Those who are dissatisfied, in conflict or have relationship discords may not be positively motivated to seek help from a professional. One needs to create a plan. The plan includes preliminary goals and finally calling to set up an appointment. The preliminary goals should be rewarded with activities or foods that result in positive affect. A reward can be a small celebration, going to visit friends or a scoop of ice cream if that’s all you have left.
Among the preliminary goals are,
- Specify the title of a professional in your local area. The title can vary from doctor level professionals such as psych counselors, ministers, clergies, psychiatrists who can act as supervisors or master level professionals specializing in relationships, who may also be able to supervise.
- Enter your zip code or town next to relationship counseling on your search engine
- Your family doctor may also be a good referral source
- If insurance covers mental health counseling or behavioral health look into that directory
After having located a number of professionals,
- E-mail or call their offices
- Try to have a brief phone interview, describing your relationship issues or your personal situation
- If there is a diagnosis or are under medical treatment ask to seek appropriate level of care
- Do not seek diagnosis, treatment or clinical opinion on the phone, internet or e-mail
- Only if there is need for immediate help you can resort to dialing 911 or 211, or mental health crisis hotline located in your phone book
Before making the appointment be clear about,
- Wanting a male or a female therapist
- Modality of therapy you need
- Fees, Insurance, Donations, Type of Payment
- Confidentiality assurance or limits to confidentiality if referred
- If not going as a couple, will the professional accept to invite him/her while in individual therapy
It is best if can arrange to visit as a couple. If one is resistant to seeking relationship counseling, as a last resort seek help individually and later invite your mate into the session. That may not be the best way but is better than leaving the relationship up in the air resulting in separation, dissolution or divorce at the end or if engaged or dating to a break-up.
Because men are more sensitive to relationship issues, the issue should be addressed sensitively and calmly. The issue can be approached like having a routine check-up, but this time for a relationship enhancement check-up. Counseling can be sought as a couple even if already made up mind to divorce. Best to keep options open and seek to resolve issues, so even if divorced, those same issues are not repeated or transferred to the next relationship.