Posted March 7, 2012 by Marc Engram, LICSW in Marriage

Tips to Help Find a Good Marriage Counselor

As a marriage counselor for over 20 years I get many calls from prospective clients who have had bad experiences with their previous marriage counselor. Unfortunately all marriage counselors are not equally effective, and it is important to find the right one to have the best chance of restoring your marriage. Here are four questions to ask a prospective marriage counselor to increase the likelihood of a good outcome.

Have you had any training specific solely to marriage counseling. Although many counselors will accept marriage counseling clients, they might have not taken even one course that is unique to marriage counseling. Because of it’s specialized nature, general counseling training is not adequate to qualify a counselor to be an effective marriage counselor.

How many couples do you see in a week? Steer clear of counselors who do marriage counseling as a side line. You wouldn’t go to a primary care physician to get a heart bypass, nor should you see a counselor who sees only an occasional couple.

What rate of success have you had? While most marriage counselors will not be able to provide formal scientific backup to support how effective they are, they should be able to communicate to you how they have helped other people with their marriages in the past. If you sense a counselor is avoiding this question, beware.

What method or model do you use as a marriage counselor? Not all methods of helping are equally effective. Methods that work on the emotional bond between a couple, such as Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy (EFT), have been shown to be the most effective with the longest lasting results.

It is critical to the success of your marriage counseling to ask the right questions before agreeing to a first visit. It could mean the difference between successfully creating a secure and happy marriage or not. When your marriage is the one on the line, you deserve to find a marriage counselor that gives you the best chances of achieving that success.

Marc Engram is a marriage counselor based in Northampton, MA who specializes in restoring relationships that are stuck in a negative or destructive cycle so that couples can experience more happiness, freedom and affection. He is one of the many talented marriage counselors you can find on

Marc Engram, LICSW