Couples Counseling in Melbourne, Florida

Finding Solutions For Staying Together

How to Find a Couples Counselor in Melbourne, Florida

That Will Help You Swim Instead Just Help You Tread Water

Most therapists mean well, but not always qualified to do marital therapy. Many may be qualified but their relationship with their spouse is not in a good place. So what are you to do when looking for a therapist or counselor to help you improve your marriage or relationship?.

First, ask about the therapist’s training in couples or marriage counseling and their experience in working with couples. Find out how many couples they see in a typical week.  Would you rather see a therapist that sees 4 or 5 couples a week or a therapist that sees 4 to 8 couples per day?  Many therapists say they do couples counseling when, in fact, they are conducting individual counseling interventions with two people at the same time.  They assist them in achieving personal goals. A couples counselor helps the couple overcome their differences and focuses on the goals of the relationship while finding ways to meet each of their needs to an acceptable level of satisfaction.

Your couples counselor should be skilled in helping you and your spouse or partner overcome the differences that naturally occur when two people live under the same roof. They need to know what makes a marriage work and more specifically skilled at helping you find out what makes your marriage work. A therapist can be very skilled as an individual therapist and be clueless about helping couples change. For this reason, don't be shy. Ask your therapist about his or her training and experience.

  • In addition to asking them about their training and experience. Ask them about their feelings about the point at which s/he sees divorce to be a viable alternative. You want one that believes divorce is not the answer and has the focus of helping you find solutions for staying together.  It perfectly acceptable for you schedule and attend a consultation session with more than one couples counselor.  Many counselors offer a free 15 minute consultation.

  • It is essential to the success of your session to feel comfortable and respected by your therapist. Dr. Scott Miller has conducted exhaustive studies to see if any of the counseling theories and approaches are any better than the others.  His studies have concluded that none are statistically better than the others.  His findings did conclude that the positive and trusting relationship between clients and the counselor are what determines what positive outcomes are possible. Should your couple counselor take sides with either of you look for different one. No one should feel ganged up on. If you aren't comfortable with something your therapist is suggesting speak up. If your therapist does not acknowledge your feedback in a respectful manner, get out of Dodge.

  • If you are seeing a counselor after the discovery of an affair make sure they start the counselor starts where your head is at.  When you first visit a counselor/therapist after an act of infidelity you are probably in some stage of shock or grief and your brain is in complete emotional chaos.  The counselor you want to be with on this journey of recovery is one that validates your emotional situation and does not start typical couples counseling until your emotional chaos has been reduced to the point where you are managing it instead of it managing you.

  • There are many different ways for finding solutions to staying together and being or staying in love.  Many couples counselor have “cookie cutter” approaches to couples counseling.  You want to find one that does not insist that their approach is the one and only effective approach.  You want one that believes each couple is unique and they will work to find out which is the best for your relationship.

  • Often couples come to see me with the belief that I have the skills and knowledge to tell them when they should call it quits and stop working on their marriage.  Well, I simply will not tell you that you should quit or advise you to quit.  I have had many couples that have come to me after being told they should get a divorce that have found solutions for staying together and found ways to rebuild their romantic love. Some key indicators that you need to find another couples counselor are if your present or past counselor has said to you, "It seems that you are incompatible," or "Why are you willing to put up with this,?" or "It is time to move on with your life," they are simply pushing their own values on you. And believing they are the expert can easily convince you that you should end the relationship.

  • Specific goals are essential in finding solutions for staying together. Make sure goals are established during your first session. You couples counselor should address progress or lack of progress by the end of the third session.  If they don’t, ask.  If their response seems to avoid or evade your question, find another one.
  • I believe that you should also know something about your counselor by the end of the first session.  I believe it is not effective to work with a counselor that does not practice appropriate disclosure with their clients.

  •  I also believe that couples come to my office in crisis should not be subjected to grueling questions about how they were raised in order to find solutions to their marital problems. If your counselor/therapist keeps taking down memory lane and focusing on problems in the past, let them know you prefer focusing on solutions with a focus on the future. If he or she isn't willing to take your lead, find a therapist who will.

  • Know that most marital problems are solvable. Don't let your therapist tell you that change is impossible. Human beings are amazing and they are capable to doing great things- especially for people they love.

  • Most of all, trust your instincts. If your therapist is helping, you'll know it. If he or she isn't, you'll know that too. As Michelle Wiener-Davis would say, “Don't stay with a therapist who is just helping you tread water. Find one who will help you swim.”

Last but not the least effective way to find a great couples counselor is ask others for recommendations.