Let’s say that you are in the market for a couples therapist. You go online and see what you can find. And what you realize after a little bit of searching is that there are many kinds of therapy and many kinds of couples therapy. One site, GuideDoc.com, lists nine, including the Gottman Method, Narrative Therapy, Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy, Positive Psychology, Imago Relationship Therapy, Analyzing the Ways You Communicate, Exploring Unconscious Roots of Problems (also known as at least two different main groups called Psychoanalytic Couples Therapy and Psychodynamic Couples Therapy), Enhanced Intimacy to Promote Closeness, and their ninth contender was Individual Psychotherapy to be used when one can’t get the partner to go to couples therapy. Please don’t get lost by all these ways (and there are others) that therapists have found to think about and work with their clients.
I just want you to remember one piece of research about therapists: experienced therapists are more like each other than they are like novices in their own theoretical orientation. Let me explain. Experienced therapists with any sense at all grow to be alike, in what they do well and what they stop doing that doesn’t work, no matter what style they focused on. And when you look at a lot of couples therapists, research their experience and their style or theoretical orientation, you find that a Gottman Couples Therapist, for example, with years of experience is more like a Psychodynamic Couples Therapist with years of experience than that Gottman therapist is like a novice Gottman Couples Therapist (a younger therapist with an emphasis on the same training).
And remember, many therapists have had training in more than one of these types of therapy. And also remember that someone who specializes in couples counseling or couples therapy (really, the same thing) probably has a lot more hours and training in working with couples, which is quite a different way of working than with an individual.
So I hope I can make it easier for you to decide: pick the therapist with extensive experience in couples work. That is what will serve you best.
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