11 Questions To Ask Before You Hire a Marriage Counselor or Relationship Coach.
Congratulations for being here, it takes courage to take action and seek support. The decision to save and work on your marriage is one of the most important decisions you will ever make, so it is crucial to check that the person you select also cares about you and your marriage.
I appreciate that it can be daunting to know what to look for when choosing a marriage counselor or relationship coach, many couples I’ve worked with in Dubai, London, Singapore and New York found it extremely hard to select one. For the marriage counseling relationship to work, you need to be able to trust and feel comfortable with them and their approach in order to open up and for the support to be effective.
You are already going through a stressful and difficult time, so the last thing you need is more confusion or doubt. I’ve created these 11 questions based on feedback from countless individuals describing their marriage counseling experiences. I hope these support you to select the right match for you, in your quest for a better life and relationship.
1. Is the marriage counsellor interested only in past events and problems, or do they focus on a process to bring you close again and more aligned?
When I work with individuals or couples to save their marriage I focus on the future. Together we create a plan to move forward based on actions they agree to take, that will bring back their love and happiness. I find that talking about problems often does not help a couple, in fact it can make them become less hopeful and more convinced that their differences are too great for the marriage to be saved. Rather than drag up past grievances and issues in a joint session, I work with both each partner separately to let go of resentment, past hurt and pessimism. You cannot talk someone into your way of thinking and you certainly cannot make someone change by repeating everything they have done that has hurt you. It’s only by changing our behaviour and taking action towards reconciling can we strengthen a relationship.
2. Does the marriage counselor / relationship coach offer a money back guarantee for their work, if you are not satisfied?
If you decide to work with me, I offer a 100% money back guarantee where if you are not entirely satisfied for any reason after the first 2 sessions you can cancel the program and have your money refunded in full, no questions asked.
For the Online Save My Marriage Program if you have made an honest effort to implement all of the steps and complete the work books and for any reason are not getting the desired results I will refund your money back to you, again no questions asked.
3. Does the marriage counselor / relationship coach offer a combination of one to one and couple work or only one of these?
When working with my clients I use both. I have found from helping hundreds of couples to save their marriage that it is essential to work both on a one to one basis and as a couple. Why? because you need to have the chance to offload separately, so you can clear any past resentments, doubts and negative thinking in your way of closeness. Many hope that past resentment or hurt will just fade, but without action, it doesn’t. To bring up the conflicts that happened years ago in front of each other, for obvious reasons will do more damage than good and trying to bury it under the carpet doesn’t work either. So a combination of both is what helps a couple to really become lovers and friends again.
4. Does the marriage counselor / relationship coach have a structured plan to help you move forward rather than just offer to work with you on an ad hoc session by session basis?
Experience working with hundreds of couples to save their marriage has taught me that an ad hoc session by session approach to marriage counseling is the less effective. For lasting results most couples benefit from a plan that they can commit to. Having a systematic plan to follow that focuses on bring them closer together. If you take one session here and then another session there, it’s unlikely to get results. If you were looking for a new job, trying to lose weight, or purchase a new home, the chances are you would have a plan, set aside time to focus on it, I believe saving a marriage is no different.
I let couples choose from several packages. Ones that increase closeness, save a marriage and stop divorce, others to help couples recover from affairs, abuse or addictions. Even for those that are unsure about whether they want to save the marriage we have a plan. Without a plan, results are often limited, but that’s just my personal perspective. I hate to see couples waste their time, money and energy by doing things half-hearted.
5. Can the marriage counselor / relationship coach provide you with testimonials, case studies and details about how they work, so you can make an informed choice?
I believe the best decisions we ever make are those that feel right intuitively. You know, when you get that feeling inside “I think that person can help me or us” or “I don’t think that person is right.” It’s usually after some interaction to be able to get that clarity.
The next best thing if you cannot speak to the marriage therapist or counselor first is to find out how they works, what other people have experienced and gained from working with them.
Choosing to work on your marriage is one of the most important (if not the most important) decisions you will ever make. You want to ensure that you don’t leave the selection of your marriage support program or counsellor to chance. You will want to check that they have got results for other individuals and couples and that their method of working is successful. They will understand if you ask for testimonials or case studies to feel more comfortable before you go ahead.
6. Are they an expert in their field or more of a generalist counselor, coach?
With something as important as your family, you want to make sure your relationship is in the hands of an expert. If you go for generalist counselors, life coaches and therapists check they have a track record in family relationships, marriage and divorce. Don’t leave your marriage to chance, make sure you ask them who they have worked with and how they help families, they will understand your concern and wanting to check as our families are one of the most important things we have.
7. Does the marriage counselor / relationship coach provide access to them outside of appointments, for emergency calls, email updates or text messages to help you through any challenges? Or are they only available to help in the pre-scheduled and paid sessions?
When I work with clients I offer unlimited email and what’s app support, I am also available for emergency calls and crisis situations. Why do I do that? because life doesn’t happen in 1 hour windows every 2-3 weeks, so neither does the support I offer. I want my clients to get results. I want them to feel better, become closer and have help through any rough patches.
Many find they forget to ask important questions during sessions or that they feel great the day of the session but something happens after, where they need support straight away, not in a few weeks time. So I strongly recommend you check with whoever you are considering to be your coach or therapist and ask if they are approachable outside of the sessions. Would they be willing to reply to your emails, questions or messages or take a 10-minute emergency call?
8. Is the marriage counselor / relationship coach or health center willing to support your individual circumstances by offering a range of payment methods, payment plans and out of office appointments?
If flexibility is important for you, your work and family situation check whether or not they can accommodate your needs. Having worked with hundreds of individuals and couples to save their marriage or get through divorce, I recognise during this highly stressful time, what people need most is flexibility. Whether that’s flexibility in terms of late night, early morning or weekend appointments, emergency calls or payment plans that help spread the cost over weeks, months or years, I do my best to accommodate my clients. Find out if they operate different payment plans, methods or offer out of office hours if this is important to you.
9. Has the marriage therapist or relationship counsellor worked in an international setting for a number of years, have they worked with different religious, cultural, socio-economic backgrounds?
It’s important to find a counsellor or coach that you feel comfortable with, who understands the cultural norms in your society when it comes to marriage, family and divorce. Having lived in the Middle East for 10 years and having travelled extensively throughout the GCC, Asia, Europe and USA the past 18 years, I make a point of learning about societal expectations and traditions. I do this so I can best help couples facing cultural clashes either between themselves or when it comes to extended family. Be sure to check that whoever you work with to save your marriage that they appreciate your religious, cultural and socio-economic background.
10. Is the marriage therapist willing to provide a recording of your sessions (upon request) and offer further audio resources, work books and guidance to help you focus.
Many find that they feel great in a session and shortly afterwards, but with all they have going on forget what was said or what they agreed they would do to move forward. To avoid this I offer my clients the option of making an audio recording the session, where upon request I record my clients sessions and send them a link to download the audios.
I also offer other learning via audios, articles and work books that I have designed to get results for my clients, as fast as possible. Ask your marriage therapist if they have extra material you can learn and read to enhance your results, or if they are willing to record the sessions, so that you can at least to them listen again.
11. Has the marriage advisor or relationship counselor you are considering been featured in news or other media outlets of how they have helped others overcome relationship problems?
Do your research and check to see if others are finding their approach to solving relationship problems useful. If you would like to check out my articles or books you can find them on my Amazon author page or check out my weekly contributions to the Huffington Post and Your Tango.
Free Save My Marriage Consultation
I hope these help you to make a decision about who to select as your relationship therapist or couples counsellor. Whether you are in Dubai or further field, it can be difficult to know if online counseling or programs may work for you, so I’d like to invite you to have a Free Save My Marriage Consultation with me where you can assess for yourself. During which we will focus on:
1, Ways you can increase happiness, love and passion
2, Actions to overcome your biggest challenges
3, Steps you can apply immediately to reconnect and enjoy each other’s company again.
Click below to book your free save my marriage consultation today, you have nothing to lose and everything to gain.