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How to Find a Marriage Counselor that's Perfect for You

Aug 17, 2007
50% of married couples get divorced in the US. In today's society the options are so varied and the hazards are so numerous that the odds are too high that this will happen to you AS WELL.

Divorce is a Life Changing event that hurts everyone, including children, spouses and grandparents. Marriage counseling is much cheaper than divorce and the doorway to a happier life for all, including for those living in the Algonquin and Cary areas of Illinois.

Married couples can go from the halo stage to the fighting stage in almost no time. Bitterness, fault-finding and cross-blaming can become the order of the day. Fights over money, the children, dashed expectations, substance abuse and fidelity can drown a couple and the children who have to listen to it.

Conflict, doubts, worries, depression and bitterness can overwhelm an entire family and the effects can contaminate multiple generations that follow. Thats right. Your children and grandchildren are likely to have the very same quality of life in their marriages as you have right now! Pretty scary, isn't it?

You owe it to your kids and their kids to get marriage counseling now-before it's too late!
There are almost too many types of marriage counselors from which to choose: Social workers, psychologists, mental health counselors etc. Your choices are confusing, overwhelming and often complicated.

What kind of credentials should your counselor have? What kind of training? The questions go on and on.

Credentials and Training

Psychologists have approximately 8+ years of college training in the psychological sciences and hold a doctoral degree (EdD, PhD, PsyD). Typically their training includes the treatment of all aspects of emotional problems, including psychological testing and the performance of research studies.

Clinical social workers have approximately 6 years of college training and hold a masters degree in social work (MSW). Their training includes various aspects of the treatment of emotional problems, including using community resources and working with the poor and abused.

Mental health counselors have approximately 5+ years of college training in counseling and hold a masters degree (MS, MA). They also treat various aspects of emotional and relationship problems.

Any one of these professionals may have more or fewer hours of training, specifically in marriage counseling, because the training is often discretionary. Therefore, it's important to ask anyone you call how many hours of training they do have and what percentage of their current practice is in marriage and family counseling.

OK, but How Do I Actually Find a Counselor?

There are several ways: The Web, The Yellow Pages, referrals, professional organizations and your insurance plans provider directory.

The easiest way is searching the internet. Start by using words, such as: Marriage Counselor, Counselor, Marital Therapist, Marriage-Family Therapy etc. Then add your city, such as: Cary, IL, Cary Illinois, Algonquin, IL or Algonquin, Illinois.

You will receive instant listings from the directories, articles and websites of practitioners in your area. And just click each listing to find loads of additional info about each one.

The Yellow Pages is another convenient resource. Use any of the latest editions that include your town. You might also get some good leads by looking in the books that contain surrounding cities

Look under Counselors-Marriage and Family, Social Workers or Psychologists. However, one big drawback is that the listings and ads in the Yellow Pages are very sparse with the details. To get more specific information, youll have to search the web or call the therapist personally.

Another excellent way to find marriage counselors in your city is to get a referral from your physician, friend or a professional organization. You can search for the professional organizations on the Web; sometimes you can even access names directly from the website, other times just call the referral number you see listed there.

The organizations to plug into the search engine include: The American Association of Marriage and Family Counselors, The American Psychological Association, The National Association of Social Workers and The American Mental Health Counselors Association.

If you anticipate that psychological issues will also be treated in your counseling, look up counselors, psychologists or social workers in your insurance companys provider directory. The directory lists the mental health providers in your area who accept your insurance. They will be much easier for you to afford than those who don't take it.

One caveat, however, is that little information beyond the counselors credentials, contact information and location is provided. Just like with the Yellow Page listings, to get more specific information, youll have to search the web or call the therapist personally.

Of all of these methods, my favorite is searching the internet. Start searching now by using words, such as: Marriage Counselor, Counselor, Marital Therapist, Marriage-Family Therapy etc; add your city, such as: Cary, IL, Cary Illinois, Algonquin, IL or Algonquin, Illinois.

Search for Marriage Counselor-your city (eg Cary, Illinois) and see what you get. Then, all you need to do is just click each listing to find loads of additional info about each one. It couldn't be easier!
About the Author
Dr Shery is in Cary, IL, near Algonquin, Crystal Lake and Lake-in-the-Hills. He's an expert marriage counselor and psychologist. Call 1 847 516 0899 and make an appt orlearn more about counseling at: http://www.nextdayappointment.com
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