Selecting a couples or marriage counselor can be overwhelming, especially when you already feel anxious, stressed out or depressed. Here are some guidelines on how to select a couples counselor to help you make that choice. A therapist should have:
A license in the state of Georgia as a marriage and family therapist. When you select a couples counselor, it is also important that they are a member of the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT), whose members must meet rigorous training and continuous educational requirements. They are required to abide by the AAMFT code of ethics, the most stringent ethical code in the profession.
An advanced level of education and experience which is often correlated with sharper insights and problem solving techniques. A better trained therapist can observe patterns of communication; understand the origin of their individual and dual issues while providing ongoing in-depth feedback and alternative ways of expressing their ideas and feelings.
Compassion and caring combined with impartiality. A therapist must be open-minded to a client’s culture, values, religious belief, and sexual preference.
An optimistic view of the process. I believe therapy works! Frequently, couples begin counseling wanting to prove how right they are and how wrong their partner is. They are hurt or angry, rarely open to their partner’s feelings or viewpoints. Counseling provides a safe space to learn how to put hurt feelings and defensiveness aside and actually hear and empathize with their partner.
I have been practicing as a licensed individual counselor and marriage and family therapist at the Gwinnett Center for Individual and Marital Counseling for 35 years. As a member of the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy and licensed in Georgia, I continually strive to improve client care, and am cognizant of the impact a therapist can make on their clients. It is an honor to work with individuals on such a personal level and I take that responsibility seriously. Having been married for over 35 years, I am aware of the satisfaction and joy a loving relationship can provide. Sharing our children’s lives has also been so rewarding!