Marriage Counseling & Therapy

21 07, 2016

4 Tips for Finding the Right Therapist Near You in Arizona

2017-01-17T01:45:13+00:00 July 21st, 2016|0 Comments

“Shopping for therapist should be approached in the same way as looking for a new pair of shoes. They should FIT well, feel COMFORTABLE, and you should be HAPPY with their look and STYLE, or you will never feel completely satisfied.”

~Mary Jane Warr, Finding the Golden Key – Making Sense of Depression

If you live in the Phoenix, Arizona, area and are having emotional problems for which you feel the need to talk to a professional, you are lucky enough to have a plethora of choices. No matter what your particular issue is –trauma, anxiety, depression, relationship issues, emotional eating – you will find a qualified therapist.

But too many choices can also breed confusion – with so many options before you, which one is the right one for YOU? Trying to find the right therapist through trial-and-error can be expensive and take months. To make it easier, here are some helpful tips that can make your search for the right Phoenix therapist that much easier.

Start with the Resources You Already Have to Find the Right Therapist in Phoenix

Even if you think that you don’t even know where to begin to look for a therapist in Phoenix, you probably already have some resources that can at least point you in the right direction:

  • Your Insurance Company

    –Thanks to the Affordable Health Care Act, you probably already have insurance. Contact your carrier to see which therapist and counselors in the Phoenix area are included as part of your coverage.

  • Your Employee Assistance Program (EAP)

    –Many companies have a wellness program in place that provides confidential counseling and support for employees as part of the benefits package. You may be entitled to a limited number of free sessions, after which you can receive a referral for a local Phoenix therapist.

  • Your College/University

    –Most schools have a Counseling Center as part of Student Affairs. As with an EAP, you can receive short-term assistance, and if you need ongoing counseling, you can be referred to a qualified and licensed mental health specialist in Phoenix.

Narrow Your Search in Arizona, but Don’t Limit Yourself

When you are looking through listings of therapists in Phoenix, you will most likely focus on those counselors who (a) specialize in your specific issue, and (b) are close to where you live or work. That can be an efficient way to conduct your search, but don’t paint yourself into a corner. Keep an open mind.

Even though most therapists in Phoenix offer counseling for specific types of problems, many areas of practice overlap, and you might be able to get the help you need from unexpected sources. For example, if you are being troubled with low self-esteem and are having a hard time finding a therapist with an opening, perhaps a disordered eating counselor might be able to assist you, since often, the two conditions go hand-in-hand.

Also, it might be a good idea to expand your geographical boundaries a bit. If you limit yourself to only therapists in Phoenix, you might miss an excellent counselor in Glendale who would have been able to help you work through your issues.

Know What Questions to Ask Your Potential Therapist Near Phoenix 

Many people feel uncomfortable asking their mental health professional any questions about their qualifications, experience, and expertise – but that’s exactly what you SHOULD do. For therapy to the effective, you have to have complete trust in your counselor, and you can’t have that trust if there are any lingering doubts or unanswered questions.

  • Are you licensed in Arizona?
  • How long have you been practicing?
  • What are your areas of expertise?
  • I’m here because of ____. How do you typically treat this problem?
  • What are your success rates in dealing with this issue?
  • Do you accept direct payment/billing from my insurance company?

How Does Your Therapist Make You Feel?

The right match between you and your therapist is extremely important. If at any point – the initial consultation or even after a few counseling sessions – you feel uncomfortable or that the “fit” isn’t right, don’t hesitate to say so.

Sometimes, the rapport just isn’t there. It’s not something that can be researched, and if you need to move on to another local Phoenix therapist, the professional you’ve been speaking with won’t take any offense. It is understood that for you to get better, you have to feel perfectly at ease with your mental health provider.

If you live in the Phoenix, Arizona, Metro area and need any type of counseling, the trained professionals at Empowerment Treatment & Counseling, located conveniently in Glendale, are ready to work with you to restore peace of mind and hope to your life.

28 05, 2016

How Therapy Saved My Marriage

2017-01-17T01:45:13+00:00 May 28th, 2016|0 Comments

My marriage had reached a dead end, and we were in trouble. Even now, it bothers me to write those words, but it was a FACT. I still loved my wife, but I didn’t like who WE had become.

The Signs Were There That Our Marriage Needed Help

We had been living in denial for a while, but the truth was, we just weren’t happy. Over the course of 11 years, so much had changed:

  • We never really TALKED anymore
  • We didn’t spend quality TIME together
  • We were pursuing SEPARATE agendas
  • We ARGUED over petty things
  • Our SEX life was non-existent

I’m lucky that my wife still cared enough to bring up the idea of couples counseling. One night, she told me that she had been looking into a local program in Glendale – not far from our home in Phoenix, Arizona – that offered relationship therapy. At this point, I was ready to try anything, so I agreed.

My Wife and I Begin Couples Counseling

I’ll admit that I was apprehensive when we attended our first session. I didn’t know what to expect and I dreaded the idea of simply rehashing every old argument and airing our dirty laundry to a total stranger.

But when we met our counselor, she surprised me with a very simple question – “What are some goals you want to achieve with relationship therapy?”

Goals?

I wanted to save my marriage. Wasn’t that why we were here?

It was explained to the two of us that a troubled marriage was merely a resultant symptom, because the root of our problems really lay elsewhere – poor communication, divergent goals, or issues with intimacy, for example.

That made a lot of sense to me, because what I missed most was how my wife and I used to talk for hours – about everything. It occurred to me that I couldn’t remember the last time we had just sat down and had a meaningful conversation.

The therapist explained that she would be working with us every step of the way as we tried different approved approaches that would help us REESTABLISH our marriage as a priority, REPAIR any damage our behaviors may have inadvertently caused, and RECONNECT as a couple.

She stressed two things –

FIRST, it was going to be a process that would require a lot of patience on our part. We hadn’t arrived at this point overnight, and it was going to take some time to get back to where we wanted to be.

SECOND, it was going to require real work on our parts, because our marriage was the most important relationship either of us would ever have with another person, and something that valuable was worth the effort to maintain it.

And then she smiled, and said that we had already done the hardest part, just by showing up.

What I Learned From Couples Counseling

Over the next several sessions in Glendale, our therapist guided us through different therapies designed to identify our biggest issues, so we could start focusing on solutions. Sometimes, there was even homework.

  • Emotional therapy – We learned how to honestly express our real emotions and needs to each other WITHOUT resorting to negativity like blaming, arguing, or shutting down.
  • Behavioral therapy – We worked on breaking bad habits and dysfunctional ways of thinking that contributed to our marital problems.
  • Mindfulness therapy –This was especially helpful to me. I learned how to be more “emotionally present” at any given time. During positive moments, I could be more aware and appreciative. During negative moments, I got better at separating what was REALLY bothering me from my own fear-fueled assumptions and insecurities.

One common theme that ran through each type of therapy was the need for better communication – open sharing of our feelings, “active” listening, and “fair” fighting that focused on resolving the conflict, rather than extending the argument.

I have to say that all of the sharing and communication helped my wife and I rediscover the love for each other that we had never lost – we had only buried it under too many bad habits. We are now closer than we have ever been.

We owe it all to Empowerment Treatment & Counseling.