The San Francisco Marriage and Couples Center offers premarital counseling and couples therapy with a highly trained staff of clinicians. 

The San Francisco Marriage and Couples Center offers premarital counseling and couples therapy with a highly trained staff of clinicians. 

 

Are you Therapist Shopping? How to Find An Expert Therapist for your Needs

 

 

It’s common for people who are considering couples counseling to say something along the lines of “we’re needing a third party perspective”, or  “we need a mediator”, or even “an expert.”   After all, we’re living in the age of Dr.Phil and Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus, of pre-programmed sex schedules and personal intimacy workshops.  It seems that there are many ways to learn about intimacy, connecting, and taking delight in our partners.  Experts are easy to find:  academically-verified experts, financially-sound experts, self-proclaimed experts, tantra experts, pinterest experts.  Even well-meaning friends and family can put themselves in a position of expertise as they observe our foibles from a safely smug distance.  

 

 

If there’s so many experts to choose from, why choose a couples counselor?  And then, which type of counselor to choose?  Cognitive Behavior Therapy, that’s supposed to be good for making the most of your time, right?  Your aunt’s friend’s boss said she got a lot out of someone she saw in Pac Heights… how to choose?  Why not just go to yoga?  Unfortunately, the time when people are most overwhelmed with their relationship struggles all too often coincides with the time they most need help.  The resulting feelings of stress can over-shadow one simple fact:  You’re already the expert.  A good couples counselor already knows that you’re not Mars and your sweetheart’s not Venus, and that there’s no one size fits all recipe for a satisfying sex life.

 

 

As you and your partner discuss seeking counseling, instead of seeking the best expert, it can be useful to seek the right expert.  If you could dream up the perfect expert, who would that person be?   

 

 

In my next post, I’ll tell you how you’ll probably never find the perfect therapist, but you just might find the next best thing: a good enough therapist.

 

 

Written by Ruby Ann King, MFT intern. Staff @The San Francisco Marriage and Couples Center

 

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