There are three phases to starting counseling – deciding you need family counseling, finding a family counselor, and making it to the first session. Each phase has hurdles that need to be crossed, and each phase offers opportunities for families to back out. Finding a family counselor is perhaps one of the easiest phases, yet it is often the number one excuse why a family didn’t undertake counseling.
“We couldn’t find a suitable family counselor” is a common statement. It shouldn’t be. A telephone book is a great start. If you’re reading this post, then you have Internet access – a Google search will unearth hundreds of pages of suitable counselors.
An even easier approach is The Family and Marriage Counseling Directory. You can enter your state or territory and you will be presented with a list of qualified therapists in your state or territory. However, I do agree that this doesn’t mean you have found a ‘suitable’ therapist – nevertheless, it is a great place to start.
Once you have a list, the best thing you can do is either call them and talk to them, or if it’s convenient, drop in and see them. You will get a good feel for the place if you visit them in person. If the counselor is available, you should be able to have a short chat with them – this can also help. If you hit it off, you can then arrange an appointment for an initial session. This session may well be without any children so that you can discuss the problems. You will again be in a position to assess whether or not this therapist is suitable for your family. There’s no excuse now to say you can’t find a suitable marriage counselor.