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From Cary, IL: How to Find the Best Counselor to Head-Off a Divorce!

Feb 1, 2008
Finding a counselor for your troubled relationship can be confusing and frustrating...answering machines, insurance, credentials that look like alphabet soup etc....

Of course, you want a high quality therapist, but, what specifically should you look for to select and find that therapist that just may forestall a possible divorce?

1. My first suggestion: Find a marriage counselor or psychologist who demonstrates concern for your peace of mind...not only in therapy but also where his fees and business arrangements are concerned.

Some professionals will require you to pay the entire fee at each visit and then reimburse you later for any amount your insurance may pay. That's no longer the standard for payment in Cary, Chicago, Crystal Lake or anywhere else in Illinois.

Get a professional who takes your insurance and only requires you to make the co-pay at each visit. That's the current standard and it should ease your cash flow and quell your anxiety.

2. Next, find a mental health professional who takes a sincere interest in both of you as people and does not rush. Some counselors, even in smaller towns like Cary or Algonquin, Illinois seem so disinterested that they seem to push you out the door before you barely get in!

Patience is a critical quality. Listen to your counselor carefully: You should feel that you've never had someone listen to your concerns so thoroughly.

Expert marriage and family counselors should ask questions that, even if only occasionally, turn on a light bulb in your mind...that Ah Ha! feeling. Your counselor should pose important and even hard to discuss questions. For example, do you stay...or leave? Or, how nasty does your anger really get... Are you living up to YOUR expectations...?

3. Also, this field changes faster than the nightly news. Ask your counselor or psychologist if he or she attends advanced trainings specifically about marriage and relationships. He or she should do so regularly or your marital therapy may be out of date.

Frankly, many practitioners in Cary and elsewhere often do the minimum advanced training in relationship counseling because it cuts into relaxation time.

New counseling approaches may appear that better target your needs or achieve your goals more quickly. Whether you live in Lake-in-the-Hills, Palatine, Cary or anywhere else in the country, you should be able to benefit from many of the same techniques that are provided at state-of-the-art marriage counseling facilities like those in New York, Chicago, Boston and their great universities.

These include cognitive-behavioral, advanced communication, problem-solving and reality-based therapeutic approaches. Each treatment method used should be skillfully applied by an expert counselor, to provide the best results in the shortest period of time.

Remember, this is only possible if your counselor stays on top of important changes by participating in advanced education in marriage and relationship therapy.

4. Look for additional demonstrations of concern. A No Waiting Policy is another example of that. It is not a good sign if you arrive at the appointed time... and then are ignored and left to wait.

It is rude too; so... ask if the counselors clients are scheduled so that they do not get backed-up.

Barring an unexpected emergency, you should not have to wait more than 10 minutes or so.

5. Look for promptness and enthusiasm in providing you with an appointment. Run from those who have the take a number and wait in line mentality. Under-staffed and impersonal commercial practices are not sufficiently concerned about you. They will often tell you to wait days or weeks for an appointment...without giving it a second thought!

Your counselor should show concern by providing an appointment in no more than 7 days. If necessary, appointments should also be available in the evenings to make it easier on your kids and work schedule.

6. Also, be sure your relationship therapist or psychologist works seamlessly with your insurance company or employee assistance program to take all the billing headaches off your shoulders. The counselors office should do the paperwork for you; after all, you already have too many things to worry about.

Here is a summary of what to screen for:

1. Unhurried visits
2. An up-to-date therapist who can provide many of the same techniques that are used in Chicago, Boston and their distinguished universities and clinics.
3. An initial appointment provided within a week.
4. All paperwork done for you
5. Evening, Saturday or day appointments as necessary.
6. "No Waiting Policy."
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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