How to Choose a Right Premarital Counselor
How to Choose a Right Premarital Counselor
Experts believe there’s a strong connection between premarital counseling and your married life. Research shows that premarital counseling can decrease the divorce rate by 50 percent. Attending premarital counseling will tell you about what married life looks like, what struggles a married couple faces, how it’s different from the engagement period, and what happens after the honeymoon period ends.
The quality of the counseling and its results depend on your counselor. Let’s check out some tips on how to find a marriage counselor in Orange County, CA.
Discuss Your Expectations with Your Partner
Most couples consider premarital counseling to know if they are ready for the wedding or if it is too soon for the big step. Others want to educate themselves about a healthy and happy wedding. Whatever your requirements are, discuss them with your spouse. Talk about your goals and expectations from premarital counseling.
Get Referrals or Conduct Online Research
If your friend or a close family member recently got married, you can ask them for referrals. While taking referrals is the best way to find a pre-marital counselor that can help strengthen your bond, it isn’t an ideal choice for every couple. Some couples aren’t comfortable discussing their private matter with others. So, online research seems the most viable option. Type “couples therapy near me” or the “best pre-marital counselor in Orange County,” and you will get a list of the licensed and certified practitioners in your area.
Check License, Certifications, and other Credentials
Therapists need a license to practice. However, for mental health therapists, the requirements may vary from state to state. Check your state’s license requirements. This step is important for couples seeking premarital counseling, as specializing in any particular therapy requires advanced education. License verifies the counselor’s knowledge and experience in this field. However, that alone isn’t enough. You should ask for the certification and other credentials to get a clear idea of the counselor’s experience.
There’s a difference between a good therapist and a good pre-marital therapist. Every therapist has a journey in counseling. Their internship, practice, and experience may vary. Some couple therapists are also trained in Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT) and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). Check and verify their license to know everything about the counselor’s qualifications.
Are You Comfortable Talking to the Therapist?
Once you have verified the counselor’s qualifications, the next step is determining your faith in them or the level of comfort you share with the counselor. Remember, the counselor will ask you all sorts of questions about your intimate life. Your therapist can’t help you if you don’t open up. It’s normal for the couple to hesitate to share their life details with a stranger, but know that a therapist is used to listening to these details.
If you or your spouse isn’t comfortable talking about your relationship with a therapist, find another therapist. There’s no point in seeking therapy when you can barely share your private details with a professional. The question is if you are seeing a therapist for the first time, how do you know if they are good? That’s where social media comes into play. Check their Facebook and Instagram. Browse their website and go over the client’s reviews. You can also call their clients to learn more about the therapists’ personalities, communication, and qualification.
How Many Similar Cases have They Worked on?
A therapist who has helped your friend cope with post-traumatic stress disorder might be inexperienced in couple counseling. Counseling is based on a broad spectrum of issues, ranging from couple therapy to career counseling. Even in marriage counseling, practitioners have different specializations.
Some deal with infidelity cases, while others help resolve intimate relationship issues. If you are struggling with a specific problem, such as addiction, look for a therapist to help your partner achieve the de-addiction goals. You need to find a couples therapist specializing in pre-marital counseling who has previously handled similar cases. So, check their specialization on their website or by contacting them.
While the website and social media tell about the experience of the therapist, they don’t show the counselor’s soft skills. Those are equally important, though. As mentioned earlier, you need to be comfortable discussing your issues with the counselor.
Tip: No couple counselor can tell you how long you need pre-marital counseling. They might estimate the number of sessions needed based on your case assessment.
Before booking the first meeting, let’s check out the questions you should ask a counselor.
- How much experience do you have in pre-marital couple counseling?
- Have you worked on cases similar to mine before? If yes, can you share the references?
- Where you got the training for counseling?
- Did you practice internship? Can you show your certifications and other counseling credentials?
- How long does each session take? And how many sessions do you conduct every week?
Some couples prefer working with a marriage counselor, probably someone who has kids. This gives them assurance that the counselor is living a happy married life. They might share some personal tips (based on their married life). The interview will help you decide on a counselor that communicates well, understands your marital problems, offers a flexible schedule for counseling sessions, and specializes in the area you are facing problems.
The most crucial factor determining therapy’s success is the relationship between the couple and the therapist. Do you feel connected and safe with the counselor? Do they have the right qualifications and licenses? That’s all you need. So hire the best pre-marital counselor near you and strengthen your relationship with your spouse.