Like mechanics, plumbers, and anyone who fixes things for a living, some therapists are better than others.Some therapists are “marriage neutral,” while others place a very high value on preserving and improving the marriage. A couple who is going to therapy to improve or save their marriage needs a therapist who leans pro-marriage. Some questions to ask a potential therapist:
1. “What percentage of your practice is marital therapy?” Avoid therapists who do mostly individual therapy as they likely have worked little with couples.
2. “Of the couples you treat, what percentage work out their problems and stay married with a reasonable amount of satisfaction?” Look for a therapist who bats 70 percent or higher. Be wary of a therapist who says this is not a measure of success, because they may be neutral about the marriage commitment. Couples in floundering marriages need a pro-marriage therapist.
3. “How do you see the importance of keeping a marriage together when there are problems?” Look for general statements in the answer that show the therapist’s first priority will be to help you find tools you need to improve your marriage, rather than walk away from it.
—Questions taken from Take Back Your Marriage: Sticking Together in a World That Pulls Us Apart by William J. Doherty (Guilford)
By Annemarie Scobey, from the pages of At Home with Our Faith, Claretian Publications’ print newsletter for parents on nurturing spirituality in the home. Winner of the Best in Class award in 2014 from the Associated Church Press, as well as a First Place General Excellence award from the Catholic Press Association for four years running. Here’s a sample issue.
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