Choosing a Couples Counselor: What to Look for in a Specialist

I encourage my friends, family and clients seeking help in their marriages to find a therapist who is “marriage or couple friendly”. One  who is trained to work with couples.  I wish I could just tell them to google marriage friendly therapist and find a list of therapists, coaches, and counselors who have special training and experience working with couples, rather than trust that a title like Marriage Family Therapist would suffice.  In reality, most MFTs  work with individuals to help them with their families and their relationships, and are not specifically trained and experienced  to treat the special needs of couples.   I know many therapists who are excellent at treating individuals, and work with couples effectively.  However,  I also know therapists who are excellent individual therapists, have the best intentions…, and lack training to  help  couples navigate the often rough and overwhelming waters of how be part of a couple.   The latter explains why I encounter couples on the brink of divorce, who are ready to give up and have “tried therapy”.  Their stories include being told:  they were incompatible, they were not trying hard enough,  their partner was a  narcissist, and questioned, “why do you stay?”

So as googling “MFT: marriage friendly therapist”, is probably not an option,  here are a few tips I have gathered to help you in your search:

  1. Ask your therapist if he or she specializes in couples therapy.  Ask what training they have had in addition to their university education.
  2. Listen to see if the therapist is future focused, and solution focused (rather than exploring the past, or spending too much time talking about the problem)
  3. Notice if you feel validated by the therapist, is he or she valuing you and your partner’s perspectives, is he or she respecting your timing, and your decisions (rather than taking sides, pressuring, or telling you what you should or should not do).
  4. Notice if he or she is open to your cultural, spiritual, individual ways of feeling loved and connected (rather than telling their personal opinion)
  5. Notice if he or she is comfortable and confident about the future and potential of the relationship
  6. Do you get a sense that your therapist believes that change is possible, is he or she communicating hope to you?
  7. Look for improvement and direction (goals) with in the first three sessions.
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Posted in couple friendly counseling, Couples, marriage friendly, resources for Marriage Family Therapy, self help, Uncategorized

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Ramona Taylor, M.A. LMFT a Clinical Fellow of the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (LMFT97652)

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embrace 1Many people are surprised to find that they begin to notice positive changes from the moment they make their appointment. As a Marriage & Family Therapist registered intern, I pull from a wide range of treatment modalities to create a treatment plan that will benefit each individual client. As former teacher I carry with me the desire to teach myself out of a job. So, along with effective individualized treatment, I make it my goal to teach clients to use what they learn in session, where it counts: in their everyday lives.   I see couples, families, children, young adults and teens. I have varied hours of availability, including late afternoons, early mornings at The Inland Integrated Wellness Center. Our office is located in the historic district of Corona about 1 mile South of the 91FWY :
817 West Grand Blvd (map)
at the Inland Integrated Wellness Center.
Please feel free to view the pages of my website or call the office toll free at
(888) 634-6999 ext 16 if you would like more information or would like to start therapy.
Often same day appointments are available so why wait healing can start today!

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