1. My insurance will provide a therapist. While insurance companies will provide a referral for you within their network, they may not be the best fit for you. Other aspects to take into consideration when using your insurance company are:
Breach of confidentiality of your records. Insurance companies require access to your records for audits purposes or if they’re challenging coverage of services.
Diagnosis. Some insurances will only cover couples therapy if there is a mental health diagnosis associated with the treatment, such as anxiety, depressions, bipolar, and so on. In addition, you are limited to therapist who are within network.
2. I’ll make an appointment the first person who answers the phone. If you’re under a crisis or difficult situation, it may seem productive to make an appointment with the first person who answers the phone. However, that may not be the best option. My suggestion will be to research and find information about the therapists that you’re considering. I also suggest to ask for a short phone consultation, which most therapist offers to give you an idea of how that therapist can help you. While talking to them, you will have an opportunity to asks questions.
3. The therapist is going to tell me that I’m right. While part of a therapist job is to help you feel understood and accepted, it’s not our job to be judges or take sides. I usually explain to my clients that their relationships is my client not them, and, I will advocate for the benefit of the relationship not who is right or wrong.
4. I’ll find a cheap therapist. If your insurance does not cover therapy or if you do not want to go through your insurance you may be tempted to shop around for low prices. I don’t blame you, you may not think that you can afford therapy. I absolutely encourage you to shop around for qualifications, but not for prices. Many times therapists who offers cheaper prices have less experience, may have recently graduated, or is in the process of obtaining his/her license to practice. I don’t know about you, but I would like someone with experience.
5. Any counselor or psychologist can provide couples therapy. Many counselors say that they do couples therapy, but they may not have the training and experience in this area. You want to make sure that your therapist is a licensed marriage and family therapist (LMFT), or has extensive experience working on this field, and the reality is that many therapist do not.
6. Everything is going to change after we talk to the therapist. Often times people expect that after the first session with a therapist things will get better. While they may leave the first session feeling hope about the future of their relationship, most things will not change afterwards. Change is a process that takes time, work, and dedication. The first session is an evaluation of the problem, and the time where an objective for the therapy is established. The evaluation consist of an assessments of each partner’s history, past relationships, values, needs, and expectations.
Here are the 6 most common mistakes that people make when they consider receiving couples therapy. I hope that after learning about these you have a better idea about what to expect, and ultimately make an informed decision.