are ready to be done with counseling?”
This follows up on the second inquiry but has more to do with your and your companion’s emotions. Considering everything you will have shared with them to this point, the therapist should be able to point out the differences in your feelings towards your relationship from when you start therapy to when you may be ready to end. Significant progress is a good indicator that it may be time to stop sessions. Each therapist has a different strategy when it comes to concluding therapy, but the ultimate goal at some point should be to end couple’s counseling when the couple has made significant progress.
It is essential that you are comfortable with the therapist with whom you entrust your personal information. Every event in life should be taken seriously and it is alright to ask more questions if you don’t feel sure about your therapist’s approach. If something doesn’t feel right, it is okay to look for another therapist that you can be open and honest with.
If you are interested in scheduling a consultation with Josh Kellar, follow the link below and be sure to bring your interviewing skills. Every question you have for your therapist matters and deserves to be answered in a way that ensures you are confident with your relationship with them. Feel free to reach out with any questions you might have!
How to Get Started with Couples Counseling and Find Therapists in Belton, TX
For couples in Belton, TX and the surrounding area who are seeking therapy, take the first step today! Simply complete the Work with Me application. Once you do, my assistant will follow up and let you know what to do next!
Josh Kellar is a licensed marriage and family therapist, offering mental health counseling services in Belton, TX. Using evidence-based therapy, Josh offers client-centered, solution focused therapy to help couples and families. Josh enjoys using his extensive experience as a licensed therapist and psychologist to help couples and families thrive in their relationships and feel safe to express their individual needs.