These few checks can help you in finding the best Family Therapist for you.
I can understand, it has taken you a lot of cajoling, persuasion and the advice to finally discuss your problems pertaining to the relationships within the family with a professional family therapist and counselor. I congratulate you, for having had the courage to involve a professional person to help you look afresh at your most personal matters. Trust me this is the correct step taken by you. But in order to ensure this exercise does not prove a futile effort, you will obviously need the professional advice in selecting the best family therapist, who can really understand, analyze and in complete confidence help both the partners involved reach thoroughly evaluated, educated and right decisions.
Seema, had been facing similar such problems in her marriage. She had been taken to the psychiatrist/ psychotherapist for therapy by her family, least realizing that the problem for Seema had not been a psychotic issue but her marital situation involved a mutual companionship, adjustment and compatibility issues.Such a step taken in haste without the professional advice had obviously proven quite expensive resulting in the loss of time and money. Seema found that her family on both sides had looked at her with such suspicion, as if she was a monster suffering from some kind of mental issues.
Here is what had happened in the event of unprofessional urgency:
- Seema who did not suffer from any kind of psychotic disorder had been prescribed anti anxiety/ anti psychotic medicines.
- She was not able to attend to her regular office work and the sufferings could be seen in her daily interaction with her other family members.
- Her children too suffered while her husband continued to declare that he was always right and that the fault greatly happened to be with his wife’s mental illness.
I believe since Family Therapy is a service to the members of the society and involves the maintenance of peace, prosperity and stability of family life I will help give you some guidelines that can be useful for you to take the right decision in the selection of the perfect Family Therapist and Relationship Counselor. These pointers are:
- Go to the internet: While internet has been a source of many good or bad products in the online market place, it at least provides you a beginning. You should browse and scan all the information available about the family therapists servicing your area. You can also find the information available on the websites of the family therapists who offer you online counseling, just in case you may find it inconvenient to visit in person. You should particularly look for such family therapists who have been contributing to the building of the education platform for such important issues of family therapy and relationship building. Some of the internet platforms have the rating systems for their verified advertisers, pay attention to the ratings of the therapists.
- Check with Friends : Seeking opinion/recommendation of friends though could be little difficult since you may not like to discuss your bedroom issues or personal problems .But family therapy today generally happens to be a very vast area involving counseling and therapy to all members of the family i.e. the elders, the teenagers, the newly married or the middle aged. People who have issues connected with the problems, situations, pertaining to such areas would be benefited if they discuss this with family, friends or even institutions. There is every possibility some of your family/friends must have been to a family therapist. Some good judgment will have to be maintained since in our society people do attach (even in modern times) stigma to the visit to a counselor or a therapist. We have a case where a girl’s mother who had come for her daughter’s counseling did not want to disclose the name of the therapist to her own real sister ( who was also in urgent need of counseling and therapy) fearing the future of her daughter would be affected negatively by such disclosure. But trust me all family therapy is complete confidential .It is mandatory for the therapist to maintain non disclosure and confidentiality of his clients.
- Recommendation online: Comments and recommendations given by the earlier clients of the therapists do tell about their satisfaction levels and experiences with therapists. You must check such remarks, comments and recommendations. Your gut feel can definitely tell you if these hold true.
- Male or Female Family therapist: You will have to decide your own comfort level in this matter. If you are comfortable talking to the member of your own sex you can choose accordingly or if you believe you want to take up your therapy with both the male and female therapists, you can opt for a clinic where both male / female are available for counseling and therapy . Nowadays many husband –wife as couple therapists practice together.
- Differentiate between a Family Therapist or a Psychologist: It is necessary for a family therapist to have the prescribed professional qualification and credentials for the Family Therapy in addition to the prescribed degree in Psychology.It is certainly not possible that the psychologist will be having the required insight into the family therapy theories and systems. You consult a family therapist when the matters relate to relationships within the family which affect the very institution of your family systems .You will need a family therapist when there are issues of generation gap, mutual understanding matters, matters of the discipline of the youngsters, when the husband-wife communication, elders-youngsters communication etc.,are involved..A psychologist will be needed for the unexplained negativity, behavioral and emotional disorders or serious matters connected with the psychotic/neurotic disorders.
- Make Phone calls/ Fix an appointment for Personal Visit: I have often seen people do not call on the therapist even when they feel the urgent necessity .Procrastination often leads to the problem getting out of hand. So do not just keep that short list of the family therapists that you have by now taken down from the internet with you. You must act on it and start calling them on the phone in order to pick up the one that suits you best. Initially you can just give a brief idea to the therapist as to why you want to meet him or her. Discuss your problem if the family therapist is willing to listen on the phone .Many family therapist do handle counseling online (and they charge for the same) but in case where other family are likely to be involved for future discussion I would advise you to fix up an appointment and go and meet the family therapist on the appointed day and time in his/her clinic. You are definitely moving towards finding the best possible solution to your needs.
-Ramneek Kapoor – Family Therapist, Psychologist Counselor and Science of Living Expert.
Family is everything .