Choosing a Marriage Therapist
Arizona Couples Clinic- Laura Hudson, L.C.S.W.
Here are some questions to ask before scheduling your first appointment
What is your degree? Look for at least a masters degree in social work, counseling or psychology.
Are you certified or licensed? Your therapist should be certified or licensed by the state or agency that regulates his or her profession.
What is your training? Look for specialized training in relationship work. Couples therapy is much different than individual or family work. A well trained relationship therapist should be able to name at least one recent training they have attended or one theorist or researcher that informs their work.
What is your theoretical orientation? Most good therapists have a framework that guides how they practice. Marriage therapy is an entity of it's own but a marriage therapist with a psychoanalytic orientation will work much differently than one with a behavioral orientation. Ask questions and do research if you are unfamiliar with the terms your counselor uses.
What is your philosophy? Differing philosophies aren't always a negative thing. A good therapist should help you arrive at the best solution for you, what ever their philosophy is. If you are coming for marriage counseling you might ask their opinion about the acceptability of divorce, if they think a marriage can be saved after infidelity etc. It is also reasonable to inquire about how your therapist might deal with or incorporate your particular religious or cultural differences.
What is your level of experience? Your counselor should have at least two years of supervised counseling experience. Five years is required by some agencies. Find out how much experience they have working with couples. Relationship work is very different than individual work. A great individual therapist may not excel at relationship therapy.
What are your fees? What insurance plan do you accept? Discuss this before scheduling an appointment. Some professionals will offer a sliding scale of fees to accommodate those who do not have insurance or cannot afford full fees. Some insurance plans will not pay for relationship counseling so check first.
Find out about other office locations, office hours, and if they have an emergency pager.
Copyright ©2004 Laura D. Hudson. L.C.S.W. All rights reserved.