First you need to look up the couple counselor’s website. The website alone can give you a feel for the couple counselor’s attitude. There you can find most of the licensing and credentials of the couple counselor. A professional’s credentials should follow their name and usually does. Again, you are looking for the acronyms LMFT, PsyD or PhD. Also, a word of caution: people can attain a PhD and not be a Clinical Psychologist. Look for the details of what kind of PhD they are before assuming them to be a doctor of clinical psychology. Ask them if you are not sure. The information should be located under a tab that says “about me(or name)” or “meet me(or name)” or something like that.
Secondly you need to meet the couple counselor. As a general rule, therapists offer a free phone consultation which only gives you a minimal amount of information about and “feeling for” the couple counselor. It is much better to find a couples counselor that allows you to meet them in person. Usually this is only a 10 minute meeting so you can see them and see their office environment. Since 80% of our communications are not verbal (mannerisms, facial expressions, and chemistry, etc) then you need to be in the presence of that therapist to know if you are compatible. It shouldn’t cost you a full session fee to find out that one essential piece of information. Even though you will need to work with that couple counselor to know the full affect of their work, this is a GREAT way to “feel” for the right couples counselor.
Third: A couples counselor needs to be able to talk about sex freely. One of the most common issues that a couple has is the issue of sexual relations. In fact, problems in a relationship can be hidden or avoided in the daily affairs of a couple’s life. However, these avoided issues become most obvious and problematic in their bedroom life. If a therapist is unable to talk freely about these sensitive and personal issues, for whatever reason, then the most important issue between couples cannot be corrected. In other words, if a therapist can deal with sex, she/he can deal with anything. Therefore, it is best to seek a therapist who specializes in sex therapy. A sex therapist will be knowledgeable about ALL aspects of the intimate relations and will be able to assess faster than a therapist who knows only a little about the sexual response cycle.