1. The first thing you need to look at is the credentials of the counselor. There are three different classes of counselors:
* The first type is a Ph.D or Psy.D level counselor. These counselors have spent at least five years at graduate school and have performed a minimum of 3,000 hours of therapy while being supervised by an experienced psychologist. A person will need to have a doctoral level degree to be qualified legally as a ‘clinical psychologist’. A counselor with a Ph.D is often more academic and will often do forensic and scholarly work as well as therapy.
* Next there is M.S.W which is a Master of Social Work. Social workers can work with individuals or in institutions and are trained to apply social theory to different situations.
* Lastly, there is the M.A. or M.S. in counseling. There are often known as Marriage and Family Therapists. This type of therapist can only work in small group counseling situations or with individuals. They will have undergone two years of study and earned a degree and will have worked a minimum of 1500 hours of therapy under supervision.
A Marriage and Family Therapist (M.A. or M.S.) and Social Workers (M.S.W.) are the least expensive options for therapy and if you are claiming your marriage counseling on insurance then you will probably be directed to one of these.
2. Once you know what type of therapist you will see, you then need to find out what prices they charge. Marriage and Family Therapists tend to be the least expensive, while Clinical Psychologists are the most expensive. If you really want to save your marriage the cheapest option might not always be the best. When looking at costs, don’t just look at the cost per session but also the expected length of treatment as this can make a big difference to the overall cost.
3. Next, you will want to look at each therapists policies. You need to consider the following:
* How much do you need to pay if you miss a session?
* If you take a vacation will you still be charged for the session for that week?
* Does your therapist accept calls at home or only at the office? Do they accept calls outside of your normal session times?
* Is there another person that you can talk to in an emergency?
A good family counselor will have one goal in mind – to help you save your marriage. If you are seeing a counselor and you don’t feel that they are dedicated to helping you save your marriage then you should move on and find someone else. There are many good counselors or therapists out there that can help you save your marriage from divorce, so don’t settle for divorce before giving therapy a try.