Are either you or your spouse thinking of divorce? Ever wonder if you can save a marriage with a marriage counselor? Counseling is an important and potentially expensive step to take, so you want to know the differences between the options you have.
When looking at family therapists you will want to know the credentials of anyone you consider trusting your marriage reconciliation to. There are 3 basic classes of professionals who do marriage counseling.
The first and highest category is a Ph.D. or Psy.D. Most will use the title “Dr.”. These college graduates continued on to complete graduate school and wrote a dissertation. Many have also published a book or two. Additionally, they have worked under the watchful supervision of an experience psychologist for a minimum of 3000 hours.
These academic types will likely be the most expensive and sometimes a little less “personable” with a delicate task like trying to save marriage from divorce.
The next level down is the M.S.W. or master of social work. Social workers are trained to apply social theory to marriage situations. While graduate school trained, they have less schooling than a “Dr.”.
Next, but not necessarily less competent for your needs is the Marriage and Family Therapist which probably only has a M.S. or M.A. (bachelor’s degree) in counseling or possibly more as required by some states. This level is actually quite a growing field and licensing requirements may get higher over time.
Financially, this can be quite expensive, and if you have insurance coverage you will want to check with the insurance company. They may tell you what level of professional counseling they will cover and what limits exist in your coverage.
Cost should not discourage your from seeking marriage counseling, however. You probably have a friend or two who can attest to how expensive and life changing (in a bad way) that divorce can be.
Different professionals will have different policies. You will want to check out each one you consider in these areas also:
- Cancellation policy if you cannot make a session
- Flexibility in scheduling for a preplanned event you have like a vacation
- Is he or she available for phone calls outside of sessions; outside of working hours?
- Do they have a backup person in case you need emergency help when they are gone?
A family counselor could be the answer to keeping your marriage and family together and avoiding the pain of divorce and family split.
If it does not seem to be working after a few sessions or you do not really “click” with the therapist then look into the option of trying someone else. The counselor himself may even suggest someone they know who is more appropriate to your situation or personality.
Professional counseling may or may not be the right road for you, but at least you know more about your options now.