I want a therapist who specializes in infidelity but the website I have been looking at doesn't have that as a search option. What else should I look for? Relationship issues? Family counseling?
I also want a therapist who will help me uncover the whys and help dig up FOO issues I have but I dont know what theory or practice that is.
Does anyone have any suggestions for me?
Even in the small church we attend now, I have talked to our pastor, and he has shared with me that he has counseled many couples over the years, 3 in the current congregation. Most churches don't care if you are a even a member. We recently moved, and I had only attended this church a handful of times. They just want to help, and there is NO charge.
I found a winner by "phone screening" a dozen or so local/insurance-covered ones with some questions including:
- what % of your practice is individual versus couples?
- how much experience and training do you have with infidelity?
- what books THAT YOU'VE PERSONALLY READ align with your infidelity philosophy?
- how do you feel about a BS' need to know on details?
- do you agree that the BS and WS share the marriage, while the WS owns the A?
the most revealing, by far, was the book thing. Some couldn't even name infidelity-specific books. I think the part that tied them in knots was the bit about them reading it - I think many take the, "I recommend this one to my clients and they seem to like it..." type of line, without actually studying (or even reading) the material themselves. Or maybe they read something 10 years ago, and basically forgot about it.
Our counselor lit up when asked the question, immediately naming Not Just Friends, How To Help Your Spouse Heal From Your Affair, and After The Affair. And on our first visit to their office, they had copies of those and many more on their desk, filled with color-coded bookmarks.
I had sessions with 3 or 4 different therapists before selecting the one I have been seeing for the past 3 months.
I also found that good therapists are happy to recommend OTHER therapists who they think may be better suited to dealing with your unique needs. This happened to me with one of my free visits and the recco eventually was the therapist I chose for the long term.
Good luck. It's an important decision but also an exciting one for you personally!
Have you used the "Find a therapist" feature on the Psychology Today website? It allows you to find a therapist within your area and accepts you insurance, along with a list of issues that they specialize in.
When you find a therapist that fits your criteria, don't be afraid to treat it like a job interview and essentially ask questions that see if this person is the best candidate for you.
Your insurance might have a list of counselors in their network. Check their site and run a search on the participating providers name to see if there are any reviews, comments, etc. Then call and interview them.
It's a tedious task, but as my BW often reminds me to help me put things into perspective, "How much time have you put into your [cheating, addiction, lies! affairs! etc.] compared to the work you've done?"
Where there is a will, there is a way. Best of luck to you.
I know that not all great MC's have LMFT certifications, and vice versa. But it was a place for me to start. Good luck.