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From Crystal Lake, IL: How to Get the Perfect Marriage Counselor

Jan 31, 2008
Finding a good marriage counselor who really cares can be tough. When you constantly bicker and argue you may start feeling hopeless. You may feel terrified of a possible divorce and you may even worry about the welfare of your kids.

When experiencing a troubled relationship, reaching out to a counselor can be the best thing you can do. A licensed psychologist, clinical social worker or mental health counselor who specializes in marriage counseling can change your life. These highly trained mental health specialists have seen it all and can give you valuable advice about your relationship difficulties, important goals and how to reach them.

If you have never visited a marriage counselor before, you are probably feeling apprehensive. That is understandable, after all, you are going to consult a stranger about the most intimate and personal details of your life. You will be revealing a part of your life that you often try to deny or hide. But your effort and courage can be well worth the reward - a new chance at a full and loving marriage.

When seeking out a marriage counselor, think about the most important qualities. For example, take a look at what you might like about your family physician. Look for someone who is sensitive to your concerns and with whom you have a good rapport. If necessary, get someone with flexible hours who can accommodate your hectic schedule. The most important thing, however, is having a very knowledgeable counselor with an excellent reputation and extensive training.

Your counselor should treat you with respect, patience, sensitivity, and courtesy. If he is short or abrasive, get someone else.

Before your first visit, take the time to prepare a list of questions and be willing to engage in an open dialogue. Do not hesitate to ask questions about procedure, process or fees. Good marriage counselors want their clients to be prepared and require that they demonstrate high motivation to succeed in counseling.

You should never feel rushed, ignored, or unable to ask questions. Let your counselor know about any anxiety or nervousness you might be feeling. This can help him or her become more sensitive to your concerns, and will probably result in a better visit for both of you.

Here are a few tips for finding the best marriage counselor. If the cost of treatment is paramount, consult your health insurance or employee assistance program at work to see if they cover counseling. Determine whether you are restricted to a specific network of professionals and make your appointment as soon as possible.

Your marriage counselor should be a psychologist, social worker, marriage and family therapist or mental health counselor who is licensed to practice independently in your state. This licensure often requires that they pass oral examinations and/or a comprehensive written exam. He or she will have graduated from an accredited graduate school and have completed specialized training.

Another thing to look for is membership in the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapists or the American Counseling Association. Members receive continuing education classes, are peer reviewed and must remain in good standing to remain members.

Also, find a marriage counselor with lots of experience. As with any profession, s/he is more apt to make an accurate assessment and display a deeper understanding of your situation.
About the Author
Dr Shery is in Cary, IL, near Algonquin, Crystal Lake, Marengo and Lake-in-the-Hills. He's an expert psychologist. Call 1 847 516 0899 and make an appt orlearn more about counseling at: http://www.carypsychology.com
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