It may feel awkward to look for relationship help, but the process is similar to finding any other professional: a dentist, plumber or accountant.
Looking For Relationship Counseling
So how do you find someone to help with your relationship? Start by asking around. Check out the people your friends recommend online. See if you like their approach, credentials, reviews and ratings.
You can also go to the website of AASECT, The American Association of Sex Educators, Counselors and Therapists. It has information about different types of accreditation and lists of sex therapists by area.
Then, check out one or two relationship counselors in person. Ask for a free consultation. During the consultation, here are some good questions to ask:
- What population do you focus on? You want a counselor who spends most of their time on sexual issues.
- How do you define ‘normal’ sexuality? Look for a therapist without preconceived notions of what is healthy. How often you have sex and your range of sexual activities are only problems if you and/or your partner think so.
- Do you deal with both the emotional and medical components of sexual dysfunction? Run if they say “no.”
- What are your methods? You want someone who offers a number of approaches.
- Are you accredited? There are good therapists who do not have AASECT accreditation, but if a person who has been recommended to you does, that is a good sign.
You Can Change your Mind at any Time
If you have a bad feeling about a relationship counseling professional’s office, their staff or their personality, look elsewhere. This is going to be a person you will tell some of your most closely-held secrets, so you want to feel comfortable with them — and confident they can meet your needs.
If you can tell after the first session or two that this person is not right for you, move on. Not every relationship counseling professional is right for every couple.