The Top 2 Tips to Choosing a Couples Counselor That’s Right for You

Are you in relationship that’s taking serious strain? Have you reached the point where you are constantly fighting, bickering, shouting, arguing and even competing with each other? Two words that can scare the pants off any adult, couples counseling can often be a terrifying thought for those who don’t know much about the process. But if you have a relationship that is worth fighting for and are looking to get back to the place where you were once both happy and smitten, then couples counseling may be just right for you and your partner.

A saving grace for couples who want to salvage their relationship, a couple’s counselor provides a supportive environment for couples to openly express their emotions without judgement, ridicule or embarrassment. Providing instruction, coaching and feedback, couples not only get to learn more about themselves and their partners, but they also learn how to communicate and listen better, argue in a more constructive way, resolve conflict without over reacting, state their needs without criticism, voice their fears and emotions without feeling judged or belittled, and ultimately identify and understand their problems without saying damaging things that they will later regret.

At the end of the day, a couple’s counselor can help couples rise above their troubles, issues and destructive behaviours. However, not all couples counselors are created equal and knowing how to pick one could mean the difference between staying together forever or separating, which is why this is one choice you really need to get right. With that said, here are 2 things to look for when choosing the right one for you.

# 1 Choose an Experienced and Licensed Counselor

Just like seeking the assistance of a doctor, gynaecologist or lawyer, a couple’s counselor is not the type of professional you choose from a directory. Choosing a couples counselor must be taken a little more seriously as this is your relationship on the line. You want someone who both has the experience and the qualifications, such as a Ph. D in marriage and family therapy (MFT) and an M.Ed in psychology. This is one professional where you must do your homework and whether it means you have to ask friends, family or even your medical doctor, rather choose a professional who has worked with someone you know or has a very good reputation in the industry.

#2 Make Sure They Offer Favoured Medical Aid Rates and Payment Negotiations

While there are many couples in South Africa that would love nothing more than to work on their relationship or marriage with a couple’s counselor, many are not on a medical aid and therefore feel as though they cannot afford it. Counseling and therapy is not cheap, however, there are couples counselors that offer flexibility in payment. Whereas many psychologists or psychiatrists expect clients to pay upfront and then claim their money back from their own medical aid, choose a couples counselor that offers both favourable medical aid rates to patents on a medical aid, and payment negotiations and plans for those who are not.

Nowadays, falling in love is easy, but for a healthy relationship to last a lifetime, it takes hard work, patience and perseverance. If you have a relationship that is worth fighting for, don’t give up – there is help for you yet!

A message from Dr Tienie Maritz

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