If you are wanting marriage counselling, then knowing where to start with finding a couple’s counsellor can be daunting. There are many websites out there that promote relationship therapists, but how do you know which ones are trustworthy?
As you scroll through the directories of counsellors, you will see that many of them say they work with couples. Unfortunately, not all counsellors or psychotherapists have had thorough training in relationship counselling though.
Many therapists complete their diploma or qualification in the individual modality and then extend this out to work with couples. For me this is the equivalent of learning to drive a car, passing your test, and then assuming that you can drive a bus as well – after all, it has a steering wheel and gears just like a car, doesn’t it?
Working with individuals and being able to deliver an effective couples counselling session are two very different things.
What to look for
You’re reading this article on the Imago UK website, so of course I’m going to be recommending an Imago Relationship Therapist to you if you want to have marriage counselling with a trustworthy marriage counsellor.
Every couple’s counsellor on our website has had 12 days training in Imago Relationship Therapy – a model specifically designed for working with couples.
The Imago Relationship Therapists who are certified have been assessed fully and undergone an extensive supervision process to ensure that they meet the standards applied to Imago couples therapists across the world. Advanced Imago Therapists have studied far beyond this level and many have hundreds of hours of experience solely in relationship counselling.
There are alternatives
I’m not for a moment saying that there are not trustworthy marriage counsellors outside of Imago Relationship Therapy. There are many highly trained couples’ counsellors in other modalities too. To weed these skilled practitioners out from those less qualified, here are a few questions you should ask a potential couple’s therapist you are consider working with:
· What training have you had in working with couples specifically? How long was it and do you have a recognised qualification?
Sometimes therapists do a two-day training course at a training centre and use that to say that they are qualified to work with couples. No one can learn the intricacies of working with a couple in a weekend! Make sure you are satisfied that your couple’s therapist has had proper training if you want to avoid wasting your time and money.
· How often you do work with couples?
Ideally you want to be working with someone who works with couples weekly as part of their practice. This means their skill level is likely to be higher as working with couples is a key part of what they do.
· What would a session with you look like?
An Imago Relationship Therapist will have a standard structure to the session that promotes safety and connection. Marriage counselling with an Imago Relationship Therapist will not just focus on problems, but also encourage you to see the joy in your relationship and invite you back into connection.
If the therapist you are asking tells you that they will help you problem solve where you are getting stuck then be wary. If all you talk about in the sessions are the problems, your relationship is going to start feeling very heavy very quickly. Things need to be balanced.
In summary then, if you don’t know where to find a trustworthy marriage counsellor, start with the Imago UK website! If you don’t have an Imago Relationship Therapist in your area and don’t want to work online (as many Imago Relationship Therapists offer this), be selective about who you go to for marriage counselling and ask the questions I’ve given you above to weed out the therapists who may not offer you the best experience.