Marital Strife, Verbal Abuse, Infidelity? Only Consult Certain Experts to Fix Your Marriage!

As a marriage therapist in Cary, Crystal Lake and Huntley, Illinois, I have treated many couples to repair the damage caused by previous counselors who did not know what they were doing. It is crucial to get the right help the first time!

You may not realize just how many types of counseling providers there are until you need one. Should you see a psychologist, a psychiatrist, a social worker or a professional counselor?

Or, perhaps, first, you should attend a professional seminar, attend certain classes or consult a minister? The answer depends on your unique situation, including your finances, urgency of the situation and whether or not you and your spouse are willing to be forthcoming with a professional who you do not know.

Most counselors or therapists have either a masters degree or a doctors degree. For master's degree counseling professionals it can be confusing because, depending on their qualifications, they can practice under different licenses.

Common examples include the licensed professional counselor (LPC), the licensed clinical social worker and the licensed marriage and family therapist. Counseling professionals who have their doctorates are usually licensed as psychologists.

Physicians specializing in mental health treatment (psychiatrists) have little advanced training in counseling but are considered experts in the prescription of psychiatric drugs.
Family medicine practitioners may also diagnose mental health conditions and prescribe psychiatric medications, though they usually have little training in either of these areas.

When selecting a marriage therapist, consider the following:

While most therapists can provide counseling for a range of issues, a counseling professional specializing in marriage and family therapy usually would possess greater expertise in marriage problems. For example, a psychologist who uses psychological testing and has advanced training in family therapy would be ideal.

To enhance the odds that your family and marriage problems can be solved, a spouse or child may need medication to battle such problems as ADHD or chronic depression. Your family doctor can legally prescribe psychotropic drugs.

However, depending on your needs and the intensity of the symptoms, you might want to consult a psychiatrist, a medical doctor who prescribes and manages psychiatric medications. The seriousness of your marital problems is a crucial variable.

Generally, the more severe or complicated are your problems, the more expertise and training you need to look for in your therapist. Consulting a master's degree level counselor often is sufficient.

However, family problems, combined with severe psychological issues, such as schizophrenia, alcoholism, bipolar disorder, ADHD and severe depression may require consulting with a psychiatrist (for medication), psychologist (for diagnostic testing and therapy) or both.

The type of health insurance you have is also an important consideration. Check your policy beforehand because coverage can vary widely.

Your insurance policy may have a list of specific counseling professionals covered, or may only reimburse certain types of therapist providers. Your insurance company can explain what types of counseling providers it pays and what limits apply.

Another form of therapy, a Self-Therapy Kit (STK), is self-help for non-urgent problems and does not involve your insurance company or, for that matter, mental health providers. STKs are not for you if you have dangerous problems in your relationship such as, physical, sexual or child abuse; in those cases it is imperative to consult a professional.

STKs are a type of educational therapy that focuses on helping you and your partner to eliminate or reduce non-urgent, non- dangerous symptoms in your relationship. They are educational therapeutic programs that require no medicines or counseling.

Just browse a selection of STKs and select one that will demonstrate how to detect infidelity, what to do about it and how to eliminate verbal abuse and other relationship-destructive behaviors. They are designed to assess options for your marriage and then advise how to implement a behavioral program to get your marriage back on track.

Usually they provide some combination of: daily personal coaching through phone or internet, visual and audio examples and solutions for poor communication, email consulting and specific back-up techniques to implement quickly in a crisis. They are often ideal for those who are so private that they would rather not consult an outside professional.

STKs are multimedia packages that usually deliver direct coaching, targeted advice and solutions and easy to understand directions which show what to do to eliminate verbal abuse and to dramatically improve your marriage.

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