Couples Counseling: 6 Steps To Finding The Best Couples Counselor Near You

Interested in couples counseling, but not sure how to find a therapist who's a great fit? Then this is the guide for you!

Here are six steps to finding the perfect couples counselor for you and yours:

Step 1: Know which certifications you're looking for  

Many couples counselors are Licensed Marriage and Family Therapists (LMFTs). However, social workers (LICSW/LCSW), psychologists, and other mental health practitioners can work with couples, too.

When searching for a couples counselor, make sure sure that they check the following boxes:

two people medium-skinned people sitting on a bench together

Step 2: Pinpoint what you want to work on as a couple

It’s generally helpful to clarify your goals together before starting couples counseling.

Dr. Nicoletta Skoufalos, a psychologist in Midtown West, Manhattan, suggests talking over the following questions together:

Once you have a clearer idea of what you want out of therapy, it can be easier to find a therapist who’s prepared to help you meet those goals.

Step 3: Decide which type of couples counseling is right for you

Couples counseling can vary widely, depending on what you want to work on and what kind of therapist you choose. You may prefer open-ended therapy, or skill-based.

Some forms of couples counseling are more open-ended, focusing largely on discussion and processing of emotions.

Open-ended therapy:

Activities might include:

Structure-oriented therapy (such as EFT, emotionally focused therapy):

Strategies might include:

Once you’ve researched a bit more about these different approaches, you can discuss which might suit you best and look for a therapist that fits your needs.

Step 4: Figure out payment, scheduling, and other logistics together

Be sure that you have clear answers to the following before you start contacting potential therapists:

Related: Insurance Doesn't Cover Couples Counseling – Here's How to Use It Anyway

Step 5: Make a list of questions to ask potential couples counselors

Ready to contact potential counselors? Save yourself some time by having a list of questions ready to ask!

Questions to ask a couples counselor

Step 6: Look for couples counselors near you

At this point, you’re ready to make some initial calls!

Find couples counselors near you using therapist search sites, like Zencare. Search by fees and location; watch counselor introductory videos; and book free initial calls to find a couples therapist who fits your preferences.

Once you've scheduled your first appointment, here's how you can prepare for your first couples counseling session.