The only preparation needed for marriage counseling is to find a therapist. You can ask your primary care doctor for a referral to a therapist. Loved ones, friends, your health insurer, employee assistance program, clergy, or state or local mental health agencies might offer recommendations.
Before scheduling sessions with a specific therapist, consider whether the therapist would be a good fit for you and your partner. You might ask questions like these:
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- Education and experience. What is your educational and training background? Are you licensed by the state? Are you credentialed by the AAMFT? What is your experience with my type of issue?
- Logistics. Where is your office? What are your office hours? Are you available in case of emergency?
- Treatment plan. How many sessions should I expect to have? How long is each session?
- Fees and insurance. How much do you charge for each session? Are your services covered by my health insurance plan?
- Marriage and family therapists: The friendly mental health professionals. American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy. http://www.aamft.org/imis15/content/Consumer_Updates/Marriage_and_Family_Therapists.aspx. Accessed Oct. 9, 2014.
- Marital distress. American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy. http://www.aamft.org/iMIS15/Content/Consumer_Updates/Marital_Distress.aspx. Accessed Oct. 9, 2014.
- Domestic violence. American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy. http://www.aamft.org/iMIS15/AAMFT/Content/Consumer_Updates/Domestic_Violence.aspx. Accessed Oct. 9, 2014.
- Marriage preparation. American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy. http://www.aamft.org/iMIS15/Content/Consumer_Updates/Marriage_Preparation.aspx. Accessed Oct. 9, 2014.
- Sadock BJ, et al. Kaplan & Sadock's Comprehensive Textbook of Psychiatry. 9th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Wolters Kluwer Health Lippincott Williams & Wilkins; 2009. http://ovidsp.ovid.com/ovidweb.cgi?T=JS&CSC=Y&NEWS=N&PAGE=booktext&D=books2&AN=01412563/9th_Edition/5&XPATH=/OVIDBOOK%5b1%5d/METADATA%5b1%5d/TBY%5b1%5d/EDITORS%5b1%5d. Accessed Oct. 10, 2014.
- Moore AM, et al. The influence of professional license type on the outcome of family therapy. The American Journal of Family Therapy. 2011;39:149.