What to look for in a marriage counselor is more like asking, how to choose a good marriage counselor. But before any further explanation, let us understand who a marriage counselor is.
A counselor is a professional therapist well trained with certain knowledge to provide a strategic solution to the problem faced by couples in a marriage. He is responsible for training couples on how to handle their relationship to avoid conflict either presently or in the future. For this reason, before anyone should accept a marriage therapist to give him or her advice, must have noticed some qualities in him or her. I shall provide some qualities that a marriage counselor should possess before you grant him or her permission to work on your relationship; otherwise, you may end up complicating the whole issue by inviting a fake counselor for your marital problem.
- 1 Why should you consult a Marriage Counselor?
- 2 What are the Qualities needed in a Marriage Counselor?
- 2.1 1. Your Therapist must have received professional training in the field
- 2.2 2. He or she must have been licensed to practice therapy
- 2.3 3. He or she must have a good reputation
- 2.4 4. How skillful is he in the profession?
- 2.5 5. The communication Skills really matters
- 2.6 6. Acceptance spirit must be a key quality of a marriage counselor
- 2.7 7. Empathy should be his or her quality
- 2.8 8. Leadership skill cannot be rule out of a professional counselor’s skill
- 2.9 9. He must be good at research and documenting skill
- 2.10 10. He must be highly skillful in Building a Rapport with his Clients
- 2.11 11. He should also be flexible in nature
- 2.12 12. How is his self-awareness skill?
- 2.13 13. Multicultural tolerance and competence
- 2.14 14. He or she must be serious-minded
Why should you consult a Marriage Counselor?
At least, before you search for a marriage counselor, something must have been wrong in your relationship. I have to provide an answer to the reason why you need a marriage counselor before showing you how to choose or select one. Not to beat around the bush, once your marriage begins to have some persistent setbacks, just know that it is time to invite a professional counselor. Don’t end your marriage for any reason until you seek professional advice. It baffles me that people quickly end their marriage they have been building together for years for some small issues that can only be solved by certain knowledge, and such knowledge is possessed only by a professional counselor. I have been emphasizing that the therapist for your marriage counselor must be a licensed one, simply because, marriage is a very serious issue. In some culture where marriage is highly valued, can cause enmity between two families. This is how important it is to be highly selective when searching for a counselor.
In no time, I will present the qualities you must thoroughly search for in a marriage counselor before inviting him or her into your family issue. However, the truth is bitter, inviting a professional counselor does not guarantee that things /will be fine, that will be determined by the agreement between you and your partner.
What are the Qualities needed in a Marriage Counselor?
Now, you need to understand the qualities of a good marriage therapist and what to look for in a marriage counselor before you work with him or her. Nowadays, a lot of marriages has been taken for granted, and therefore, couples will always have a problem managing their relationships. If you are serious enough to handle or save your marriage, it is necessary that you follow my instructions carefully and apply them.
Read more: Benefits of Premarital Counseling.
1. Your Therapist must have received professional training in the field
Most marriage has been destroyed today, as a result of the wrong therapist hired by couples. Instead of the marriage therapist invited to make things better, he or she caused more problem in the marriage. They give wrong and unprofessional advice to the couples.
For this reason, you have to be careful selecting your therapist when it involved marriage counseling. Not only marriage counseling, but you must also be extremely careful, choosing a counselor for any problem, be it physical or mental health.
2. He or she must have been licensed to practice therapy
It is not always easy to be a licensed counselor. If anyone presents an original license to practice therapy, you should understand that he or she must have gone through thorough training to professionally handle any problem as may be presented in the field chosen.
A licensed marriage therapist must have gone through long hours of internship, field work and then must have written a professional exam, all under the supervision of a senior colleague or senior professional therapist. For this reason, it is reliable to seek advice on your marriage issue from a licensed marriage counselor.
3. He or she must have a good reputation
Since you already know that a therapist is licensed, it is equally necessary to know if he or she has a good reputation from the former clients. This implies that in one way or the other, someone must have recommended the therapist to you. It is like the recommendation of a medical doctor by a previous client to a new patient. Probably, when the former patients were treated, realized the doctor knows his job very well.
4. How skillful is he in the profession?
Your therapist must be skillful in his job. If a therapist is not skillful, how will it help provide strategic approaches to find a solution for your marriage issues? This means you need to be selective. You must look for a professionally trained therapist to handle your case to avoid further problem in your marriage.
5. The communication Skills really matters
Your therapist must be smart and have a high level of communication skill. He must be a person that can communicate clearly, easily understood. This is very important. No wonder, psychologist and therapist are well trained in communication skill. This communication skill is very important, as it is the major mechanism through which your problems can be understood and a solution will be appropriately provided. Listening skill is also part of communication skill. He or she must be well skilled in listening skill in order to provide an answer to your questions.
6. Acceptance spirit must be a key quality of a marriage counselor
A marriage counselor must have this acceptance spirit. He or she must be a nonjudgmental person. The therapist must be able to relate with the client at his or her level. Professional counselors are known for their patience attitude. This is one other quality you should look at before selecting a counselor.
Do you know that for each person we meet in life has one or two has an influence on us? This is the reason why you have to pick a counselor with good characteristics. So that, through his or her virtuous personality, will provide effective solutions to your marital problem.
7. Empathy should be his or her quality
Professional counselors are well trained to know what their own qualities are. This is another way to detect a true counselor from a self-acclaimed one. Counselors help people during the most difficult time in their life.
As a professional counselor, you must have the ability to feel what your client is feeling. You should be highly skillful in reflecting upon what you hear from a client and also have that compassionate heart to provide a good solution to enhance his or her relationship in a positive manner.
8. Leadership skill cannot be rule out of a professional counselor’s skill
Everyone is a leader at his or her own level but a professional counselor is an outstanding leader endowed with problem-solving skills. Before you select a marriage counselor, you must ensure that when it comes to providing a solution to a marriage matter, he or she is number one. If this target is well hit, there is a great chance that a lasting solution may be provided for your marital issue.
However, you must understand that a counselor cannot install peace in your marriage, he will only suggest solutions for you to follow, and the rest is left to you. Take note of something, the best solutionist of your relationship is you. I mean you and your partner if you can ignore your ego and agree to apply what a professional therapist gives as advice; you will enjoy your marriage.
Read more: When to start Premarital Counseling.
9. He must be good at research and documenting skill
A wealth of information is the key root of the solution to any problem. Keeping records is a great means to revisit the solution for any kind of problem. Your marriage therapist must be a serious-minded fellow, highly skillful in making research about a specific problem as may be presented to him. This skill is part of the courses a therapist learned in school as a master’s student. This is to lay more emphasis on how important it is. If you don’t know well about something how do you manage it? Wait a minute, if you don’t keep a record of important issues, how do you revisit it when necessary?
10. He must be highly skillful in Building a Rapport with his Clients
What is the need of a person who claimed to be a therapist but does not have a skill of building rapport with his clients? A professional therapist must have that skill that quickly develops a strong relationship with the clients. He or she must learn to give full attention to their clients. They must be able to identify the core problems of their clients and be able to provide the necessary solution to remove the negative thoughts from their mind. If the marriage counselor you invited has this quality, you are at the safe hand.
11. He should also be flexible in nature
Flexibility in this context means, a counselor must be able to adapt to changes as it may arise. Just like a rubber band, you must learn how to expand not beyond your limit, so as to find a solution to your client. Search for a different approach to curb your patient’s problem, a good and well trained professional marriage therapist does not stay rigid. He or she is dynamic in their leadership skills. All these skills are taught to counselors in their course of study, if you see anyone lagging behind, it is another indication that he or she is not serious or is a fake therapist. Always remember, your marriage is an important part of your life. So, don’t take it for granted.
12. How is his self-awareness skill?
Sometimes, I secretly smile at some self-acclaimed therapists, who want to provide a solution for couples on the same problem they are battling with and yet can’t recognize. A psychologist or therapist must be a person of high self-awareness. How much do you know yourself before you know others? How competent are you about the help you want to render to people?
Your counselor must possess a wealth of knowledge about himself, and the profession. This self-awareness is very important to prevent the counselor from affecting your marriage with his own personal issue. To be precise, he must be a self-disciplined person who doesn’t do things based on emotion. Let take for instance, you hired a therapist who is in bad time with his spouse, and then out of anger, he or she advised you should divorce your wife, simply because, your case is similar to what he is going true.
Remember, originally, a counselor should not have a pronounced problem with his or her spouse in the first place. Why then, will you hire such therapist with questionable attitude?
13. Multicultural tolerance and competence
A real marriage therapist does not disregard culture, race or character, attitude, religion, politics, ethnicity or socioeconomic background. He or she must train their hearts to attend to clients in an unbiased mood. No matter the problem they have about a culture, must not allow that form an obstacle to their profession. This should give you the clue that, a marriage counselor must be a person of high character.
You must be well behaved so that your influence will affect the couple positively. Remember, sometimes, the action seen in you will do more than a million words. So, for marriage counseling to be successful, you must also possess good and standard character as a counselor.
14. He or she must be serious-minded
A counselor, upon his or her appearance, you will understand that they are a well-trained counselor. Your counselor should be able to mirror exactly what your problem is, and then through sympathy and seriousness search thoroughly for solutions. If you invite a counselor who doesn’t have a concern about how people feel, it is like causing more harm to your marriage. All that he or she will be after is your money. Once they get paid, they issue any kind of advice not minding the psychological effect afterward.
With this little information, you should now understand the overview of what you should look for in a marriage counselor.
Are you on the lookout for a top relationship counselor in Nigeria to share your troubles with, Adetola DeeDee is here to listen and help you out. Shoot him an email on firstname.lastname@example.org.