Choosing a couples counsellor isn’t easy. Why?
Because as soon as you start looking for one you’re overwhelmed with misleading advertising, misleading claims and a tsunami of bad information.
So how do you find the very best couples counselling without wasting precious time, energy and money? Especially when you’ve no idea of what’s involved?
You start by reading this post.
I wrote it to help you better understand what makes a great relationship therapist. Armed with this information, you’ll be able to make an informed and intelligent choice.
Plus it gives me an opportunity to talk about a subject that really frustrates me.
Some counsellors aren’t going to like me sharing this information with you, but tough, because you need to know it.
Let me start by asking you a hypothetical question…
…Let’s say you had £100,000 to invest and you want to make sure you made every single penny of your investment work the hardest for you.
Who would you go to for advice?
Someone who knows a bit about investing, perhaps they did a few hours study on a course a decade ago.
…Someone who has studied investing thoroughly, with a track record for being very successful at it.
Daft question really.
Of course you’d want to go to the specialist.
Though when it comes to counselling, people don’t seem to apply the same logic.
But it’s not your fault.
Well, let’s choose a counsellor at random from an online counselling directory list. We’ll call him Jack (not his real name).
In his list of services offered, Jack claims to be able to help you with the following list of problems:
• Affairs and betrayals
• Anger management
• Asperger’s syndrome
• Attachment disorder
• Bipolar disorder
• Borderline personality disorder
• Carer support
• Chronic fatigue syndrome/ME
• Domestic violence
• Emotional abuse
• Family issues
• Feeling sad
• Generalised anxiety disorder
• Learning difficulties
• Low self-confidence
• Low self-esteem
• Panic attacks
• Personality disorders
• Physical abuse
• Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
• Relationship problems • Stress
• Work-related stress
Wow, that’s a list of 38 life challenges Jack can help you with.
And there’s nothing unusual about Jack’s claims to be an expert at all of the above.
Most counsellors do exactly the same.
Personally, it really pisses me off.
I’m mean, how can one person specialise in so many problems?
And instinctively, you know the answer is: “They can’t”
Ever heard the saying: “Jack of all trades, master of none?”
Sure you have, and when it comes to getting help with your relationship…
…You don’t want Jack, you want a specialist.
That’s how you get the best couples counselling, that’s how you avoiding wasting time, energy and money working with counsellors who think working with couples is just like working with individuals.
Trust me, it isn’t.
A mentor of mine once told me:
That’s why I only do marriage therapy.
I don’t work with individuals and I don’t claim specialism in dozens of other disciplines,
I only work with couples.
Serious couples, in serious relationships, experiencing serious problems.
I’ve been doing it for years, it’s all I do.
And like marriage…
…It’s hard work.
Look, if marriage was easy we wouldn’t have a 52% divorce rate.
And if marriage therapy was easy we wouldn’t have a 52% divorce rate.
Seriously, I’m horrified by the approach most counsellors offering relationship therapy take.
…Now you know how get the very best couples counselling, what’s next?