My husband and I have been married for more than eight years. During the past few years, we have been spending a lot more time at home watching TV and less time doing things together as a couple. It seems like the daily routine of coming home and watching the television has just about stopped our ability to communicate with one another. My husband and I have started arguing over petty things.
I asked my husband to go with me for marriage counseling and he agreed but left it up to me to find a counselor/therapist. My question is, how do I know if a therapist is qualified to work with us? Do I have the right to interview them to see if their style will work for us?
Dr. Norquist responds:
In choosing a therapist, training and expertise are important, but what is just as important is a feeling of the “right fit” between you and the therapist. You can start by calling several therapists (hopefully those who have been recommended by friends or someone you trust).
Ask about years of experience as a therapist, and their training and amount of experience with marital therapy. Listen intuitively to see if they respond in a way that you feel you’d be comfortable working with them. Then make an appointment for a consultation session with the therapist that feels most right to you.
If after 1 or 2 sessions, you do not feel comfortable with the therapist or her/his expertise or technique, do not be afraid to make changes.
(Dr. Sallie Norquist is a licensed psychologist (NJ #2371) in private practice and is director of Chaitanya Counseling Services, a center for upliftment and enlivenment, in Hoboken.) Dr. Norquist and the staff of Chaitanya invite you to write them at Chaitanya Counseling Services, 51 Newark St., Suite 202, Hoboken, NJ 07030 or www.chaitanyacounseling.com or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. Questions can address various topics, including relationships, life’s stresses, difficulties, mysteries and dilemmas, as well as questions related to managing stress or alternative ways of understanding health-related concerns. 2018 Chaitanya Counseling Services