If you are considering hiring a Marriage Therapist, you might have questions about how to find the right fit for you and your partner. Your relationship is very important and going to therapy is a large investment of time and money.  It is important to feel confident in your choice of professional as well as the therapy process.

Here is a list of the top five qualities to look for in your Marriage Therapist.

1. QualificationsTherapist Qualifications

Your therapist should have a Master’s degree (or higher) in Counseling or Marriage and Family Therapy.
If you are attending therapy for relationship concerns, your therapist should have the LMFT / LMFTA (Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist / Associate) designation behind his or her name. There are a number of other licensing tracks (LMHC, LCSW, LPC), but the LMFT track is the only one that completely focuses on and requires education in relationship therapy.
Finally , your therapist’s license should be in good standing in the state in which you are seeking counseling. For Indiana, you can find this at the Indiana Professional Licensing Board.

2. Good Boundaries

Therapists with good boundaries will not discuss themselves much during your session. A therapist with appropriate boundaries will not be on call for you at all hours. A therapist with good boundaries will be on time for your session and will not allow you to go over time on a regular basis. Your therapist needs a break between sessions, and you want a therapist who takes good care of him/herself.

3. Warmth, Empathy, & Acceptance

Your therapist should be a good listener who makes you feel accepted. You want a therapist who can understand the pain you are experiencing while simultaneously pushing you to make positive changes toward your goals. It is essential for you to feel comfortable with your therapist in order to be confident in the work you are accomplishing.

4. An Effective Approach

Your therapist should use an evidence-based approach, such as Emotionally Focused Therapy or  Gottman Marital Therapy. You have every right to know how your therapist plans to help you meet your goals. If you have doubts about your therapist’s approach, ask questions. Your therapist’s willingness to share information in an understandable manner can help settle your uncertainties.

5. Communication Skills

Your therapist should also be able to communicate with you about your progress in therapy and whether or not you are meeting your goals. If you believe another approach is necessary, your therapist will listen to your concern and adjust the plan accordingly.  If your therapist is unable to provide the approach you need, then your therapist will provide a referral.  A good therapist will recognize when to work with a client and when to refer to another professional.