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Description: Imagine that you have decided that you or you and your partner need to see a therapist to help you figure out some aspect of your personal functioning or to help you and your partner figure out parts of your relationship that are not working. How would you go about doing that? A quick Google search and a reach out to the first therapist listed? If not this then what would you look for? What questions would you ask of potential therapists to figure out if working with them will work for you? Well, you can and should look around a bit, as not all therapists will be a good fit for you and for the issues you want to try and address. Think about what questions you might have if you were searching for a couples therapist and then have a rad through the article linked below to see what its author suggests you consider.

Source: How to Find the Right Couples Therapist, Catherine Person, The New York Times.

Date: January 27, 2023

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

Article Link:

Finding a therapist is a little bit like finding a friend and not just any old friend but a friend that will help you work on hard things, will sometimes be able to tell you things you do not want to hear and a friend that has some experience helping people work stuff out for themselves and for their relationships. This sort of friend, however, you have to pay for. Once you have the fees worked out, had your initial questions answered and started your sessions you will need to keep reflecting on how it is working and on whether it is working for you. Especially in couple counselling the question of whether your therapist’s approach to engaging with you (their approach to therapy) is working for you and/or for your relationship. It IS possible to decide part way through that this may not be the therapist for you but, especially in couples therapy, this is a hard question to evenly consider and hard issue to raise. However if you are having doubts you should raise them as therapists’ ethics require that they be mindful of how their connections with clients are going and if a client expresses concerns about progress or approach the therapist should be forthcoming with why that might be (e.g., perhaps you are working on a particularly difficult thing) and whether a change of therapist might be advisable. Couple therapy can be difficult, but it can be successful either in addressing relationship issues or in seeing more clearly if the relationship is, perhaps, not salvageable. Either way, therapy is usually worth it.

Questions for Discussion:

  1. What questions would you have in mind as you started to look for a therapist to help you and your partner with relationship issues?
  2. What sorts of costs issues would be involved?
  3. How would you figure out if the therapists you decide to check with are ones you could or should work with?

References (Read Further):

Psychologist Job Demand in Canada: Are Psychologists in Demand in Canada? Link

Canadian Psychological Association Finding the Psychologist For You. Link

The Canadian Association for Marriage and Family Therapy Directory Link

Lambert, M. J. (2017). Maximizing psychotherapy outcome beyond evidence-based medicine. Psychotherapy and psychosomatics, 86(2), 80-89. Link

Roddy, M. K., Walsh, L. M., Rothman, K., Hatch, S. G., & Doss, B. D. (2020). Meta-analysis of couple therapy: Effects across outcomes, designs, timeframes, and other moderators. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 88(7), 583. Link

Carr, A. (2019). Couple therapy, family therapy and systemic interventions for adult‐focused problems: The current evidence base. Journal of Family Therapy, 41(4), 492-536. Link

Wile, D. B. (2019). Collaborative couple therapy. Encyclopedia of Couple and Family Therapy, 513-521. Link

Bradbury, T. N., & Bodenmann, G. (2020). Interventions for couples. Annual Review of Clinical Psychology, 16, 99-123. Link