A Guide to Finding a Good Marriage Counselor

Tuesday, June 18

Marriage counseling can help you and your spouse strengthen your bond, resolve conflicts, and reconnect if needed. This kind of therapy provides a safe space for both of you to work through issues and develop skills for a healthier marriage. Research shows marriage counseling to be an effective way for couples to improve their relationship. 

But how do you go about finding the right marriage counselor? You may not know where to look or what to look for when choosing a couples therapist or counselor. In the following sections, we’ll go over different types of mental health professionals who offer marriage counseling. We’ll also explore ways to find a good counselor and give you helpful tips on choosing the right therapist. 

What type of mental health professional is best for marriage?

It’s important to find a marriage counselor or therapist who fits your unique needs as a couple. This helps ensure that you get the right help for your relationship. Keep in mind that not all therapists and counselors have experience and training catered specifically to couples. 

Below, we’ll go over a few different types of mental health professionals who provide marriage or couples counseling. 

Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT)

A LMFT is a therapist who specializes in helping couples and families address issues, develop skills, and improve their relationship overall. These therapists typically have a master’s degree and training in marriage and family therapy. 

LMFTs have extensive training and education in helping couples with a wide range of issues. They may be the right option for married couples dealing with deep intimacy issues or other complex relationship issues. 

Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW)

LCSWs are mental health professionals with a master’s degree in social work. Some provide couples therapy, but they usually don’t specialize in it. LCSWs offer different kinds of mental health services, ranging from therapy to social support. 

They help couples improve their relationships and access community resources or social services if needed. They may be a good option for married couples who want to strengthen their relationships in general or those who aren’t dealing with complex issues. 

Licensed Mental Health Counselor (LMHC) or Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC)

LMHCs and LPCs are mental health professionals who are licensed and trained to provide counseling to couples, individuals, and families. They have many of the same responsibilities, but LHMCs typically have more training in diagnosing and treating mental health conditions. 

LPCs also have training in helping individuals manage mental health conditions, but some focus more on providing marriage counseling or other types of counseling. An LMHC or LPC may be a viable option for married couples who need help managing specific issues. They may also be a good option when one or both spouses have mental health conditions that may be affecting their relationship, such as anxiety or depression.

Ways to find a good marriage counselor 

Finding the right marriage counselor can help ensure that couples therapy is beneficial for you and your spouse. Below, we’ll explore several steps you can take to find a good counselor or therapist. 

1.  Connect with a therapist on a telehealth platform 

Telehealth platforms offer online therapy options for convenience. Setting up couples therapy sessions in person may be challenging, depending on your and your spouse’s schedules. Telehealth platforms provide a simple way to find couples therapists and counselors that you can meet with in a virtual setting at times that are convenient for both of you.

SonderMind is a telehealth platform that offers a quick and easy way to connect with a mental health professional who fits your needs. You and your spouse just need to answer a few questions about your therapeutic needs and preferences, and you’ll be connected with a therapist who meets your specifications.  

2.  Look at online directories 

Some mental health organizations offer online directories to help people find mental health professionals. You can search or browse through these directories to find marriage counselors in your area or ones who offer online counseling. 

But how do you know if they’re reputable? Read reviews to get a better sense of how helpful other couples have found these therapists and counselors to be. Doing this can help you decide which professional to choose for relationship therapy.  

3.  Meet with a primary care provider 

Primary care providers, such as your doctor or your spouse’s doctor, may be able to provide referrals to marriage counselors. During a consultation with your primary care provider, explain why you’re looking for this type of counselor. 

This information can help them refer you to a trusted marriage counselor who fits your needs for couples counseling. For example, let them know if you’re looking for a counselor or therapist with experience working with couples experiencing intimacy issues. 

4.  Check with your insurance provider 

Marriage counseling can add up in terms of cost when you’re paying out of pocket. To help keep costs down, check with your insurance provider to find in-network marriage counselors or couples therapists. Seeing an in-network professional often costs considerably less than an out-of-network one, depending on your coverage. 

When you contact your insurance provider, discuss your coverage details. This will help you understand what is covered, how much is covered, and what you can expect to pay. For example, some plans might only cover couples therapy if you or your spouse have a diagnosed mental health condition. 

5.  Contact community health organizations 

If you’re looking for a therapist or counselor for in-person sessions, consider checking with community health organizations. These groups can be a valuable resource for finding marriage counselors in your area. 

You may be able to find low-cost services this way if you’re looking for affordable couples therapy. Keep in mind that you might have a more limited selection if you do use this resource to find a marriage counselor. 

Tips for finding the right marriage counselor 

How can you decide which marriage counselor is right for you? Remember that both you and your spouse should be in agreement on who to meet with for couples therapy. To help you with this decision, we offer the following tips for finding a marriage counselor who offers the best fit for your needs as a couple. 

Discuss with your partner 

What are you hoping to accomplish in marriage counseling? What is your spouse hoping to achieve? Have an open discussion about your hopes and goals for couples therapy. This discussion can help you choose a mental health professional who can help you and your spouse work on accomplishing your goals.

Is there a certain therapeutic approach you prefer? Or do you prefer seeing someone who has specific training, such as in sexual intimacy problems or infidelity? Therapists offer different approaches to couples therapy. Discuss these preferences with your partner before choosing a marriage counselor. 

Seek recommendations 

Do you have family or friends who have gone to marriage counseling? What was their experience like? You may want to consider asking trusted loved ones for couples therapist or counselor recommendations or referrals. 

Friends and family can tell you what they liked and didn’t like about their experience. They may also let you know how effective relationship counseling was for them after working with a professional. Depending on your needs, it may be helpful to seek recommendations from family or friends who have gone through similar issues as you and your spouse. 

Consider location and accessibility 

If you’re planning to do in-person marriage counseling, take hours and location into consideration. Are you and your spouse able to attend sessions during regular office hours? Or do you need to find a therapist with more flexibility?

Is the office location convenient for both you and your spouse? Or will it be too hard for you or your spouse to get there from work or home for your sessions? To help counseling go smoothly, choose a therapist with office hours and a location that works well for both of you. 

Assess their experience and credentials 

Do your research on marriage counselors and therapists before choosing one. Evaluate their professional experience, such as how long they’ve been practicing and what kinds of training they have. Do they have specialized training in marriage and family therapy or specific issues that couples struggle with?

Verify their credentials as well. Couples therapists and counselors should have valid licenses and the right education for helping couples, such as a master’s degree in marriage and family therapy. 

Prepare important questions 

After choosing a couples therapist, you’ll have an initial consultation with them. This visit gives you and your spouse a chance to find out more about what to expect from your counseling sessions. Having a list of questions prepared can help ensure that you get the information you need to determine if you want to continue with that therapist or find another one. 

You might consider asking:

  • What approach do you use for couples therapy, such as the Gottman Method or cognitive behavioral therapy?
  • How many sessions should we plan on having?
  • Will you be meeting with us individually before working with us together?

Connect with the right marriage counselor with SonderMind 

Finding the right marriage counselor can go a long way toward improving your relationship with your spouse. This depends on the kind of help you need in your marriage based on the issues you and your spouse are experiencing. 

SonderMind can easily connect you with a marriage counselor or therapist who fits your needs, so you can work toward forming a deeper connection with your spouse. With SonderMind, you can choose from online or in-person therapy to give you and your spouse the flexibility and support you need to navigate your relationship.

Get connected with a SonderMind therapist today.

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