Couples Counselling is a fantastic resource for couples at all stages. A Couples Counsellor provides the outside perspective you need to help your relationship thrive, and adapt to everything life throws at you both. Choosing the right couples counsellor to suit you and your partner can be difficult, but it is a rewarding process!
Choose a Licensed Ottawa Couples Therapist
Not all therapists are created equal, and when it comes to couples counselling, not all counsellors are qualified to address the unique set of circumstances associated with couples counselling. Feel free to ask your Ottawa counsellor what percentage of their patients are couples. Often times couples will turn to marriage counselling in the face of marital difficulties. You will want to make sure that your counsellor is well versed in couples counselling, and is qualified to address marital difficulties. Couples counselling is a whole different ballgame when compared to individual counselling. It requires a different skill set, and a long list of credentials. A qualified couples therapist will also be a part of professional associations that are related to the field of couples counselling.
Focus on Evidence Based Couples Therapy
Within the field of couples therapy there are many different styles. The best known scientifically based, or evidence based treatment protocols were designed by John & Julie Gottman, and Susan Johnson. Speak up, and ask your potential therapist how familiar they are with their methods. If they don’t use the Johnson or Gottman evidence based methods, ask them why and what they use in their place. Regardless of what therapy style your counsellor uses, they should be able to make a compelling, evidence based argument in defense of their style.
Be Comfortable With Your Couples Counsellor
Whether it’s intentional or not, some counsellors bring their own biases to the table. Make sure to find a counsellor who you feel comfortable speaking openly with on a wide range of topics. Marital difficulties rarely take place surrounding tidy topics like who makes the bed in the morning, so you should be confident speaking candidly in a respectful, inclusive space. An experienced marriage therapist will never side with one partner or the other. This leads to feelings of being “ganged up on” or simply not being heard. This is very counterproductive to the couples counselling process. A couples counsellor’s job is to make both partners feel validated within a supportive environment regardless of the topic at hand.
Be Upfront About Your Marriage Goals
Everyone has a different perspective on love and marriage. You may want to find out what your therapist’s views are before you begin your counselling. Open marriages, companionship relationships, divorce, even separation are all areas where emotions and opinions are bound to vary. Your own opinions may differ with those of the therapist. If they do, find out if this is going to present a problem during your appointments. Perhaps your goal is to undergo an amicable separation that allows you both to remain fantastic parents. Be upfront about your goals. This will help you find the right therapist to achieve them. For more tips on choosing a couples counsellor, see this article by Psychology Today.