A: Research has shown
that a client’s greatest chance for success in therapy lies in the relationship created between them and their therapist. Finding the right therapist is vital to a successful and sustainable path forward. You can use our free Guide to Finding a Therapist
to help you determine the most important qualities to look for in your therapist.
Start by selecting someone with the appropriate educational background and experience to serve you best. It’s important to make sure that the counselor or psychotherapist you choose is specifically trained to perform the type of therapy you are seeking (couples’ therapy, marriage counseling, etc.).
Through experience and research, we have found that the most effective therapy combines skill building with feedback and insight on communication patterns and processes, along with regular homework assignments. So, when you’re choosing a therapist, be sure to ask how active and instructional they are in their sessions. If you’re choosing a Couples’ Therapist, you should also ask how many couples’ or marriage counseling sessions they do every week. If it’s less than 5-10, they are likely not doing couples therapy as a main function of their practice and may not be as experienced in the unique elements of this type of counseling.
Finally, find out how much training they have had in Systems Theory and if they are members of the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapists (AAMFT). Roberta has been a member of the AAMFT since 1999. As part of her studies, she attended a graduate program that required 78 credit hours of schooling focused on working with Family Systems and Couples. That’s 3,510 hours of time spent in the classroom learning about family systems and what affects them.
Bottom line: make sure you select someone who you respect and makes you feel comfortable, but also who is a credentialed professional with the appropriate experience.