Choosing a Therapist
Find the right therapist
Only a small number of therapists in the United States who do couple therapy have actually
undergone proper training in the art of couple therapy. As a matter of fact, many therapists who claim to be adept
at working with couples are simply applying techniques they learned for individual therapy to
the complexities of a couples dynamic, which often falls short. Given the soaring rates of
couples parting ways in modern times, securing effective couple therapy of high quality has
become an absolute necessity.
With this in mind, to find the right therapist, identifying a qualified couple therapist near you is paramount.
Our therapy office is in Reno, NV.
Here is a checklist based on the writing of Dr. Mark Kaupp, an expert couple therapist, of
inquiries to pose to a potential couple therapist during the evaluation phase:
1. Have you received training specific to couples therapy? If yes, what were the specific training
tiles and what was their focus? This will give you a better understanding of the therapists
clarity regarding their qualifications.
2. In the past year, how many couples have you engaged with in your practice and do you
regularly seek professional consultation in your work with couples? This question helps
ascertain the therapists experience and level of engagement with couples.
3. What theoretical approach guides your understanding of couples? There are two widely
recognized theoretical perspectives tailored for couples: Attachment Theory (Emotionally
Focused Couple Therapy (EFT)) and IMAGO therapy. Without a theoretical framework, the
therapist might lack direction in working with the couple, potentially wasting valuable time and
4. Do you focus on improving communication skills? Be cautious here. If the therapist answers
in the affirmative without further explanation, there could be issues. Research indicates that
teaching couples basic communication techniques like using & statements doesn't address the
core problem—trust. Communication is intricately tied to trust; without trust, words fall on
deaf ears. Trust is a function of more than saying the right thing at the right time.
5. Do you sometimes work with each individual in the couple separately? The exceptions aside
(e.g., domestic violence, untreated trauma, active substance abuse), couple therapy generally
involves both partners. Isolating them should be reserved for assessment purposes, not routine
6. How do you ensure impartiality? This question unravels the therapist's perspective on the
couples dynamics. Are they viewing the couple as two individuals triggering reactions in each
other, thus creating a cycle of impact? Couples function as interlocking mechanisms, and any
change in one inevitably affects the other.
7. Do you perceive a couple as an Emotional Bond or a negotiable contract? Therapists who
assign tasks like going on more dates or distributing household chores are overlooking the
underlying issue. It's not about the superficial tasks; it's about the emotional bond between
partners. When this bond weakens, distress ensues. Attempting to reinforce the bond without
directly addressing its weakening misses the core concern. Expert, Dr. Sue Johnson says, “it’s
about the bond not a bargain.”