The decision for a couple to turn to therapy is a positive step to not only open lines of communication and understanding but to restore the relationship if that is the goal. But how do you know which therapist is best for and your partner? If you find your relationship would benefit from professional couples therapy but you don’t know how to choose which therapist is right for you, here are some helpful tips.
Articulate the Problem
There are many reasons why a couple would seek therapy, ranging from sexual dysfunction, addiction and death of a loved one to divorce and trauma. While you and your partner may not be able to understand the many nuances of the problem, you both should feel at ease to articulate your concerns and then let the therapist use your input to develop the best plan to suit your needs.
Experience and Education
While many therapists offer many of the qualities you are seeking, each couple is unique and not all therapists are prepared or trained to work with their specific needs. When seeking out a couple’s therapist, be sure they have the education and training to provide the best care for you. Your perspective couples therapist should encourage you to ask questions about their background; you should also peruse the practice’s Web site to understand their approach to counseling and therapy.
Many therapists are adept at working with couples, however, they may be uncomfortable or unprepared to discuss some of the more personal or nuanced aspects of a modern long-term relationship. A therapist who doesn’t judge and remains open-minded about “alternative” lifestyles that may include BDSM, polyamory, and swinging can provide the insight and guidance you need while navigating non-traditional relationships. Likewise, if required, the therapist should be as comfortable working with gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and non-binary/genderqueer couples as he or she would with a heterosexual couple.
Dealing with Infidelity
Infidelity doesn’t have to be the nail in a relationship’s coffin. Seeking counseling for infidelity – whether intimate or cyber – with the support of a knowledgeable and trained therapist can lead to a greater understanding of underlying problems in a relationship.
A couple that mutually agrees to seek counseling should have goals in mind. Whether it’s strengthening the relationship; overcoming loss; re-establishing trust, intimacy and mutual respect; or seeking the best ways to part amicably, your therapist should be willing to work toward your goals, offering guidance and flexibility as you and your partner progress in your sessions.
Couples Therapy in Montclair, NJ
Seeking the right therapist for you and your partner shouldn’t be a guessing game. In Montclair, NJ, Advanced Psychology Partners provides individualized, discreet and results-oriented counseling and therapy that can help you through the bumps and bruises that can occur in any committed relationship. Our expert team of Donna Lobiondo, MDiv, Ph.D. and Eric Larsen, MA, LPC ensures couples get the expert and caring counseling they need in a judgment-free, safe space. To schedule an appointment with Donna or Eric, use our online form, or call us at (973) 534-5333. Be sure to ask about our FREE 10-minute phone consultation to see if our services are right for you and your partner.