How to find a Calgary counsellor that’s right for you
Check for License
The professional counselor you wish to find should be a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT). The American Association of marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT) certify and recommend qualified specialists for the licensing. The psychologists recommended by the association will have the required experience and the expertise in handling any type of crisis in your relations and solve it amicably. You can visit the site aamft.org and search for the LMFT in your region.
National Directory of Marriage & Family Counselling
The directory is one of the recommended sites where you can find the LMFT in your city and state. It contains a vast database of the qualified professionals. You may choose online of face to face methods of consultations according to your convenience. You can find the Live Phone counseling option also here.
LinkedIn gives you a list of professionally qualified marriage counsellors in your region. Having an account in this social medium can help you follow the therapists closely. You can also find reviews, comments, and the testimonials from the individuals and couples who have taken the therapy. They can offer valuable help in finding the best counselor. Facebook, Talkspace, askmile, and Juno.clinic are some of the other places where you can find professional counselors.
You can also ask for advice from your friends and relatives to find the counselor. For this, you need to talk to the couple who have taken the therapy and found a long lasting solution to their problems.
Professional Counselor Qualification
Professional counselling in Calgary qualification is one of the fundamental criteria for the counselors. Check for their graduation or master’s education in the marriage and family psychology.
Graduation Requirement – Primary Criterion
The national exam for mental and family therapy conducted by the association is the licensing method for the counselor. He has to be a graduate or a master in marriage and family therapy. Certification from the American Counseling Association (ACA) can also qualify the professional to be your therapist. You can check the credentials of the counselor while searching.
Applied Behavioral Psychology (ABP) – Specialization
The specialists practicing the ABP and having the LMFT license can be the best counselors you can find. They understand the psychological factors that lead to the discontent and resentment conditions in your marriage. They can identify the behavioral patterns and the factors that influence them among the individuals and the couple. By analyzing the extrinsic and intrinsic influences, they can find the root-cause of the problem and suggest the therapeutic remedies that work for you.
Professional Counselor Experience
Experience is the key criterion which determines the efficiency of the counselors. Check the number of cases they have handled and the success rate. The client rating and reviews can give you an insight into their therapeutic methods, expertise, specialization, and the problem solving approach.
Counseling is more than just talking and making a list of the problems. The experienced professional can win the couple’s trust within the first few sessions. S/he should protect your privacy and keep all the information confidential. It is because you may disclose many of the hidden secrets to the therapist which are unknown to your spouse.
Online Vs. Face-to-Face
You can find many counselors who offer remote therapy through online and phone sessions. The effectiveness depends on your level of acceptance and the willingness to “listen” during the session. Any distraction can render the therapy ineffective.
Face-to-Face therapy offers you vast opportunities to communicate and coordinate with the specialist. The environment in the consulting room can have a healing effect which makes you feel confident about the results. The choice is always yours.
Before you decide to take up the therapy, the recommended procedure is to interview the counselor and ask questions related to the parameters listed above. You may observe certain key factors which no website or friend can advise you.
The counselor should be a keen listener. Eye contact is one of the identification marks for his attention span. Is he listening to you and understanding your situation? Or is he pretending to listen? You can find out during the interview.
Stop talking at some point, drink some water, and ask him to remind what you were talking about. If he can repeat word-to-word of what you were talking, you can consider him for the counseling. An experienced professional won’t interrupt you while talking. He may note down certain key points from your conversation.
An experienced counselor is an expert prober. He may ask you a stream of questions related to many sensitive issues. He will be specific in his probing methods. He will try and understand your perceptions and opinions about your spouse by repetitive questioning. You should have the patience to answer honestly without any bias and prejudice.
The professional counselor is non-judgmental and analytical in his approach. He doesn’t approve or reject any of your ideas and statements. He only uses them to analyze and suggest the best possible remedy. He never criticizes or condemns you or your spouse.
The counselor is always practical in his approach to problem solving. He may ask you to work on certain worksheets which contain a series of questions. You can know about his expertise when you read through the worksheet and gauge its depth.
The changes he suggests will always be proactive from your end. He may propose specific changes in your behavioral patterns without expecting a favorable response from your spouse. On some occasions he may seem cold and rigid in his approach (especially when he asks you to make amends to your spouse). But he will always give you the therapeutic methods that work.
The counseling may have the elements of spirituality (not religion) associated with it. He may talk about acceptance, empathy (not sympathy), patience, persistence in applying the behavioral changes in your relationship. He may also tell you about reducing the expectations from your spouse and contributing more to the relationship.
You can take a decision about choosing the best professional counselor after evaluating him based on the above listed parameters. You may need to convince your spouse to meet the same counselor to make the therapy meaningful and effective.