Some Member Advice for Choosing a Counselor

Most counselors will talk with you on the phone for free prior to a session. Don’t be shy about saying what you feel you want. If staying together is your goal then tell the counselor. Most counselors are not going to recommend separation unless there is obvious abuse taking place. As long as two people come in wanting to repair a problem the counselor seeks ways to help you with that.

I would ask the counselor if s/he could support and assist a couple where one is gay/ lesbian/ bisexual/ transsexual and the other straight or heterosexual. Avoid counselors who seek to cure your spouse’s sexuality. That is impossible. I would avoid anyone who has issues with cross-dressing too. I think your counselor should help you to love and accept one another in a positive and healthy way. Then you can tackle harder issues like the possibilities of open marriage. You can work on making compromises that don’t destroy you as a person or you as a couple.

Be honest and open with the counselors you talk with. They have heard it all before or if not exactly your situation then something equally different. A good counselor learns to separate his or her own personal values and judgments from yours. They help you to decide what is best for you and what may be hurting you as a person.

Counseling hurts a bit in the beginning because you will learn that some of your own behaviors are causing you pain. No one likes to be told they have to make adjustments and often that may cause you to feel defensive. Your counselor may want you to try a different approach than the one you’re used to taking. I have found that listening to my own counselor and reminding myself that I am just trying something out not committing to it forever has helped me immensely.

If the first counselor doesn’t work out then find another. You want to make progress and come together in your relationship. That’s the goal. Ask the counselors you interview how they will help you do that. You’re hiring them after all.

Many couples recommend finding therapists or marriage counselors who are knowledgeable and supportive of MOMs. Both individual and couples therapy can be essential to their healing process. Certified sex therapists have also helped many couples.

The sex therapist and the marriage therapist can be the same person.  Some couples share one therapist for all of individual therapy, joint sex therapy, and joint marriage therapy. Others have individual therapists, a joint sex therapist and sometimes joint marriage therapist.  So you could potentially have from 1 to 4 therapists.  It will take a lot of persistence to find out what is right for you and your partner.